Press Releases

Ironhouse collaborating with FEMA and Cal OES on winter storm recovery

The Ironhouse Sanitary District faced significant operating expenses due to the recent winter storms. To address this issue, the District has taken the initiative to apply for assistance from both the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). As a result, Ironhouse is now collaborating with FEMA and Cal OES on recovery.

The Collections department and Water Recycling Facility of Ironhouse expertly handled the overwhelming increase in stormwater during the Winter Storms of 2023. Despite the collection system on Bethel Island reaching maximum capacity due to infiltration and inflow, the Collection crew impressively removed 612,000 gallons of combined sewage and storm waste. To prevent any overflows or backups caused by the excess stormwater, an additional vacuum truck was hired, resulting in the successful removal of 323,000 gallons. Ironhouse's diligent Collections staff went above and beyond to ensure the safety and well-being of the community, without compromising their efficiency and professionalism, despite the increased cost incurred during that period.

In January 2023, the President announced a major disaster for California because of severe winter storms, floods, landslides, and mudslides that began on December 27, 2022, and continued throughout January. Contra Costa County was among the many counties in the state that qualified for FEMA funds for cleaning up after the winter storm.

Attached are links to the California Incident DR-4683: FEMA Environmental Considerations Greensheet and Public Notice: Major Disaster Declaration FEMA-DR- 4683 – CA.


Ironhouse Sanitary District remains operational during COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place
During the COVID-19 "Shelter-in-Place" order Ironhouse Sanitary District Operations and Collections staff will continue to deliver service, respond to emergencies, and operate the recycled water treatment facility 24/7.
While our lobby and Permit offices are closed to in-person assistance, District staff are still working and ready to respond to inquiries and issues by email and phone. District staff is available to help with planning and permitting, as well as with customer service questions. Contact us:
or call 925-625-2279
Development plans and requests for construction permits can be submitted electronically to
Staff members are still available for needed service in the field and are practicing social distancing. To receive assistance call our 24-hour service line at 925-625-2279.
As long as carriers, such as UPS and FedEx continue to provide services, Ironhouse will be able to accept deliveries. Deliveries will be left in an external “mailbox” outside of the main office at 450 Walnut Meadows Drive, Oakley and collected during office hours of 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Submittals from the public, for items such as CDs and flash drives for Sewer Lateral Inspections, will be accepted by leaving them in the external “mailbox” outside of the main office.
We hope all of our customers stay healthy through these extraordinary times.


Ironhouse Sanitary District wins top awards at annual association dinner
On Friday, Jan. 24 members of the Ironhouse Sanitary District staff attended the California Water Environment Association (CWEA)-San Francisco Bay Section’s (SFBS) annual Awards Night and Banquet, taking home six of the evenings most prestigious awards including “Plant of the Year” and “Collections System of the Year”. (more...)


District completes annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 
Ironhouse Sanitary District has completed its annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year of 2018-19. The report includes the District’s annual independent audit and is themed in celebration of Ironhouse’s 75th Anniversary serving the communities of Oakley and Bethel Island. (more...)


Ironhouse announces new Board president
Dawn Morrow was recently elected 2020 president of the Ironhouse Sanitary District Board of Directors, replacing Director Peter Zirkle who wrapped his role as Board president for 2019. She was unanimously selected by the organization’s Board of Directors on Dec. 3 for the position. Morrow served as the District’s vice president in 2019. (more...)


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 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 the 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.

District completes annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
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...)


ISD receives Platinum District of Distinction accreditation 
Last week Ironhouse Sanitary District was presented with two top awards at the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) annual conference in Monterey. The first of the two awards received was for Organizational Excellence Award acknowledging the District’s efforts in fiscal management and the second for the Outstanding Capital Project. 

“At our core is our commitment to public transparency and fiscal management,” said Chad Davisson, Ironhouse’s general manager. “To that end, we work really hard to make sure we are using ratepayer’s money in the most responsible manner possible. It is an honor to be recognized for these efforts by one of the top agencies in our industry.” (more...)