Wastewater’s Collections System Division Goes Above and Beyond to Protect the Environment

It has been one year since the SFPUC’s Wastewater Enterprise Collections System Division became the first utility in California to become ISO 14001 certified and the team has another reason to celebrate. They recently passed rigorous auditing conducted through a third party to receive re-certification. 

“We are proud of this achievement as it shows that we are committed to not only improving our day-to-day operations and the way we track our work but it shows the dedication and hard work of the staff that support these efforts,” explained Chris McDaniels, Sewer Operations and Collections System Division Manager. 

ISO 14001 is an international standard that provides a framework that an organization can follow, such as to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs, rather than establishing environmental performance requirements. It is also known as an Environmental Management System, which is a set of processes and practices that enable an organization to reduce its environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency. 

“This reinforces our attention to detail in how we do our work while being transparent,” said McDaniels. 

Using the “Plan – Do – Check – Act” model, the Collections System Division was audited by an external third party that specializes in ISO certifications. After three days of virtual auditing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including two dozen interviews, the auditor found that the Collections System Division met international standards and awarded the re-certification. The auditor also identified multiple “notable efforts”, specifically that the Collections System Division goes above and beyond to protect the public health and environment. 

The Collection System Division is proud to say they have an Environmental Management System that provides a structure to their commitment for continuous improvement and protection of the environment and that they are helping lead efforts for other utilities to follow.