10 Year Strategic Vision & Goals
2021-2031

Quick Links

MISSION STATEMENT

To provide the highest value in wastewater, solid waste, and recycling services to our customers and protect the San Francisco Bay and our communities.

Letter from General Manager

I am pleased to present Oro Loma Sanitary District’s 2021-2031 Strategic Plan. It is the product of input from staff, management team, and the Board of Directors. The Plan reflects our desire to renew our existing sewer infrastructure, partner with the community to advance beautification efforts, and move forward with a unified vision for our future.

The Plan addresses several strategic challenges we face.  First, despite our award winning Collection System performance, the backlog of identified repairs has reached over $100,000,000. To ensure that our performance remains strong, the District will invest at least $60M over the next ten years to reduce the backlog of severe defects.  It also seeks to address growing concerns about litter and dumping within the community by committing to consider alternatives and expand resources to address these issues in partnership with other agencies.

The plan builds upon significant achievements identified in prior plans.  In FY 2017/18, the District replaced over five miles of collection system pipe – a record.  With planned borrowing from Federal and State sources, the record annual pace will likely be exceeded in each of the next four years.  In 2018, the District obtained a discharge permit for flows above 30 mgd and renegotiated its agreement with EBDA to significantly reduce replacement liabilities for portions of the system it does not use.   The District has also developed a competency-based Operator Training Program to provide on-demand training with computerized assessments.  These accomplishments were all first identified and approved by the Board in the Strategic Plan.

Our vision is to develop a workplace that is welcoming to all people, to send a generation of employees into retirement without injury, proactively communicate with the public, manage for the highest long-term value, and achieve excellence in our industry. The Strategic Plan serves to align the resources and actions of our team to achieve the goals.

The Plan anticipates growing challenges on the solid waste and recycling fronts.  Waste characterization studies show that customers are placing too much trash in the recycling carts – which contaminate otherwise quality recyclable materials.   The plan seeks to reduce this problem by at least 25%.  The District will also replace all of its existing trash, recycling, and organics carts (at a cost of $6M) to achieving compliance with Senate Bill 1383 and to help simplify messaging around ‘What material goes where?’.  

The plan continues to include measurements of customer service, improving our existing safety culture and performance, and maintaining award-winning transparency and long-term cost effectiveness.

This document is the fifth update of the ten-year strategic goals. Staff executed well on prior plans, in some cases achieving ten-year goals within a two-year span.  Given our changing environment, the strategic goals document will be updated again in 2024 (3 years) to better balance staff workload between budget and non-budget years.

I appreciate the Board, management team, and our staff, whose contributions made this a better document.   I look forward to working with our team to make the vision a reality.

Respectfully submitted, 

Jason Warner, General Manager

Vision of Oro Loma Sanitary District

Safety is paramount.

We will maintain a safety program, safety culture, safe work habits, and safe work record to reflect our practice of proactive risk identification and mitigation.  Our vision is to send a generation of employees into retirement without impairment.

Our staff remains our key asset.

We will practice deliberate knowledge transfer, keep the selection of extraordinary team players as our norm, foster an environment to promote professional development, and offer an appropriate compensation package.  We strive to create and nurture an inclusive culture, where differences and diversity of thought contribute to exemplary customer service.

Our response to emerging regulations gives us a competitive advantage.  

We will perform sound planning, engage with the regulatory community, and innovate as we select optimal responses to significant emerging regulations.

New technologies are only implemented when worth our investment.

We will scrutinize available technologies and implement only those that make us future-ready and increase our standard for operational resiliency while meeting our high standards for investment of public funds.

Measured risk taking is part of sound management.

We will continue to take prudent business risks that improve the District’s ability to respond to future challenges while maintaining our fiscal strength.

The public deserves that we manage with the long-term value in mind.

Through sound management and ongoing infrastructure renewal, we will maintain our position as a reliable and low-cost service provider for generations to come.

Our best service starts with proactive communication.

We will identify issues of public concern and communicate our approach to addressing these issues well in advance of any requirement for significant action.

Excellence is pursued over average performance.

