Monday, October 27, 2014


Directors present:
Barbara Boucke, President
Lawrence Baskin, Vice President
Sandra Cross, Director
Morey Nelsen, Director
Jim Zell, Director

General Manager present:
Ed Schmidt

Staff present:
Toby Bisson - Water Supervisor
Helma Schwendig - Office Supervisor


The agenda was unanimously adopted as set.


Director Nelsen inquired as to the location of the District's backup generators in case of a prolonged power outage. Toby gave a brief history and inventory of the District's generators. Fire Chief Kenny Stevens suggested that, in addition, the District install a 3,500 watt stationary emergency standby propane generator. The generator would have an automatic transfer switch and could be placed on a cement slab at the side of the District office. Several Board members expressed interest in viewing the generator at Fire House #2. The Board directed staff to obtain specifications and a cost estimate.


  1. After a brief discussion on the District's Emergency Response Plan, the meeting will adjourn, then reconvene at the Laurel Water Treatment Plant, at the top of Laurel Avenue, to review emergency practices and procedures.
    The purpose of this Special Board meeting was to update the Board with the District's water distribution system and disaster emergency response teams and locations. The General Manager discussed the "Lessons Learned" report from the City of Napa for earthquake preparation. Toby reminded everyone to first ensure the safety of their families before responding to their designated team location. All sites have the necessary tools and equipment to perform communication and monitoring tasks.

    The General Manager distributed revised pages from the SBCWD Emergency Response Plan binder, listing the following Disaster Emergency Response Teams and Locations:

    The Emergency Operations Center Team, to be located at Fire House #1, 30 Belvedere Avenue. Team #1, the District Office and Auxiliary Emergency Operations Center, at 3785 Shoreline Highway; Team #2, the Laurel Treatment Plant and Tank, at the top of Laurel Avenue; Team #3, Highlands Tanks #1 and #2, at the top of Avenida Farralone. Team #4, the Steep Ravine Tank off Panoramic Highway and the two Black Rock Tanks at the end of Black Rock Road; Team #5, the Ranch Tank, the Bennett Pumping Station and Alder Grove Well #3, at Stinson Gulch.

    The tour of the District's facilities began at the Laurel Treatment Plant where Toby opened the housing of the large Kohler generator which runs the entire Treatment Plant. Large maps on the walls showing the location of the town's water meters, pressure regulators and fire hydrants are being updated as part of District Engineer Richard Souza's mapping project. Toby emphasized that no valves are to be turned off unless instructed to do so, as Chief Stevens may be fighting a fire. The General Manager stated that he is so proud of the staff building the Treatment Plant.

    The next visit was to the two Highlands Tanks at the top of Avenida Farralone. It was noted that several pine trees needed to be pruned to remove overhanging branches. There is corrosion on Tank #1 and it is scheduled for recoating next spring.

    Then on to the Steep Ravine Tank, located on Panoramic Highway near mile marker 7.76 in back of a grove of eucalyptus trees. Chief Stevens suggested that FIRESafe MARIN (Marin's Fire Safe Council) can be contacted to cut down any eucalyptus tree that is under 18" in diameter. However, a few should be retained for cover. The shed covering the new well is located in close proximity. Water samples of the well, which is not connected to the District's water supply, have revealed high levels of arsenic and antimony. The well may be retained for fire protection purposes.

    The two Black Rock Poly Tanks are located at the end of Black Rock Road, the turnoff being from Panoramic Highway at the traffic mirror. Each tank has only a capacity of 15,000 gallons, but they are a necessary part of the District's water system.

    The Bennett Pumping Station and Alder Grove Well #3 are located in Stinson Gulch off Shoreline Highway. Director Nelsen expressed his concern of fire danger in the surrounding area. Since the pumping station and well are integral parts of the District's water system, he suggested that noncombustible steel panels be placed around the wooden buildings. The last site of the tour was the Ranch Tank, which contains 410,000 gallons of untreated water that is pumped to the Laurel Avenue Treatment Plant.

    The Board thanked Toby, Buck and Donny for an excellent tour of the District's facilities.


The motion to adjourn the meeting was approved by unanimous vote. The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

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