ISD increases days open at the Recycled Water Fill Station
The hot days of summer are upon us and Ironhouse Sanitary District (ISD) is seeing a slight increase in new users at the Residential Recycled Water Fill Station. The District is hoping that increasing the number of days open, will encourage new users to try out the service and be a helpful solution to reducing the use of potable water to irrigate lawns, vegetable gardens and trees.
The new days and hours will be Wednesdays 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon. This service is available free of charge to Oakley and Bethel Island residents; however, residents who live outside the ISD service area can also get ISD’s recycled water by purchasing a $25 punch card which allows for 25 trips of up to 300 gallons per trip of recycled water.
“We changed the hours the fill station is open this season to provide flexibility for our recycled water users,” said Tyson Zimmerman, ISD’s assistant general manager.
For those who have not taken advantage of using recycled water for irrigation it doesn’t take much to get started. ISD’s recycled water is safe for nearly all of your outside watering needs including vegetable gardens, fruit trees and even washing cars.
Many people believe that a 300-gallon tank, seen on the back of many local pick-up trucks over the past few years, is necessary to get recycled water. However, many different types of containers can be used to bring recycled water home from ISD’s Recycled Water Fill Station.
ISD allows users to bring home anywhere from one gallon to 300 gallons a trip and make as many trips as they’d like during fill station open hours.
New sign-ups are taken at the fill station each open day. ISD asks residents to bring a driver’s license with their current address on it to the fill station to sign up. There is a quick training session for new enrollees before using recycled water.
Recycled water should never be used to drink or prepare food. It can be used to water your trees, gardens, lawns, wash cars, paths and various other watering needs. All plants can be watered with recycled water. This includes edible plants such as fruit trees, vegetables and herbs gardens. All fruits, vegetables and herbs, however should be washed with potable water before eating.
It is also important that residents do not use recycled water for cooking or use in the kitchen, as well as not use for bathing or showering, filling swimming pools or spas, or to clean or fill up children’s water toys.
ISD’s Residential Recycled Water Fill Station is located at 450 Walnut Meadows Drive. Cross streets are Rose Avenue, Main Street and Districts Way. For more information on container types, see ISD’s website at www.ironhousesanitarydistrict.com.
CWEA Emerging Leader: Chris Christean
Congratulations to ISD’s plant manager, Chris Christean, for being chosen as one of the California Water Environment Association’s (CWEA) Emerging Leaders for 2019. This summer, Christean was featured in the CWEA Clean Water Magazineas part of a series that features the organization’s top accomplished water professionals who are making a significant, positive impact on California’s water.
Christean has been a member of the ISD staff since 2011, working his way quickly into the role of plant manager. He also has experience with several different wastewater agencies before moving to ISD.
As a wastewater professional, Christean was required to receive a series of five licenses through the California State Water Resources Control Board. Through his focus, hard work and determination, Christean was able to become one of the youngest Grade V operators in the state when he received the license.
As the Plant Manager, Christean is instrumental in managing process control activities, regulatory compliance, development of policies and procedures, capital improvement planning and administration, budgeting, implementation of service contracts, and so much more.
Remembering that “Water is Life”, Christean’s vision of the future is to help build a generation of environmental stewards in the wastewater industry, so future generations have a safe water environment.
“Our biggest challenge,” he says, “is finding and retaining qualified staff. But rather than just hope and pray, I started an internship program. We created our own OIT program and have trained at least six operators since 2011. Three of them are employed with us today.”
To see the article in Clean Water Magazine featuring ISD’s Chris Christean go to,
ISD volunteers to participate in statewide “flushable” wipes study
Sanitary District, collection crews know it, plumbers know it and now industry organizations like the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA), are working to convince legislatures to help in the fight against flushing “flushable” wipes down the toilet.
These days, wet wipes come in all different shapes, sizes and uses, from baby wipes to cleaning wipes to pre-moistened towelettes all meant for bathroom use. A study in 2015 found that sales of personal wipes reached $2.2 billion in US, and are expected to continue to rise past 2020.
Over the past decade sewer crews all over California and the world have seen a distinct increase in clogged pipes and sewer overflows due to the combination of wipes, or what those in the industry call rags, and grease. Ironhouse Sanitary District pipes are no different.
District crews are out weekly clearing the pipes and pump stations of wipes to prevent an overflow of sewage in the streets.
When the District heard that CASA was going to conduct a study to help support their 2020 legislative advocacy efforts in relabeling flushable wipes, they volunteered to be part of the study. This study is to establish current California data about how “flushable” wipes products on the market today affect California sewers.
To obtain the data, CASA is organizing field studies in the coming months with agency volunteers to evaluate the dispersibility of several different wipes products in a controlled process. The data will help illustrate the importance of establishing performance requirements for marketing wet wipes as “flushable”.
These legislative efforts are not to stop the sale of “flushable” wipes, but to stop using the word “flushable” on labels. There is no doubt these wipes are a great convenience to consumers, but in the end, wipes are costing the consumers far more than just the cost of the product. Ironhouse is asking that customers who use personal wipes, toss them in the trash after use, rather than flushing them down the toilet to save their sewer pipes and ours.
Special Districts Make a Difference video contest
Oakley and Bethel Island high school and college students, gather your friends and family and create a fun and informative 60-second video highlighting Ironhouse Sanitary District (ISD) and the difference the District makes in our community for a chance to win a $2,000 scholarship.
The annual “Districts Make the Difference” video scholarship contest provides a chance for students to be creative, learn about special districts and a chance to help pay for college. ISD will give tours and provide interviews to be used for gathering information and footage to go into the video.
The video should feature information not only about ISD, but also the purpose of special districts and their benefits to local communities. For over 100 years, local service agencies known as “special districts” have provided access to a multitude of services that enhance our community. California’s special districts are much more than local service providers. These local agencies are created by local residents to meet their community’s needs in the most efficient and effective manner.
ISD is an independent district that provides cleaning of wastewater services for the City of Oakley and unincorporated Bethel Island. The District cleans water at its Water Recycling Facility in Oakley and its collections staff maintains sewer pipes and pumps throughout both communities.
Videos can be submitted to the Special Districts Make a Difference organization until Sept. 30. Contest Awards: 1st Place- $2,000 Scholarship, 2nd Place- $1,000 Scholarship, 3rd Place- $500 Scholarship.
Oakley--Ironhouse Sanitary District has been completed its annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year of 2017-18. The report includes the District’s annual independent audit. (more...)
“At our core is our commitment to public transparency and fiscal management,” said Chad Davisson,