We will set the standard for operational resiliency, regulatory compliance, and cost-efficient operations among sanitary agencies in the State.

District Values

Do it safe, do it right, do it now. 

This motto captures many of the District’s core values. Above all else, we value the long-term safety of our employees. We value excellence and doing the job right and take action to make the District better over time.

Customer Service

We go above and beyond to deliver quality and respectful service.  In most cases, the best service involves doing our jobs well so the customer has the ability to focus on other things. When we meet the customer face to face, our goal is to provide the highest level of service through responsiveness, professional appearance, expertise, and courtesy.  

Diversity and Inclusion

We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce where we value inclusion and belonging. We create an environment where employees of all backgrounds and experiences are welcomed, respected, and engaged; and we value our community’s rich diversity.

Trust

Trust is foundational for elite performance. It is earned through decades of sound stewardship, continually seeking to improve, and living our values each day.  Trust includes the public’s trust, the trust of partners within the community, and internal relationships throughout the District.

Teamwork

We value teamwork and are committed to working together internally and partnering with outside agencies and customers. 

Communication

We value excellent communication between all levels of the organization and between the District and the community.  Communication is essential to advise the public on ways to partner with us in protecting the environment and solicit feedback on ways in which we can improve our service.

Ownership

We value the attitude of ownership among all staff. An attitude of ownership positively benefits the way we care about the District and the way we allocate resources to generate the best long-term value for our customers. 

Strategic Goals

Financial Stability

10-YEAR STRATEGIC GOAL

INTERMEDIATE

Oro Loma will provide high value to the ratepayers today and in the future. High value includes paying for needed infrastructure and maintaining rates within the lowest 30 percentile in Alameda County.

Perform annual sewer service charges survey for Alameda County jurisdictions and report the District’s ranking within the County. 

Maintain solid waste rates among the lowest in Alameda County.

Perform annual solid waste rates survey for Alameda County jurisdictions and report the District’s ranking within the County.

Identify and communicate to the Board and to the public future funding needs for operations and projected regulatory/infrastructure upgrades.

Update and report to the Board the cash flow & investment timeline once per quarter. Perform 5-year cash flow projections at least once per year.  Develop Prop 218 notice explaining the
rate increase and associated needs in the collection system.

Build Capital Asset Program funding into rate structure by 2029. 

Raise sewer service charges at a minimum of 7.5% per year in the next rate setting process (FYs 21/22-25/26).  The portion of rate increase above inflation to be used to fund the capital program.

Continue to explore alternatives for the beneficial reuse of biosolids.

Continue to land apply biosolids and monitor industry trends.  Develop 3-year extension option for biosolids disposal for Board consideration (existing agreement expires December 31, 2021).  If 3-year extension is not approved by Board, issue RFP for 5 years of biosolids reuse. Protect the continued use of the drying beds by increasing ongoing pond maintenance to $100,000 per year.

Produce timely, accurate, transparent, and useful financial reports.

Issue monthly financials by the 10th of the following month.  Provide a minimum of three months overlap between retirement and new hire of Finance Manager. 

Update “10-year Strategic Vision and Goals” document every three years.

Next update scheduled for April 2024.

Safety and Employee Development

10-YEAR STRATEGIC GOAL

INTERMEDIATE

Zero lost time accidents

Continue existing high-level of safety training (minimum 20 training sessions per year),
co-worker electrical safe work audits, and
internal safety audits.

Maintain High Performing Safety Culture. 

Maintain average time for correction of safety work  orders at or under 30 days (excludes work orders where alternate, safe method of work  are available). Hold monthly Safety Committee meetings and distribute minutes to all staff. Perform written management safety audits a minimum of four times per year.

Survey Oro Loma Safety Culture every two years and maintain a minimum of 90% positive responses in the aggregate.

Perform Safety Culture survey in Fall 2022 and present findings to the management team. Identify action plan for any areas in need of improvement.

Maintain safety policies and procedures by auditing, updating, and training  on policies at least every three years.

Review all safety procedures in 2022 and update
as needed.

Maintain written training standards and video- based operator training program for all areas of the plant. 

All written and video training modules to be complete by 2022. Provide assessment training to Operations staff for existing processes by 2023.

