CCWD: 80 Years of Growth & Service
Providing Essential ServicesThe quest for reliable, high-quality water is the reason the Contra Costa Water District was formed 80 years ago in 1936.
for Eight Decades
That drive shapes nearly every aspect of the District's remarkable history.
Though the District was first organized in 1936, it wasn't until 1940 that CCWD delivered its first water to the city of Pittsburg, and 1961 when it delivered drinking water.
Today, CCWD serves 500,000 people within an area that stretches from Martinez to Antioch. The District has four pumping plants (all with screens that protect fish in the Delta), owns and operates the largest reservoir in the Bay Area, serves treated and untreated water, and employs 290 people. It's the only water district that depends solely on the Delta for its water supply.
Here are some numbers about the Water District and its history.
1Megawatt, the amount of power the small hydroelectric plant at the Antioch Service Center produce.
5The number of General Managers that have served through the 80 years.
10 The number of Board Presidents.
41The number of treated water storage reservoirs in the District.
48The length in miles of the Contra Costa Canal.
75Million gallons of water per day produced by the Bollman Water Treatment Plant at its peak capacity.
61,085The number of connections the District had in 2014.
171,270The number of acre-feet of untreated water the District can store in its four untreated water reservoirs (Martinez, Contra Loma, Mallard and Los Vaqueros) combined.
Size of the District's Service Area -- in acres -- through the years:
1941 - 47,645
1952 - 86,000
1960 - 108,000
1966 - 109,000
1997 - 132,022
2014 - 137,127
See more about the history of the Contra Costa Water District here:
April 20, 2013
April 21, 2003: The 23,000 square foot New Administration Building (Bisso Building) is open. In all, 1,400 boxes had to be moved from the old leased Stanwell Building to the new building. Planning, Engineering and Construction employees are among those working in the new building.
April 25, 1962:
April 26, 2008: First LV Dam Trials are held at the Los Vaqueros Watershed. The three-mile timed sprint to the top of the dam is the first organized bicycle event held at the watershed.
May 2, 1998:
May 3, 1968:
May 5, 1936: T
May 8, 1965:
May 9, 1936: See the original document.
May 10, 2008:
May 13, 1966May 15, 1968:
May 16, 1968:
May 23, 1942:
June 1, 1973: Ralph D. Bollman Water Treatment Plant named a “Place of Beauty” by the Concord Chamber of Commerce, one of four buildings in Concord to receive the award.
Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper's belief that fluoridation of the American water supply is a Soviet plot to poison the U.S. sets off a series of events that leads to the nuclear destruction of the world, premiered in January.
June 30, 2015: CCWD's redesigned website -- www.ccwater.com -- debuts, replacing a design that is more than seven years old. The new site is "scalable" to pads and smartphones, and has many new features that make it easier to upload vital information in the event of a disaster.
July 1, 1972: CCCWD takes over operational and maintenance responsibilities for the Contra Costa Canal from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The move was expected to save CCCWD $100,000 a year.
July 5, 1962: Groundbreaking ceremonies are held for the first new treated water reservoir built by the Contra Costa Water District. The two-million gallon reservoir is built on Clayton Road near Bailey Road in Clayton.
July 12, 1982: CCWD’s first Board President, Ralph D. Bollman, dies. He was president for 32 years, from 1936 to 1967
July 13, 2012: Expanded Los Vaqueros Dam is dedicated with capacity moving up from 100,000 acre-feet to 160,000 acre-feet. Watershed reopens after being closed for more than a year.
July 13, 2017: 5,000 fish, bluegill and largemouth bass, are planted at Los Vaqueros Reservoir. In terms of number of fish, it’s one of the largest plants at LV.
July 15, 1975: The District awarded a contract to the Hewlett Packard Company for an HP-3000 computer system “for faster response to customer inquiries.”
July 16, 2014: Director Bette Boatmun celebrates her 40th anniversary as a member of the Board of Directors. The conservation garden in front of District Center was named after her. She is the longest serving board member in CCWD history.
