Zone 7 Director Sarah Palmer lost her bid to become the next statewide vice-president of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), but said it was a good learning experience.

Palmer was asked by the organization’s nominating committee to run for the statewide vice-presidency. Another ACWA member, Pam Tobin of Granite Bay, a Sacramento suburb, was her lone opponent.

Palmer said that Tobin had been campaigning for the office for a year, and won on a 69 to 50 vote at the statewide convention, held Dec. 4 in San Diego.

But there are no hard feelings, Palmer said. The two got together later and reaffirmed their interest in pursuing the goals of ACWA.

ACWA is a communications, educational and research tool for its water agency members who are organized into 10 California regions.

Palmer has been serving as vice-president of ACWA’s Region 5, which includes counties from Solano through the Bay Area and south along the coast into Santa Barbara. Palmer’s committee positions are a good example of the specialties studied by ACWA. She serves on panels for agricultural water, water management and water quality.

Of special concern for her, as a former cancer researcher with a Ph. D in biochemistry, are water contaminants, an emerging issue in the water industry. They include PFAs, known as per- and polyfluouralkyl substances, which have been linked to cancer. These are found in Teflon, fire-fighting foams, waterproof clothing and textiles, and They don’t go away, Palmer said.

“Our exposure to them from water is about 20% and the rest are found in air and soil. We have found it in a couple of wells at Zone 7, but we have been able to blend it with better water. It is well below contamination levels,” she said.

Zone 7 notified people via email, the Next Door neighbor posting page, and in its newsletter.