Ventura Water  I  Pipeline  I  Vol. 2, No. 9, June 2012
Pipeline Newsletter - Ventura Water

New Rates Are ComingProtecting Ventura's Water Future

Ventura water and wastewater bills beginning July 12 will reflect the new and increased rates that take effect on July 4. Reliable, clean water is essential to the health and vitality of our community yet it only costs less than one penny per gallon. Compared to bottled water or other everyday products, Ventura Water is a true value. The following information is also available at As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Customer Care at or 805-667-6500.

Drinking Water Service and Usage Charges
The service charge has been increased to generate 25 percent of the needed utility revenues and the per unit water usage charge* has been slightly reduced. Residential usage tiers have been adjusted to encourage greater water efficiency for high water users. *(748 gallons = 1 (hcf) hundred cubic feet = 15 bathtubs)

Outside City Charge
The additional charge for customers outside City limits has been changed to a flat surcharge of $0.73 per unit water usage* (hcf).

Estuary Protection Charge
The wastewater portion of the bill will include a separate line item, “Estuary Protection” charge. This charge has been established to fund the planning costs for a new program to reuse the water currently cleaned by the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility and released into the Santa Clara River Estuary. These funds will be held in a separate fund and dedicated to the water reuse program only. To watch a video and learn how you can become involved in the planning process, please visit

Residential Wastewater Charges

The City of Ventura is divided into eight reading/billing cycles - one cycle is read and billed every week. All bills now include the cycle number (directly under the account number on the upper right-hand side of the bill) to help customers identify their cycle. By cycle, the following are the two usage periods that were averaged (dates are approximate) for the wastewater charge starting this July:

Cycle No. 1: Beach and Telephone - December 2, 2011 to February 1, 2012 and February 2, 2012 to April 4, 2012

Cycle No. 2: Eastside North Bank - December 8, 2011 to February 8, 2012 and February 9, 2012 to April 11, 2012

Cycle No. 3: Wells Saticoy - December 14, 2011 to February 14, 2012 and February 15, 2012 to April 17, 2012

Cycle No. 4: Kimball & Government Center - December 23, 2011 to February 29, 2012 and March 1, 2012 to May 2, 2012

Cycle No. 5: College - January 6, 2012 to March 7, 2012 and March 8, 2012 to May 9, 2012

Cycle No. 6: Upper Foothills - January 12, 2012 to March 14, 2012 and March 15, 2012 to May 16, 2012

Cycle No. 7: Ventura Avenue - January 20, 2012 to March 21, 2012 and March 22, 2012 to May 23, 2012

Cycle No. 8: Downtown and Midtown - November 24, 2011 to January 25, 2012 and January 26, 2012 to March 28, 2012

The upcoming winter average usage periods may vary for each cycle based on schedules and timing. Look for a message on the front of your bill to alert you when it will start this winter for your cycle.

Santa Clara River Estuary
Special Studies Stakeholder Meeting

EstuaryCustomers are encouraged to attend a stakeholder meeting on July 18, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Community Meeting Room at Ventura City Hall. The meeting will kick-off the next phase of the Santa Clara River Estuary special studies. These studies are providing analysis to guide reuse planning for water currently released by the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility into the Santa Clara River Estuary. The new Estuary Protection charge that will be reflected in customers’ bills starting in July will financially support the development of the reuse program. For more information, visit

