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Presented by: CWEA

COVID-19 in CA Webinar – Continuity of Operations and Emergency Staffing


  • April 9
  • 11:00 am - 12:30 pm


Contact Hours: 1.8
  • Member price: Free
  • Non-member price: Free

Thank you to our webinar supporter

The coronavirus is impacting operations, maintenance, labs, staffing, construction and finances. How do we plan for and respond to these impacts? As we enter the second month of the coronavirus pandemic, join fellow CWEA, WEF and CASA members for our next, free webinar on COVID-19 in California.

Utility managers from the City of San José and the City of Modesto will share their experiences implementing emergency plans to ensure the continuity of operations. Join the discussion and learn how you can help your agency prepare for the continuation of safe, reliable water and wastewater operations.


  • Welcome message by Kevin Calderwood, CWEA President, HDR
  • Amit Mutsuddy, Deputy Director, San Jose-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility
  • Tim Lewis, Operations  Manager, San Jose-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility
  • William Wong, Director of Utilities, City of Modesto
  • Robert Englent, Wastewater Collections Manager, City of Modesto
  • Ben Kohler, Utilities Plant Operations Supervisor, City of Modesto
  • Jared Voskhul, Regulatory Affairs Manager, CASA
  • Moderator: James Fischer, State Water Board, Office of Enforcement

On March 16th the San Jose-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility was informed a contract worker had tested positive for COVID-19. Seventeen team members, including operators, instrumentation techs and mechanics were put on paid-leave so they could quarantine themselves for 14 days. Amit Mutsuddy, the deputy director for the facility, will walk you through what happened and how the team filled the gaps while their co-workers were quarantined.

At the City of Modesto, a prior emergency planning effort has paid off. In early March, utility managers pulled a previously written emergency staffing plan off the shelf and started updating it for the emerging pandemic. The plan provides guidance on operating the system at 75, 50 or even 25% staffing levels.

The acting treatment plant manager  also previously thought through the steps necessary for assigning an Operator in Charge and developed a standard operating procedure (SOP). If the Chief Plant Operator (CPO) is incapacitated, operations and regulatory duties can be reassigned. The City’s utilities management team will describe to you the steps they took ahead of time and how the plan evolved in early March.

The webinar is hosted by James Fischer from the State Water Boards Office of Enforcement. Mr. Fischer and a team from the State Water Board are collecting case studies from utilities as they adopt and innovate to the coronavirus pandemic. Join the webinar Q&A and get your operations planning questions answered.

If you’d like to share your utility’s emergency planning or innovative response case study with the State Water Board and CWEA, please email jim.fischer@waterboards.ca.gov and amackie@cwea.org.

About the webinar

Live webinar participants who participate in the full webinar through a personal computer, smartphone or tablet will receive 1.8 contact hours toward all CWEA technical certifications.

This is a free webinar in support of CWEA’s mission to provide education and support for California’s wastewater professionals.

Have ideas for future COVID-19 webinars or speakers? Please email us your ideas.

Thank you to DUDEK for supporting this webinar.

Registration Instructions

  1. This is a free webinar
  2. You’ll register first on MyCWEA.org then on Zoom
  3. If you are not a current CWEA member, you can still register for free follow the instructions to “Create an Account”
  4. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link
  5. Click on the Zoom link and register for the webinar
  6. Zoom allows you to set-up a calendar reminder
  7. Please email Member Services at memberservices@cwea.org if we can answer any question

Speaker Bios

Amit Mutsuddy is the Deputy Director leading the Operations and Maintenance group of San Jose Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility. He is been at his current position since 2016, before that he was the maintenance manager at same Facility for 4 years. Amit has been with the City of San Jose for almost 21 years, prior to joining the workforce for wastewater facility, he worked for the Public Works department where he managed design and construction of variety of projects, including projects at the wastewater facility, sanitary and storm sewer collection system projects, various city roads, bridges projects and one of terminal buildings at San Jose Airport.  He is registered Civil Engineer in the State of California, and has B.S and M.S degrees in Civil Engineering, with specialty in water and wastewater.

Robert Englent is currently the Wastewater Collection System Manager for the City of Modesto and has over 25 years of experience in the wastewater field. Robert is a CWEA technical certification contributor for Collection Systems Maintenance and has presented numerous technical sessions including CWEA Annual Conference, WEFTEC, Northern Regional Conference, and Lucity CMMS Annual Conference. Robert has held a CWEA Collection System Technologist Grade IV since 2001.

James Fischer, Jr. is a Water Resource Control Engineer for the State Water Resources Control Board based in Sacramento. Jim has over 30 years of “applied” professional engineering experience in the public sector. He started in 2008 as Statewide SSO Program Manager before moving to the Office of Enforcement leading the Enforcement Initiative. Jim’s mission is providing technical assistance and coaching to regional board inspectors prioritizing audits and enforcement. With years auditing separate and combined sewers, Jim has extensive “real world” field expertise working with many leading managers and operators. SSMP audits, compliance/enforcement inspectors, SSO investigations, and “hands-on” training for inspectors are examples of his work. Jim obtained a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology from CSU Sacramento in 1988.

CWEA President Kevin Calderwood is a Senior Project Manager at HDR in Folsom California. He has been a CWEA member since 1999, and has served in a number of volunteer roles for the association, including the San Francisco Bay Section Board of Directors, Annual Conference and specialty conference committees, and two terms on the State Board of Directors. Kevin’s professional focus is water conveyance with HDR’s Pump Stations and Pipelines group.  He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and is a Professional Engineer in the State of California.  He has nearly 30 years of experience in the design and management of public works capital projects.

Jared Voskuhl serves as the manager for CASA’s regulatory advocacy program. He joined CASA’s team as a Legislative and Regulatory Analyst in 2018 and was promoted this year to his current post where he supports Adam Link and Greg Kester on regulatory matters pertaining to water quality and renewable resources. Prior to joining CASA, Jared worked in the water field during three legislative sessions for a local public agency and a state trade association. He holds a law degree from the University of California, Davis, and he earned graduate and undergraduate degrees in sociology.

Will Wong has a BS in Civil Engineering from University of California at Davis.  He has over 25 years of broad municipal utility public works experience, including preparing and implementing capital improvement programs, engineering design, water resource planning, budgeting, utility master planning, environmental compliance and utility rate setting. Will has worked for the City of Modesto for over 19 years and has been the Director of Utilities since 2018.  He oversees Engineering Services, Wastewater and Water Divisions of the City’s Utilities Department.

Thank you to our webinar supporter

View CWEA’s round-up of Coronavirus (COVID-19) worker safety information here >

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