The Dublin San Ramon Services District has received the "Organizational Excellence Award" from the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA).
The award, presented at the 57th annual conference in Monterey last week, recognized the district's effort in organizing and implementing the Bay Area Chemical Consortium (BACC).
The BACC, formed in late 2009 as a way to reduce operating costs in the recent economic downturn, is an informal cooperative of wastewater and water agencies that solicits sealed competitive bids collectively to reduce the cost of chemicals.
In 2010, eight agencies teamed up on BACC's first bid request for 2.5 million gallons of a widely used industrial disinfectant, sodium hypochlorite. Participants saw their unit-costs drop by as much as 25%. The consortium has since grown to 33 agencies and this spring solicited bids for 10 different chemicals.
Water and wastewater agencies must ensure reliable supplies of chemicals to keep their treatment plants running around the clock, said Sue Stephenson, public information representative for the DSRSD. The rising cost of transportation has steadily increased the cost of chemicals. Annually, DSRSD spends more than $400,000 on chemicals to operate its water distribution systems and wastewater treatment plant.
Savings vary by agency and chemical, depending on historical pricing, volume, and delivery distance. But because vendors are bidding on much larger quantities, joint bid requests usually generate lower prices, Stephenson said.
For example, prior to bidding with BACC, DSRSD paid 81 cents a gallon for about 276,000 gallons sodium hypochlorite. In its most recent round, BACC requested bids for 4.7 million gallons of "hypo," which now costs the District only 45 cents a gallon, a 44% drop from the price three years ago. Since its formation, BACC has saved the District $100,000 on this one chemical.
BACC members retain control of their individual contracts with chemical suppliers, they are not required to participate in every bid, nor are they required to purchase a minimum quantity of any chemical. The individual members of BACC save money not only on the reduced price of the chemicals they purchase, but also on the reduced number of bid documents they process annually. In some cases, BACC participants complete their bid cycle two months sooner than prior to the formation of BACC.
Founded in 1953, the Dublin San Ramon Services District serves 145,000 people, providing potable and recycled water service to Dublin and the Dougherty Valley area of San Ramon, wastewater collection and treatment to Dublin and south San Ramon, and wastewater treatment to Pleasanton (by contract). More information about the District can be obtained at www.dsrsd.com.