Stockton Meeting Draws Most Major Private Water Companies

By Larry Chertoff, Water Industry News

The Stockton California mandatory meeting of potential proposers brought out more than the usual suspects. According to James Binder, President of Alternative Resources, Inc., Boston, Mass., consultant to Stockton at least 13 operating companies attended the meeting and toured the facilities. Additionally, 10 architect/engineering firms also participated.   

They inlcuded Cal Water, Severn Trent, Bechtel/US Water, San Jose Water, Earth Tech, CH2M-Hill, USFilter, ECO, United Water, Thames, OMI, American Water Services, CMI, Inc., and Right Water Inc.

The City’s Wastewater Utility is a regional system serving the greater Stockton metropolitan area. It serves the City’s needs as well as several San Joaquin County service areas and special districts by contract. There is a significant seasonal load to the wastewater system from agricultural processing industries (i.e., "canning" industries). The Wastewater Utility includes some 1151 miles of sanitary and lateral collection lines, 20 sanitary pump stations, a nominal 42 million gallon per day (MGD), biological primary-secondary treatment facility and a nominal 55 MGD tertiary treatment facility. The primary-secondary and tertiary treatment facilities are located on separate sites, separated by the San Joaquin River. The treatment facilities discharge to the river. Residuals from the treatment plant are transported to outside counties and land applied for agricultural purposes. Currently, residuals cannot be land applied for agricultural purposes in San Joaquin County. The long-term continuation of land application is uncertain due to recent calls for and implementation of some county bans on such practices.

The City’s Water Utility purchases treated water from a publicly owned water wholesaler (Stockton East Water District) and pumps water from its own wells to serve some 33,500 accounts, approximately 44% of the City’s homes and businesses. A private water company (Cal Water) provides water to the remaining City residents and businesses. The City water is stored in five ground level enclosed steel storage tanks and two elevated tanks. There are approximately 405 miles of water mains and 187 miles of service connection lines. All service connections are metered. Included in the City water system are over 2997 fire hydrants that are maintained by the Fire Department. Water management includes a substantial conservation program with seasonal and year-round restrictions.

The City’s Stormwater Utility collection system includes 389 miles of main lines, 108 miles of lateral lines, 8555 maintenance access holes, 12,602 catch basins and 64 pumping stations. The City is a co-permittee with San Joaquin County on the NPDES stormwater permit. The NPDES stormwater permit mandates an extensive stormwater management program.

The City currently sends out some 77,000 bills each month. For the area where the City provides water services, the City maintains water, wastewater and stormwater utility accounts. For areas of the City not served by City water, the City maintains wastewater and stormwater accounts. Bills are paid by mail, in person at City Hall or at satellite drop off centers located throughout the City.

Significant issues facing the City utilities include: expanding the wastewater treatment facilities to meet City growth; negotiating limits for reduced ammonia nitrogen discharge from the wastewater treatment plant to the San Joaquin River (the current NPDES wastewater permit has expired and negotiations are underway for renewal); securing long term reliable and economic residuals disposal; the possibility of implementing measures to achieve "zero discharge" of wastewater effluent to the San Joaquin River (i.e., treat as necessary to find re-use alternatives to reduce the treatment plant discharge); and securing adequate water supply and sufficient water rights to sustain desired economic growth. Capital improvements necessary to meet these challenges may be substantial over the next 20 years.



The City of Stockton, California is seeking Statements of Qualifications and Expressions of Interest (SOQEI) from private companies to: I) operate and maintain, and design and construct certain capital improvements to its municipal water, wastewater and storm water utilities; and 2) to provide associated billing services. The term of contract is anticipated to be 20 years.

The City is implementing a two-step procurement process, requiring companies to first meet minimum qualifications solicited through the Request for Statements of Qualifications and Expressions of Interest (RFQEI); and then for those companies found to be qualified, by soliciting Proposals through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

Interested parties may request a copy of the REQEI from: Gary Ingraham, Assistant City Manager

City Hall
425 North El Dorado Street
Stockton, CA 95202

Tel: (209) 937-8212
Fax: (209) 937-7149

SOQEIs must be submitted by 2PM, local time, March 9, 2001, to:

James J. Binder, P.E.
Alternative Resources, Inc.
9 Pond Lane
Concord, Massachusetts 01742

Tel: (978) 371-2054
Fax: (978) 371-7269

Water service was first provided to the North Stockton area by the City
of Stockton in 1954. The City and the California Water Service
Company (Cal Water), a privately owned utility, now operate the
majority of the municipal and industrial water supply facilities servicing
the metropolitan area.

Until 1977, groundwater was the sole source of domestic water for the Stockton area. A surface water supply was established in 1977, when the
Stockton East Water District (SEWD) Treatment plant began operation. This plant currently treats up to 27,000 acre-feet per year of Calaveras
River water. This water is stored in New Hogan Reservoir, and is diverted from the Calaveras River at Bellota and transported through a 12 mile
long, 54 inch diameter pipeline to the plant. After treatment, water is distributed between the City, Cal Water, and the two County Maintenance
Districts in proportion to the total amount of water use that each agency comprises in the Stockton region. The City's current allocation accounts
for approximately 35% of the SEWD Treatment Plant output.

The City operates two independent water systems within the City. One serving an area in North Stockton and the other serving South Stockton in
the Metropolitan Airport and County Hospital/Jail complex area. The City also provides water service to the Diamond Walnut Plant in South
Central Stockton, an area which is completely surrounded by the Cal Water service area.

The City's North System has been in continuous operation since 1953. The City began providing water service to the South Stockton area in April
1984. In 1989, the City took over the operation and maintenance of San Joaquin County's Southern Water System serving the airport and the
hospital/jail complex in South Stockton. In 1989, the City also agreed to supply 100% of the water to the Lincoln Village Maintenance District
under a long term service agreement with the District.