Enhance Collections training program to include the use of Target Solutions Training System, embedded video, critical situation response, and/or multimedia options.  Link videos to Geographic Information System (GIS).

Establish new formatting standard and transition existing Collections SOPs into the Target Solutions training database.

Conduct critical incident response debriefing sessions and document lessons learned for
future training.

Perform debrief sessions as events dictate. Create slide deck of lessons learned from the past 10 years and include in annual training.

As a District, we will provide financial support and encourage any employee with a plan and desire to improve knowledge, skills, and/or abilities.

Promote the availability of the educational reimbursement program to all staff two times
per year.

Conduct annual management development training (commit to a minimum of two training topics per year).

Coordinate annual management training and develop program for existing management team.  Management team to identify potential training needs and agree on the highest priority items for group training.

Build a consolidated locker room for Collections, Operations, and Maintenance staff.  Consider options to further consolidate lunchrooms and O&M working areas.

Initiate design in FY 2019/20 with target bid date of August 2021.  Obtain pricing for options to the locker room.  Present pricing to the Board for final decision on project goals.  Complete construction of selected alternative by the end of FY 2022/23.

Develop and commit to a high functioning Board. Invest in training of Board members and seek ways to improve efficiency of existing Committees.

Conduct workshop to consider ways to streamline existing Committees and align standard reporting to a dashboard of key indicators, exception reports, policy updates, and contracts in excess of staff’s authority.

Regulatory Compliance

10-YEAR STRATEGIC GOAL

INTERMEDIATE

Zero collection system overflows

Meet cleaning and inspection goals annually. Perform video inspections of repair work within 48 hours of notification by Engineering.

Zero lift station overflows

Continue to perform annual asset management analysis with Engineering. Continue to update critical equipment list and response action plans.

Zero effluent violations

Provide annual training on NPDES Permit Conditions and continue using Emnet influent flow prediction software to minimize use of local outfall.

Zero permit violations due to equipment failures.  Maintain a level of reliability so that ≤ 12 off hours  (5:30 p.m.to 7:00 a.m.) trouble calls are made for plant equipment per year.

Develop a scoreboard for all O&M staff to communicate whether the District is on track to meet the goal. Perform debriefs on every off-hour call and make recommendations to repair or replace problematic equipment.    To limit unnecessary callouts, develop a matrix detailing key equipment and allowable time to dispatch for use by operations when assessing equipment failures (i.e. if a process can wait until Monday at 7am, wait until then to address).

Maintain  compliance with all SSMP and CIWQS reporting requirements.

Certify monthly “no spill” reports  where applicable. Certify all spill reports as they occur. Update SSMP at least once every five years (last revised in 2019).

Develop “watch list” of emerging regulations, key regulatory contacts, and participate when warranted.

Review BACWA Regulatory Issues Summary with Operations Committee at least twice per year.  Participate in Nutrients Discussion at BACWA Level.

Maintain lift station contingency plan and provide training to allow an average remote site and bypass set-up of 90 minutes at all remote sites.

Update contingency plan annually.  Perform  a minimum of three timed, scenario-based emergency response launches per year (i.e. measure time to select, hitch,  and exit plant with appropriate tow vehicle and equipment).

Maintain  policies and procedures  within guidelines of “industry best”.

Audit procedures annually.  Perform update on any policy or procedure older than three years.

Continue to meet State and County solid waste requirements, including SB 1383.

Continue outreach to commercial  and multi- family customers and implement programs requested  within  30 days.

Reduce residential recycling contamination by 35% by 2025, in advance of the expiration of our existing Solid Waste Services Agreement. 

Develop specifications and bid documents for the cart replacement plan approved by the Board in December 2020.  Optimize specifications for lowest life cycle cost.   

Replace solid waste, recycling, and green waste carts by the end of FY 22/23.

Maintain 100% participation in organics recycling in schools.

Continue outreach and education to schools.

Be carbon free for indirect GHG emissions by 2040; achieve a 50% reduction in direct GHG emissions by 2040 (compared with Year 2000 levels). 

