NARRATIVE: Like many utilities, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) currently finds itself in 
the midst of a collapsing retirement bubble and the associated challenges of attracting and integrating a 
large number of new employees to lead the organization into the future. EBMUD turned this challenge 
into an opportunity to reflect, define and focus its core values and cement a positive improvement-
oriented culture. Management formed a “Values Team” with representatives from throughout the 
organization to solicit input on core values and areas for improvement. Out of this process, EBMUD 
established four core values:  stewardship, integrity, respect, and teamwork. Additional efforts are 
currently underway to define how these values can be better supported through organizational 
improvements and enhanced communication. The development of these core values and the dialogue 
around them is an excellent example of employee engagement, leadership, and goal-setting at EBMUD; 
other examples include:   

• Development of a Strategic Plan that outlines key organizational goals and objectives shared 
throughout the organization. Progress toward meeting milestones and goals are monitored through key 
performance indicators and shared.  

• Structured internal leadership training programs that prepare staff in various career tracks to assume 
supervisory and management positions in the future.  

• A commitment to workplace safety with a lost time injury rate that is less than the industry standard. 
EBMUD received a CalStar award in 2002 for excellence in safety practices.  

• Outstanding permit compliance as evidenced by EBMUD receiving zero NPDES permit violations at its 
Main Wastewater Treatment Plant in the last 16 years—an accomplishment that was recognized by 
NACWA in awarding EBMUD a NACWA Platinum Award this year. This is a direct result of a goal jointly 
set by management and staff to achieve the platinum award and is consistent with the core values, 
especially environmental stewardship.  

EBMUD’s organizational culture and commitment to environmental stewardship is evidenced in its 
Biosolids Management Program (BMP). EBMUD’s BMP was established over ten years ago and is based 
on an environmental management system (EMS) that promotes continuous improvement, 
communications with internal and external stakeholders, regulatory compliance, and biosolids quality. 
EBMUD maintains a “platinum-program” certification level from the National Biosolids Partnership 
(NBP). In addition, EBMUD staff is active in leadership positions on biosolids committees at the national, 
state, and local levels within the wastewater industry. This participation ensures that staff maintains 
awareness of the regulatory changes, innovative technologies, and the success and concerns of other