Solutions for Progress 

Basin Plan Amendments / Use Attainability Analyses

RBI is an industry leader in the arena of water quality standards refinement. RBI has collaborated with wastewater dischargers and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board to develop and adopt amendments to the Water Quality Control Plan for the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River Basins (Basin Plan) that have been subsequently approved by the State Water Resources Control Board and U.S. EPA and are in effect. The Basin Plan amendments resolved NPDES permit compliance issues for wastewater dischargers that would have otherwise required expensive treatment plant modifications, yet resulted in continued protection of receiving water beneficial uses.

  • Deer Creek Site-Specific Objectives for pH, Turbidity, and Temperature. RBI developed site-specific objectives for Deer Creek pH, turbidity, and temperature as the appropriate means of resolving key NPDES permit compliance issues for the El Dorado Irrigation District’s Deer Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. These site-specific objectives saved approximately $20 million in unnecessary plant upgrades.
  • Region-wide Water Quality Objectives for pH and Turbidity. The Deer Creek pH and turbidity site-specific objectives developed by RBI provided the scientific basis to subsequently amend the Basin Plan pH and turbidity water quality objectives applicable to the entire Sacramento River and San Joaquin River basins.
  • New Alamo and Ulatis Creek Site-Specific Objectives. RBI developed site-specific objectives for chloroform, dibromochloromethane, and dichlorobromomethane for reaches of New Alamo and Ulatis creeks in Solano County. These site-specific objectives were developed based on findings from a use attainability analysis prepared by RBI showing that municipal and domestic supply (MUN) was not an existing or attainable use of the creeks. The resulting objectives resolved an ongoing compliance issue for the City of Vacaville’s Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant, which would have had to implement treatment modifications to reduce concentrations of these trihalomethane compounds had the new objectives not been adopted.
  • Agriculturally Dominated Water Bodies MUN Beneficial Use Project.  RBI worked for Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board Basin Planning staff on their de-designation of the municipal and domestic supply (MUN) beneficial use from agriculturally dominated water bodies in the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River basins.  The project encompassed two Basin Plan amendments.  One amendment was for specific water bodies that are receiving waters for the cities of Biggs, Colusa, Live Oak, and Willows wastewater effluent.  The second is a broader “process” amendment to allow future MUN evaluations and de-designations to occur for certain classes of agriculturally dominated water bodies, and is pending action by the State Water Resources Control Board.  RBI was the lead preparer of the environmental review and CEQA documentation for the project.  In addition, RBI provided staff support in the development of the proposed amendment, its program of implementation, and monitoring and surveillance program.