Build a 2030 consolidated District fleet plan and review with the Board.  Goals of fleet plan are to electrify transport around treatment plant site, develop a common pool of vehicles for all staff, and reduce maintenance by reducing the total number of vehicles by 20%.  

Provide update on Oro Loma Climate Action Plan in Winter 2022.  

Develop plan and budget needs for electrical charging program by the end of FY 2021/22. Develop infrastructure for electrical charging stations by 2025.

The District will produce as much electricity as it uses on an annual basis by 2030.  For the period between 2021 and 2030, the District will focus on reducing electrical consumption.  In 2030, the new Cogeneration System will be designed to provide 100% of District electricity from 2030 to 2050.

Review energy savings opportunities in 2021 and present findings to the Board.  If economically attractive, move forward.

Maintain  compliance with all SSMP and CIWQS reporting requirements.

Certify monthly “no spill” reports  where applicable. Certify all spill reports as they occur. Update SSMP at least once every five years (last revised in 2019).

Develop “watch list” of emerging regulations, key regulatory contacts, and participate when warranted.

Review BACWA Regulatory Issues Summary with Operations Committee at least twice per year.  Participate in Nutrients Discussion at BACWA Level.

Maintain lift station contingency plan and provide training to allow an average remote site and bypass set-up of 90 minutes at all remote sites.

Update contingency plan annually.  Perform  a minimum of three timed, scenario-based emergency response launches per year (i.e. measure time to select, hitch,  and exit plant with appropriate tow vehicle and equipment).

Maintain  policies and procedures  within guidelines of “industry best”.

Audit procedures annually.  Perform update on any policy or procedure older than three years.

Customer Service

10-YEAR STRATEGIC GOAL

INTERMEDIATE

Measure customer satisfaction related to sewer, solid waste, and recycling activities every two years. Identify areas for improvement.

Administer customer satisfaction survey every two years (Summer 2022) and present results to the Board.

Measure Collections customer satisfaction and identify areas for improvement by written surveys.

Present annual findings to the Board in August of each year.  Add electronic survey to the website.

Research and establish vision for Administration & Finance office of the future.

Develop five-year plan to modernize administrative practices – electronic signatures, paperless A/P, reception from anywhere, remote work policy, and paperless administrative approvals.  Identify practices to increase customer service via computer based/video interfaces.

Increase the call to action messaging for the public, with emphasis on its role in protecting the environment.

Implement the direction established in the Communications Plan – Recycle Right and 3Ps.

Manage maintenance needs of the District with existing workforce and outside assistance as needed.  Maintain maintenance backlog to below 125 work orders at least two months each year.

Maintain compliance with the 10-year standard each year.

Maintain 95% annual uptime on cogeneration system.

Maintain compliance with the 10-year standard each year. (Planned outages for engine rebuilds to be excluded from measurement).  Upgrade engine controls in FY 2021/22 to extend the life of the cogeneration system from 2025 to 2030 and reduce potential for long term outage.

Cooperate with the County in its efforts to address illegal dumping and litter in the District.  Take a meaningful step beyond current efforts to beautify the community.

Obtain Board consensus and staff direction on the level of resources to apply to beautification efforts in the community.

Continue outreach on bulky waste pick-ups and evaluate multi-family bulky waste collection.    Develop a volunteer litter pick-up program and present to Board for consideration in FY 2021/22.

Maintain a Communications Plan for District outreach efforts.  Update the plan every five years.

Update existing plan in FY 2020/21.  Review plan with Board at least every two years.

Infrastructure

10-YEAR STRATEGIC GOAL

INTERMEDIATE

10-Year Capital Planning Document for all District Assets (Update Monthly).

Report monthly to Construction Committee and update 10-year plan as new information becomes available.

Improve the condition of the collection system by approximately 3% each year  for the next 10 years. Existing baseline includes 76 miles with a defect score of 3 or greater.  The goal is to reduce the value from 76 to 57 miles by 2029.  

Design and perform pipe replacements and spot repairs within total two-year budget (FYs 21/22 and 22/23) amount of $22.5M (includes line replacement plus $1.25M/year for spot repairs). 