July 17, 1936:
July 18, 1962: The Contra Costa County Water District Water District Board approves its 1963 budget of $880,931, an increase of $63,500 over the previous year. The increase was attributed to added personnel and additional operational expenses.
July 20, 2010: The District’s fourth intake – the Middle River Intake – is dedicated. It is located on Victoria Island, east of Discovery Bay
July 25, 1962: The District installs a new telemetering system is installed at the Gallendo Pumping station that allows the District to track 10 pumps in Concord and Walnut Creek.
July 31, 1974 Bette Boatmun is appointed to CCCWD Board, replacing Sal N. Siino who resigned. She would become the longest serving board member, and was president of the board for two years from 1989 to 1991.
August 11, 2003: Treated water is delivered for the first time from the Randall-Bold Water Treatment plant to the District’s distribution system through the 21-mile Multi-Purpose Pipeline Project. “We now have a second source of water that we never had before,” said Water Operations Manager Dave Huey.
August 18, 1940: The Contra Costa Canal’s first water delivery is to the City of Pittsburg. The city is the first customer of CCWD ‘raw’ water. A giant three-day “Water Fiesta” in Pittsburg includes numerous parades, queen contest, nightly dances and fireworks, motorcycle races and a soap box derby race. A new composition, “The Aquatic March”, is written for the occasion and played by Pittsburg Municipal Band.
August 21, 1951: CCCWD voters approve US Bureau of Reclamation contract of 86,000 acre-feet of water per year.
August 21, 1975: Board of Directors adopts an Affirmative Action Program for District employees.
August 22, 2011: Seven-Year-Old Alec Michaels of Livermore catches a record 30.31 pound catfish at Los Vaqueros. He’s the youngest person to set a fishing record at LV. He still fishes regularly at the reservoir.
August 23, 2001: CCWD employees organize their first “Kids & Career Day” at the Los Vaqueros Interpretive Center. About 30 children of employees participate.
September 6, 1968: The Bollman Water Treatment Plant is dedicated. It is considered one of the most advanced filtration and purification plants in the United States.
September 6, 2001: LV Marina is dedicated and Los Vaqueros is opened to fishing. Larry Ward , a director of United Anglers of California, caught a 2.5 pound trout, the first fish officially landed at LV during a ceremonial “first cast.”. “As Contra Costa County continues to grow and develop, people will be able to continue to come here for a quiet hike in the foothills, learn about our past, and at last, have a relaxing place to go fishing,” said CCWD President James Pretti.
September 7, 2005: CCWD sends three employees to Louisiana to coordinate CCWD’s efforts to help with Hurricane Katrina relief.
September 14, 2001: CCWD’s Employee Picnic is postponed following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. It was rescheduled for October 28 at Los Vaqueros.
September 16, 1987: Interim Land Management Plan for Los Vaqueros is adopted.
September 16, 2005: Four O&M employees are sent to the Bayou Liberty Water Association in Slidell, Louisiana to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief.
September 16, 2016: CCWD’s most ambitious video “”Always For You” is released on You Tube and Vimeo. The in-house developed video tells the history of the water district and its importance in the area’s development.
September 17, 1994: Construction begins on Los Vaqueros Reservoir with a dedication ceremony attended by about 500 people. “If there is anyone in California who desperately wants to attend the dedication of a new dam in her or her lifetime, I hope that they are here today because, certainly, this may the last one constructed for many, many years to come. The reason it will be constructed, and the reason we are here today, is because the Contra Costa Water District did it right,” said Congressman George Miller.
September 17, 1994: Association of California Water Agencies issues a commendation to the CCWD Board of Directors for the Los Vaqueros Project: “…proclaims an expression of acknowledgment for the distinguished efforts of the Contra Costa Water District Board of Directors and staff for their efforts in managing the planning, design and permitting process for the Los Vaqueros Project.”
September 17, 1995: Vasco Road Ground Breaking ceremony is held. In all, the District would build 12.8 miles of Vasco Road around the watershed. As part of the project, the District builds large pipes under the roadway so animals such as the San Joaquin Kit Fox could migrate under the roadway.
September 19, 2013: CCWD is awarded the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation. This award recognizes efforts by CCWD to promote transparency and good governance. CCWD is the first agency in California to fulfill the requirements of the foundation.
September 21, 2012: CCWD Energy Recovery Project, a one megawatt turbine, is now operational. The $6.2 million project uses water from the Los Vaqueros Pipeline to produce power.
September 23, 2001: Three aircraft are spotted flying low across Los Vaqueros Reservoir, 12 days after the 9/11 attacks. District vows to find the pilots and prosecute them.
September 28, 2015; Redesigned Employee website- www.ccwd-staff.com - debuts. It’s the first redesign of the employee site in 10 years.
October 1, 1969: Groundbreaking ceremonies for the construction of the new Administration building (District Center) are held. Board President Craig Z Randall and Concord Mayor Warren Boggess “wielded” the ceremonial shovels. The building cost $1.5 million to build and was financed by the sale of “obsolescent” District property.
CCWD is one of 12 utilities in the nation to earn the 2015 American Water Works Association Sustainable Water Utility Management Award. CCWD was noted for keeping local watersheds ecologically healthy, which ensures access to untreated water of high quality to process through its state-of-the-art water treatment plants, 4 optimizing chemical and energy use. Significant investments in water use efficiency projects have helped reduce total water use by over 30 percent. The District is balancing operating expenditures, revenues and debt service, investing in infrastructure assets, controlling operations and maintenance expenditures and increasing water quality and customer service levels.
CCWD makes its first commercial water delivery, to the Columbia-Geneva Division of United States Steel in Pittsburg.
October 15, 1945: Contra Costa Canal construction resumes after being interrupted in 1942 by WW II.
October 16, 2008: CCWD and the City of Brentwood dedicate the Brentwood Water Treatment Plant. It serves the City of Brentwood. CCWD oversaw the construction of the plant, and District employees continue to operate it.
October 19, 1937: Construction starts on the first unit of the Central Valley Project, the Contra Costa Canal.October 20, 1959: With a margin of 6 to 1 in favor, voters approve $13.8 million bond for purchase of California Water Service Co.
October 23, 2011: District assures customers and employees that CCWD water is safe following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “We have no indications of tampering or any risk of the water system being compromised,” said General Manager Walter J. Bishop.
October 29, 2006: First Los Vaqueros Tarantula Run isheld with 5K, 10k and half-marathon races. About 520 runners participate in the run, the largest public event held at the watershed since the dedication of the dam in 1998.
October 20: 2008:
November 3, 1966: CCCWD caps its last well. CCCWD had depended on seven wells near Clyde and 12 other wells for peaking water supply. Wells provided up to 6 percent of the District’s water prior to capping the wells. CCCWD’s only source of water is now the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
November 5, 1937: Groundbreaking ceremony for start of Contra Costa Canal construction is held in Oakley
November 8, 2003: CCWD ships more than 2,000 historic roofing tiles to Mission San Miguel near Paso Robles. The handmade red terra cotta tiles, some more than 100 years old, were removed from the Star Ranch building in 1994 and stored at the watershed. The tiles were used on historic buildings at the mission. A local Boy Scout troop packed the tiles into large bins for shipping. You can see a few of these tiles in the John Muir Interpretive Center at Los Vaqueros.
November 8, 1988: Voters pass $450 million bond –Measure W -- for funding of Los Vaqueros Reservoir Project with 70 percent of the vote.
November 16, 2012: The Los Vaqueros Marina building is moved to higher ground as part of the expansion of the reservoir. The job takes two days to move the building a little more than a quarter mile.
November 18, 1981: The Contra Costa County Water District drops “County” from its name, to be known as the Contra Costa Water District.
November 20, 1967: CCCWD buys Clyde Water District for $3,500, serving treated water to Port Costa and Clyde.
November 28, 1967: Contra Loma Reservoir is dedicated, giving CCCWD an emergency water supply. Floyd Dominy, legendary commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, is the guest speaker.
November 28, 2008: CCWD’s Education Program earns the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for Children’s Environmental Education.
December 1, 1970: December
December 8, 2010: