Orange County Branch Newsletter

June 2014

Branch News

Branch News - ASCE & APWA Team Up to Host OCSD

By Josue Vaglienty, P.E.


The Southern California chapter of American Public Works Association (APWA) and ASCE Orange County held their Annual Joint Meeting on May 15th at the Center Club in Costa Mesa. Both ASCE Orange County President Penny Lew and APWA Southern California President Tony Antich introduced their corresponding officer boards and also welcomed Mr. Rob Thompson, Director of Engineering at the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD), as the guest speaker. After a networking lunch, Mr. Thompson began his presentation by first describing OCSD’s role in Orange County and then elaborating on OCSD’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and described its major components: Planning, Designing, Constructing, and Commissioning.

Orange County Sanitation District is celebrating its 60th Anniversary in serving the county with its mission to “protect public health and the environment by providing effective wastewater collection, treatment, and recycling”.

Courtesy of OCSD



Mr. Thompson described OCSD’s Enhanced Planning Methodology encompasses the following parameters to implement better planning strategies:

  • Capacity
  • Condition of Assets
  • Level of Service / Regulatory Change
  • Business Efficiency / Research

By implementing an Enhanced Planning Methodology, OCSD’s goal is develop more comprehensive scopes and include more construction with the same amount of funding.


After establishing and updating Design Standards for over 15 years, Mr. Thompson stated that OCSD has had “thousands of lessons learned”. As such, OCSD employs the following formula in developing successful projects:

Courtesy of OCSD


According to Mr. Thompson, OCSD also focuses on the following actions to have a successful construction phase for any project:

  • Managing Safety
  • Informing the Public
  • Managing Schedule
  • Managing Quality (via repeated inspection)
  • Prompt Payment upon Work Delivered


Prior to wrapping up a project OCSD assures that the following objectives have also been met:

  • Original Project Requirements are Satisfied
  • Operations are Safe and Predictable
  • Baseline Equipment Performance and Operations & Maintenance are Documented

Mr. Thompson also described how in the coming years there would be project opportunities in both traditional CIP projects as well as for Replacement, Rehabilitation, and Refurbishment projects. Much of funding has been made available through costs savings in the form of fewer change orders and lower non-construction costs in the last several years.

Courtesy of OCSD


Before concluding with a Q&A session Mr. Thompson offered the following website for further information on upcoming OCSD projects:

Related Groups/Committees