Solutions for Progress 

Water Quality

RBI offers extensive expertise and experience in providing water quality consulting services in a variety of settings, from local ephemeral creek assessments to regional and watershed scale projects affecting multiple water bodies, and for a variety of projects, including water supply, wastewater, stormwater, and land development. Services range from investigations of unique or emerging constituents of concern to contaminant fate and transport processes in the environment. RBI staff have conducted numerous technical studies to address regulatory concerns including river temperature, dissolved oxygen, microbial pathogens, turbidity, nutrients and eutrophication effects, cyanide measurement interferences and holding time, chlorinated pesticide validation, pyrethroid pesticides, and pharmaceutical and personal care products.

Under the leadership of Dr. Michael Bryan, RBI has been instrumental in the development and adoption of refined water quality objectives in the Central Valley of California. RBI develops technical reports with supporting scientific literature and data to support the rule process of refining water quality objectives, considering all beneficial uses of the water body. RBI has developed site-specific and refined region-wide objectives for temperature, pH, and turbidity, and site-specific objectives for trihalomethane compounds, that have been adopted by California’s state and regional water boards and approved by U.S. EPA. Where appropriate, RBI also has conducted Use Attainability Analyses to support beneficial use de-designations and water quality objectives refinement.

RBI staff also bring experience and expertise in assisting clients with highly technical water quality investigative and assessment services for CEQA/NEPA compliance, and a variety of modeling applications, to a range of wastewater, stormwater, water supply, water resource and watershed management, flood control, habitat restoration, agriculture, and land development projects. It is in this capacity that RBI often serves as the lead CEQA/NEPA compliance consultant to provide highly accurate and legally defensible water quality analyses on complex and controversial projects, and to provide strategic guidance on project development and mitigation measures, thereby averting potential litigation. In particular, RBI has extensive CEQA/NEPA assessment experience for municipal wastewater treatment and disposal activities. RBI provides modeling expertise in these areas through the development and operational analysis of wastewater treatment plant processes, and receiving water models (e.g., temperature, dissolved oxygen), and use of California’s Delta Simulation Model (DSM) for assessment of hydrodynamic and water quality analysis of the Sacramento River-San Joaquin River Delta system.

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Primary Areas of Expertise:

  • CEQA/NEPA Support
  • Water Quality Impact Assessments for Alternative CVP/SWP Operations
  • Effluent and Receiving Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment
  • Basin Plan Amendments
  • Use Attainability Analyses
  • Water Quality Modeling