Replace a minimum of 40 miles of collection system pipe between 2019 and 2029 (increase miles of HDPE from 32.7 (10/31/18) to 72.7).  As of January 21, there are 41 miles of HDPE pipe in the collection system.

Replace a minimum of 4 miles of pipe every year until goal is reached.  Use debt financing if and when available in FY 2021/22 to meet the strategic goals for the collection system.

Manage line replacement  program to limit high-frequency footage (an indicator of system health) at or below 10% of the District’s system (27 miles).  As of January 2021, 12.72% (35 miles) of the collection system is on the high frequency cleaning schedule.   

Continue to monitor improvements to high-frequency footage gained from line replacement program.   Communicate progress to Board on a monthly basis. Make decision in Spring 2021 on source(s) for debt financing – State Revolving Fund (SRF), Federal (WIFIA), or private funding.

Build GIS into central reference source for all District Assets and customer service issues.

Continue to maintain minimum 10 District staff capable to use GIS for customer service response.  Perform refresher training in 2022.   Build infrastructure to allow remote access of GIS based customer service data.

Implement Asset Management Program for all District assets by 2023.

Provide an overview of the planned Asset Management Program to the Board in Fall 2021.  Complete Phase 3 of Asset Management Plan: Input cost and condition data for all plant assets by December 2021.

In response to ongoing climate change trends – do no new harm – all new construction to take into account sea level rise projections.

Continue to build all new infrastructure above the 100 year sea rise projections.  The elevation standard for new critical infrastructure will be
EI. 8.0.

Zero overflows due to capacity limitations.

Continue to operate the five online flow monitoring stations.  Perform source detection analysis on the main trunks feeding the Grant Avenue and Lewelling Blvd. interceptors and update hydraulic model in FY 2025/26.

Conduct treatment plant electrical load study
and implement identified improvements prior
to planned cogeneration system replacement
in 2027.

Perform study to evaluate energy efficiency measures in 2021.  Focus of effort to include plant lighting, influent pumping, digester mixing, process control improvements, and dewatering.  Present results and economic analysis to the Board by the end of 2021.

Maintain lift stations with a level of reliability so that we receive no more than 10 off-hours lift station maintenance calls per year.

Perform annual analysis of trouble calls related to lift stations.  Develop action plan for any
reoccurring or common risks.

Manage line replacement  program to limit high-frequency footage (an indicator of system health) at or below 10% of the District’s system (27 miles).  As of January 2021, 12.72% (35 miles) of the collection system is on the high frequency cleaning schedule.   

Continue to monitor improvements to high-frequency footage gained from line replacement program.   Communicate progress to Board on a monthly basis. Make decision in Spring 2021 on source(s) for debt financing – State Revolving Fund (SRF), Federal (WIFIA), or private funding.

Build GIS into central reference source for all District Assets and customer service issues.

Continue to maintain minimum 10 District staff capable to use GIS for customer service response.  Perform refresher training in 2022.   Build infrastructure to allow remote access of GIS based customer service data.

Implement Asset Management Program for all District assets by 2023.

Provide an overview of the planned Asset Management Program to the Board in Fall 2021.  Complete Phase 3 of Asset Management Plan: Input cost and condition data for all plant assets by December 2021.

Definitions

Mission Statement: A declaration of the District’s approach in providing the needed services. All activities of the District should be in light of and in support of the Mission Statement.

Vision Statement: A statement that articulates the Board of Director’s strategic vision goals. The goals outline the highest level achievements established in the Strategic Plan.  The Vision creates and drives strategy and tactics identified elsewhere in the Plan. The Board develops and adopts the Vision Statement.  The Vision Statement will be reviewed every three years and will typically change more frequently than the Mission Statement to reflect the direction in which the Board takes the District over the 10-year horizon of the Strategic Plan.

Strategic Focus Areas: The broad areas of District operations, planning, and management that will contain Strategic Goals, spread out over a 10-year period, to ensure optimum fulfillment of the Vision. These also organize the Plan.

Strategic Goals: Specific and measurable activities or targets that address strategy of
fulfilling the Vision.

Intermediate Goal: Planned goal for completion in the near term.