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Instructors and Faculty

 Select an instructor to view their experience and history.

Gail Chesler - Engineer, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, Retired

Dr. Chesler has more than 30 years of experience in the planning and design phases of treatment plant and collection systems for wastewater treatment systems. She has conducted and presented research projects several times at Water Environment Federation national conferences, as well as state-wide conferences of the California Water Environment Association. