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Office of Water Programs (OWP)

The Office of Water Programs (OWP) was established in 1972 to develop training programs for operators of water treatment and distribution systems, as well as wastewater collection, treatment and discharge, and reuse systems. The training programs are approved by all states and most provinces of Canada.  OWP just celebrated selling its one millionth manual.  In 1997, the office initiated a research program that focused on water quality issues related to storm water runoff from highways and transportation facilities. The research program receives a substantial portion of its funding for individual projects from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Other agencies that funded the research and training programs include: United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), California Department of Health Services, California Integrated Waste Management Board, California State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento County, and El Dorado County. 


This research program has been funded for more than $2 million/ year since its inception. The office assists Caltrans in planning and managing its storm water management program, and this incorporates characterization monitoring, field testing of best management practices (BMPs), and erosion control. OWP was able to build a small testing facility to evaluate drain insert technologies for treating storm water. This test facility continues to be a major cornerstone in our research program that is of interest to government agencies and industry as a potential center for evaluation and certification of new storm water treatment technologies. The office conducted these research projects utilizing a multidisciplinary team that included faculty from the departments of Civil Engineering, Chemistry, and Economics, OWP research staff (engineers and scientists), and students (graduate and undergraduate) from the Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, and Graphic Design departments.

OWP Web Site>