responsibilities, allowing employees to reach levels of competency and encourage retention.  We have 
engaged the employees in this effort and they are helping develop the KSA’s necessary for the different 
functions.  To gage the employee level of interest we performed a survey recently that received a 90% 
response rate.  It indicated that our employees are ready to learn new skills, including skills in the areas 
of management and leadership, and want to improve and move up in the organization.  

Employee In-Reach – When DWR went through a reorganization a few years ago, we realized we needed 
to improve our internal communication.  We developed a shorter, easier to remember mission 
statement and vision.  Each Deputy Director was responsible for meeting with their staff regularly to 
have open communication about our mission and how it related to the organizational changes.  First line 
supervisors were identified that would work to ensure that questions from employees were brought to 
the leadership team and answers would flow back to the employees.  A monthly newsletter was 
developed to celebrate achievements and inform of progress.  A group of employees, on their own, 
began a ‘Positive Energy Team’ that promoted fun activities that would include all staff.  Since then they 
have had pumpkin carving contests, cake walks and chili cooking contests.  These shared fun activities 
have improved communication across the various workgroups and made the staff feel like a team with a 
common mission.  

Innovation – DWR staff recognize the importance of continuous improvement.  There is a constant push 
for new or improved technology or processes.  It is such a part of the culture that there are too many 
instances to name.  Our Technical Service Group was formed specifically to research and develop new 
technology, but this happens everywhere in the organization.  Some examples are as follows:  

We needed a way to assess the condition of our forcemains.  We worked with our Purchasing 
Department to contract with a company that had developed new technology.  If the technology worked, 
we would pay them.  If it did not work, then we would not pay.  The technology was very expensive and 
this allowed a ‘trial’ without risk.  

We have a ‘lean’ project team that involves over 30 staff from DWR and staff from the Department of 
Planning and Development.  The team’s goal is to create a more effective way of addressing new 
development from start to finish.  

Our Ultraviolet disinfection process was having problems.  Staff did some bench trials with PAA and 
ended up installing it full scale as a backup to UV disinfection.  

Our field operations staff is working with ATT/Qualcomm/CH2M on a ‘smart cities’ initiative to install 
smart meters, both in the pipes and at the homes in an area of the distribution system, to detect water 

Our on-going research program is funded in both our CIP and Operating Budget.  A direct potable water 
reuse study is currently underway at one of the County’s water reclamation facilities.  Since 2013 the 
County has been involved as a participant or a principal investigator in over 23 national research 
projects in partnership with Water RF, WERF and WateReuse RF.  This has allowed DWR staff to grow 
their skills and know they are benefitting the entire water community.  

Activity Area 5:  Energy Generation & Recovery   The “Gas to Energy” system at the F. Wayne Hill Water 
Resources Center (WRC) takes an unpleasant byproduct of the wastewater processing system and turns 
it into something that helps the environment and the county’s residents.  Bacteria in the egg-shaped