Pacific Gas & Electric - Environmental Engineering Assistance Waiver for Small Volume Water Discharges to Land for PG&E Trenches

PG&E crew installs a submersible pump in a vault
PG&E crew working in a dewatered small trench
Prime Contractor: 
Period of Performance: 
April, 2011
Project Description: 

During a normal work day, PG&E crews frequently encounter water ponding in trenches, excavations, and vaults.  To perform their work safely, PG&E crews must first remove this water from the trench, excavation, and/or vault.  The volumes of water encountered are typically relatively small.

The Regional Water Quality Control Board requires that the discharge of water pumped from a trench, excavation, and/or vault must be specifically reviewed and approved by their office.    Given the frequency of small volumes of water encountered by PG&E crews, this Regional Board review and approval process adds significant time, effort, and complication to relatively small and simple projects.

ADH Responsibilities: 

To reduce the logistics and streamline the process, PG&E requested that CardnoEntrix and ADH Environmental assist with negotiations with the Regional Water Quality Control Board for a general waiver for the reporting of small volumes of discharged water to land.

ADH Environmental prepared a letter request for approval from the Regional Water Quality Control Board to waive the reporting requirements for discharging small volumes of ponded water to land.

As part of this effort, ADH Environmental developed a standard protocol for PG&E crews when small volumes of ponded water are encountered during their normal work.  The protocol included a set of characteristics and requirements which must be met and satisfied to allow PG&E crews to pump and discharge the small volume of water to land, without notifying the Regional Water Quality Control Board for review and approval each time it becomes necessary.