Water Take 1
Water Take 1 Launches Global Online Short Film Contest


Every person on this planet relies on water. In Ventura, our water is from local sources and it’s our responsibility to protect it for future generations. To help spark that awareness, Ventura Water is partnering with Limoneira’s Limco Del Mar, Patagonia and iThentic for the inaugural “Water: Take 1” Online Short Film Contest. We hope that this exciting initiative will highlight people’s relationship with water and promote water awareness, efficiency and recycling programs.
“We chose to do an online film contest with a water focus because members of our community, as well as on a national and global level, must begin to recognize the importance of water and its infrastructure,” explained Shana Epstein. “With the contest, we hope to engage intelligent and creative conversation between leadership, businesses and the community.”
Filmmakers worldwide are invited to submit short films of less than five minutes in any genre - drama, documentary, comedy, animation, Sci-fi or experimental - that address the topic of water. Films can be submitted and uploaded at no cost to the contest website,, through September 4, 2012.
A panel of environmental and entertainment professionals will choose a winner for the $1,500 Grand Prize and the top winner will be presented at an event hosted by the Brooks Institute later this fall. The film receiving the most votes at will be presented the Audience Choice Award and its filmmaker will receive a Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera.
Competing in this contest is a great way for Ventura County’s high school and college students, among others interested in water and the environment, to do something positive that helps others appreciate our access to clean water while promoting water efficiency and sustainability. Help spread the word to your friends, neighbors and coworkers and get involved by joining the contest and/or join the wave by voting for your favorite video at
The issue of water infrastructure is a global one. In the United States alone, there are large areas of infrastructure more than 100 years old that must be fixed or replaced. However, in many other countries, such as parts of Africa and India, the total lack of infrastructure there has a serious impact on the local health and economy and causes a negative ripple effect worldwide.
Water is also an important issue in Ventura, although many residents are unaware of the huge effort and the amount of energy it takes to clean and move our water so it can be used again and again for generations to come.
Ventura is among California’s oldest coastal cities and has many areas where infrastructure is ending its useful lifespan and will need replacement over the next few decades. While projects and plans are underway to improve this invaluable infrastructure, it isn’t without cost.
Years ago, much of the infrastructure was maintained using federal grants, most of which are no longer available due to budget cuts. As a result, water customers now bear the full financial responsibility of infrastructure maintenance, replacement and improvement.

Dear Customer:

Earlier this week, we announced the initial results of a demonstration project that disinfects wastewater by heat, instead of chemicals. Everyone is familiar with pasteurization; it keeps our milk and hundreds of other products safe by killing harmful organisms. We also know that boiling water will make sure it is safe to drink. On the face of it, why all the excitement?

First, a little background about wastewater treatment is helpful. Ventura’s sole Water Reclamation Facility cleans between 7 to 9 million gallons of wastewater per day. The final step of the multi-step treatment process is disinfection of the treated water to kill any remaining bacteria/pathogens. We currently add chlorine for disinfection, and the chlorine is then neutralized chemically before the treated water is released to the wildlife ponds. The water travels through the ponds for about four days and is then released into the Santa Clara River Estuary.

Several years ago, we began looking at non-chemical options and discovered a new approach using tried-and-true disinfection by heat being pioneered by the
Pasteurization Technology Group (PTG). This leading-edge technology is not only chemical-free but based on the design, this process can generate renewable energy. PTG was searching for a partner with an open mind to conduct a rigorous demonstration project to validate their work and optimize the design to generate energy. We jumped at the opportunity and for the past six months or so, the pilot at the reclamation facility has been disinfecting 500,000 gallons of wastewater (about 5 percent of the daily flow).

The exciting part? The system uses lower-cost natural gas and digester gas (a natural by-product of wastewater treatment) and reuses energy in its processes very efficiently. Early projections show that a full-scale system can be designed to not only power itself, but also the entire facility at about half of today’s costs for electricity. Once operational, total annual savings of around $700,000 are estimated ($450,000 in energy savings plus $250,000 saved for chemical minimization).

There’s more testing in the near future and design options need to be evaluated before we move forward, but the results are very encouraging. To learn more about this project and how we are building to protect the environment and future generations, visit

Pasteruization Technology Pilot Project

Deputy Mayor Cheryl Heitmann kicks off announcement on June 19.

Shana Epstein
Shana Epstein
General Manager

Additional photos from Pasteurization Technology Pilot Project announcement.

Shana Epstein, Ventura Water General Manager

Pasteurization Press Conference

Pasteurization Technology Pilot Project Press Conference

Pasteurization Unit

Pasteurization Technology Pilot Program Press Conference

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