Category Archives: Uncategorized

Protect Your Family From COVID-19 — No Wipes Down the Pipes!

While disinfecting your home and business is an important step in protecting your family from COVID-19, it is crucial to remember that disposable wipes, even those marked “flushable”, should NEVER go down the drain. Flushing wipes, or anything other than toilet paper, including paper towels and other paper products, could cause blockages to MVSD’s collection system and treatment plant. Flushing wipes may also damage home plumbing systems creating significant costs to property owners.

Anything that contributes to increased sewer spills may also increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. Keep your family and neighbors safe by putting used wipes in the trash and not down the toilet!

Want to know more? Here’s a recent report on how wipes are contributing to blockages in Bay Area sewer systems:

MVSD logo

Conflict of Interest Code Amendment

The Board of Directors of the Mt. View Sanitary District has declared its intention to amend its Conflict of Interest Code to add District positions of Board Secretary / Executive Assistant, Wastewater Lead Operator, and Wastewater Operations Manager / CPO and by deleting the District positions of Office Administrator / Board Secretary and Wastewater Operations Supervisor. The positions of Board Secretary / Executive Assistant and Wastewater Operations Manager / CPO have been added with a reporting category of “All categories.” The Wastewater Lead Operator has been added with a reporting category of “Categories A, B, C, and D.” A Public Hearing has been scheduled for September 12, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. To review a copy of the proposed amendment click here.

photo of a Western Pond Turtle

MVSD Publishes Management Recommendations in Scientific Journal – Western Wildlife

In conjunction with data collected during the Western Pond Turtle Study, consulting biologist Jeff Alvarez and District Biologist Kelly Davidson, along with biologist Gary Kittleson and reptile veterinarian Louisa Asseo, co-authored an article on the potential of injury and mortality to western pond turtles during upland vegetation maintenance activities like mowing and disking. The article was accepted for publication by the journal of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society, Western Wildlife, and was published online October 23rd.

Western Wildlife is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research, notes, reviews, perspectives, and correspondence on the ecology, natural history, management, and conservation biology of animals. You can access the current volume at the Western Wildlife website here:  You can access the article on our website at this link


Calling all Classroom Teachers!

MVSD is partnering with the Lindsay Wildlife Experience to provide 3, new 1-hour classroom programs for elementary school students in Contra Costa County. These wetland and pollution prevention themed programs will be available October 2017- January 2018. Program Choices include:

  • Craft a Wetland Critter
  • Water Quality for Life
  • Wetland Wonders

These programs are perfect for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. Contact Stephanie Seregin at or 925-228-5635 x10 to learn more and book your classroom programs today!

Otter photo

The River Otter Ecology Project (ROEP) Produces Second Report for MVSD

MVSD and ROEP began a partnership in September 2016 to better understand the population of North American River Otters in the Peyton Slough Wetlands. This second report from ROEP highlights what was learned in the first 10 months of the study including otter presence, abundance and habitat use within Moorhen and McNabney marshes, sex ratios, and recommendations for mitigating disturbance to otter populations for tide gate closures and the Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Habitat Enhancement Project in 2017 and 2018.

We are also pleased to announce that we will be adding a prey study later this year to better understand otter diet and foraging ecology in the wetlands. To access the latest report, please click on the link below.

River Otter Study – Second Report (July 2017)
MVSD River Otter Study Interim Report (February 2017)

Coast Cleanup – Invasive Plant Removal in McNabney Marsh

Saturday, September 16

9:30 am – 11:30 am

Please join us on Coast Cleanup Day – September 16 – to remove invasive stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) from the edges of McNabney Marsh. Stinkwort was first reported in California (Santa Clara County) in 1984. It has now spread to 36 counties including Contra Costa. Stinkwort is not palatable, can be poisonous to livestock, and can cause contact dermatitis in people. It is found primarily along roadsides and other disturbed sites. Unlike many annuals, stinkwort flowers and produces seeds from September to December – so this is a good time to remove it. If you are up for a little work, you can help us make a big difference in the spread of this invasive plant. Reservations and signed liability forms are REQUIRED. We will provide: latex gloves, plastic bags, water, and a pizza lunch at the end of the day. Participants bring: work gloves, a hat, and sunscreen and wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. A mat or knee pads are also recommended. For more info and to RSVP, contact Heidi Petty at:


Ecological Scent Detection Dogs: On the Lookout for Western Pond Turtle Nests!

MVSD’s Moorhen Marsh, a 21-acre freshwater constructed wetland, is home to approximately 150 western pond turtles (WPT), including nesting turtles. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife considers the western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) as a Species of Special Concern and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a proposal to list it as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

MVSD has been studying WPT since 2009 to better understand the population ecology of the species and how best to protect and manage for its success at Moorhen Marsh.

In June, we had an unusual guest contributing to our research efforts–“George”–an ecological-scent detection dog who is part of the Harvey Dog program of Los Gatos-based, H. T. Harvey & Associates, Ecological Consultants. Harvey Dogs are trained to detect specific species and give their handlers, who are experienced ecologists, a cue when the species is present. Using their superb noses, dogs can detect a target species from smelling the live animal or particulates such as scat, remains, nests, or feathers in an area of up to 30 acres in a day.

George and his trainer, Lauralea Oliver, visited Moorhen Marsh to conduct the final stages of his training in detection of WPT nests. As he investigated the marsh, he practiced finding WPT nests, without disturbing the sensitive habitat. By supporting the development of more efficient and effective methods to detect the hard-to-find WPT nests, MVSD aims to more accurately and quickly identify where to install protective barriers around nests to prevent predation, monitor nests for hatching success, and continue to contribute to research on the reproductive habits of this declining turtle species.

The Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Habitat Enhancement Project

Phase A construction will close Moorhen Marsh from mid-June through November 2017. Phase B will likely close the marsh from mid-June 2018 through November 2018. Please check The Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Enhancement Project webpage frequently for updates or call 925-228-5635 x 10 during business hours.

For more information on the Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Habitat Enhancement Project, take a look at the brochure.

For project details, construction updates, photos and videos, visit The Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Enhancement Project webpage.