Central Contra Costa Sanitary District

Martinez, California, United States

Raftelis conducted both an organizational assessment project and a cost-of-service study for Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (District). The District provides secondary wastewater treatment to approximately 467,500 residents and approximately 3,000 businesses in central Contra Costa County from a service area of approximately 144 square miles. Along with the treatment of 35 million gallons per day, the District maintains a collection system of 1,500 miles of pipeline and 19 pumping stations.

Organizational Assessment

The study included the following activities:

  • Understanding of the District’s strategic goals and cultural values and how that impacts staffing and alignment of resources
  • Reviewing the operations and staff allocation for Central San’s wastewater collection system and operations staff
  • Reviewing the capital projects management and engineering section for effective practices and workforce allocation to proactively address asset management
  • Examining the future staffing needs of the District with respect to increased capital investment, a more stringent regulatory environment, and expanded distribution of recycled water to the service area
  • Ensuring staffing levels allow for proper succession planning to minimize the loss of institutional knowledge with the retirement of key personnel
  • Assessing practices and policies for workforce staffing, assignments, and management
  • Conducting an employee survey to determine workplace strengths, areas for improvement, and to provide an opportunity for anonymous feedback
  • Gauging appropriate staffing levels by conducting an external benchmarking analysis with industry peers
  • Conducting off-site workshops with the Board and Executive staff to garner feedback on the progress of the Staffing Plan and Cost-of-service Study

Raftelis conducted over 60 one-on-one and group interviews with all 287 employees to define areas of opportunity for the organization to improve. Throughout the project, Raftelis worked closely with the General Manager, Executive Staff, and the Board to ensure complete transparency and to receive on-going input.

The final report recommended several changes to the organizational structure supported by District management. Using the currently budgeted full-time equivalent employees (no additional staffing), the final recommended organizational changes resulted in:

  • Better alignment of common functions
  • Improved workforce flexibility
  • Enhanced support for supervisor span of control
  • Ensured that desired service levels would be met
  • Supported succession planning efforts
  • Positioned the District for future needs

In addition, several recommendations covering such topics as hiring practices, meeting efficiency, use of technology in the workplace, and observation of the District/Board governance model were also included.

View Report


Cost-of-Service Study

Raftelis assisted Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (District) in conducting a comprehensive wastewater cost-of-service study. As part of the study, Raftelis thoroughly examined the District’s customer classification, cost structure, analyzed wastewater flow and strength data, and evaluated alternative rate structures to develop an equitable rate structure that meets Proposition 218 requirements and the District’s goals and objectives. The District’s Board of Directors was engaged throughout the study process via workshop presentations.

While the proposed wastewater rates retain the current fixed annual charge per dwelling unit for residential customers, single-family and multi-family customers are separated with different charges to reflect the residential density of each customer class. Non-residential customers will continue to be charged a variable flow charge per hcf based on customer classification. However, upon review of the different customer classifications, two new customer classes: hotels/motels with dining facilities and service stations, are separated from the Standard Commercial class since their loading factors are significantly higher. In addition, loading factors for several customer classes, such as supermarkets, schools, etc., were revised to reflect industry standard strength factors.

Additionally, Raftelis reviewed recycled water rates and developed a wholesale rate for sales to the local water district.

Raftelis assisted the District with an update of the rates for FY18 and is currently assisting the district understand the impacts of the development of the Naval Base and negotiations with the City of Concord about providing wastewater service to that development.