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: https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2020/03/18/coronavirus-disinfecting-wipes-being-flushed-down-toilets-causing-major-pipe-problems/.

MVSD logo

MVSD Coronavirus Update

As you might be aware, Contra Costa County has announced that its public health services department is implementing community mitigation measures that will help slow the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19. Effective immediately, all businesses and government agencies have been directed to cease non-essential operations at physical locations in the county. To comply with this directive, MVSD is cancelling all public meetings and events until further notice. These cancellations include the following:

  • Public Open House scheduled for March 18, 2020
  • Personnel Meeting scheduled for March 19, 2020
  • Finance Committee Meeting scheduled for March 25, 2020
  • Strategic Planning Workshop scheduled for March 21, 2020

Our team will continue to monitor the developments of this emerging situation and will follow any recommendations and best practices as they develop. We will make every effort to reschedule meetings and events to the extent possible, once this order has been lifted.

In the interest of public health, we ask everyone to follow the best practices that have been recommended by Contra Costa County. To read the full public health directive issued on March 16, 2020, please click here (https://cchealth.org/coronavirus/pdf/HO-COVID19-SIP-0316-2020.pdf)

Prop 218 feature image

Prop 218–UPDATE

Notice of Continued Public Hearing to Consider Increase in Sewer Service Charge

Because of the Corona Virus orders, the Public Hearing originally scheduled for April 9, 2020 has been continued to May 14, 2020 and will be held as follows:

NOTICE OF CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING

Wastewater infrastructure is essential to protect public health and the environment. Mt. View Sanitary District (MVSD), has been fulfilling this mission for nearly 100 years. Due to the ongoing and immediate needs to replace critical aged infrastructure, the MVSD Board of Directors will consider the adoption of a rate increase on annual sewer service charges as set forth in the 2020 Sewer Service Charges Study. This Notice supplements the Notice mailed to you on February 21, 2020.

ALL PERSONS ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED OF A PUBLIC HEARING BEFORE THE DISTRICT BOARD OF THE MT. VIEW SANITARY DISTRICT ON THE DESCRIBED INCREASE AS FOLLOWS:

At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, 2020, at the Board Meeting Room of the Mt. View Sanitary District located at 3800 Arthur Road, Martinez, California.

At said time and place all interested persons may appear and be heard on the proposed increases in fees commencing on July 1, 2020, for sewer user service charges. Persons wishing a copy of the 2020 Sewer Service Charges Study may obtain a copy from the Secretary at the District Office and may also view them on the District’s website: www.mvsd.org/2020-Sewer-Service-Charges-Study

All owners and tenants of property receiving sanitary sewer service from Mt. View Sanitary District are invited to attend the Continued Public Hearing on May 14, 2020, and to comment on the proposed rate increase. Proposition 218 allows property owners to file a written protest before or during the public hearing. If written protests are presented by a majority of all the District’s property owners, a rate increase will not be approved. Only one written protest per identified parcel or property will be counted for purposes of determining whether there is a majority protest.

Written protests must be received prior to the close of the Continued Public Hearing on May 14 to be considered. The written protest must be signed by the property owner(s) and must include a description of the affected property, including address and/or Assessor’s Parcel Number. If you were not identified as the owner of the property on the most recent Contra Costa County tax roll, include written evidence that you presently own the property.
All owners and tenants of property receiving sanitary sewer service from Mt. View Sanitary District are invited to attend the Continued Public Hearing on May 14, 2020, and to comment on the proposed rate increase. Proposition 218 allows property owners to file a written protest before or during the public hearing. If written protests are presented by a majority of all the District’s property owners, a rate increase will not be approved. Only one written protest per identified parcel or property will be counted for purposes of determining whether there is a majority protest.
Written protests must be received prior to the close of the Continued Public Hearing on May 14 to be considered. The written protest must be signed by the property owner(s) and must include a description of the affected property, including address and/or Assessor’s Parcel Number. If you were not identified as the owner of the property on the most recent Contra Costa County tax roll, include written evidence that you presently own the property.

WRITTEN PROTESTS CAN BE MAILED TO:
MVSD Board Secretary
Mt. View Sanitary District
P.O. Box 2757
Martinez, CA 94553

Or, written protests may be hand-delivered to Mt. View Sanitary District officials or staff at the Administration Office during its office hours on or before May 14, 2020, or up to the close of the Continued Public Hearing on the night of the meeting, May 14, 2020.

The Public Hearing will be held in the Board Room at the
District Administration Office located at 3800 Arthur Road, Martinez, CA 94553. District Office Hours are 7:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Thursday, and 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM Friday.

For the full Prop 218 notice, please click here.

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: http://wwjournal.org/home/current_volume/.  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 Sseregin@mvsd.org 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: hpetty@ccrcd.org.

 

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.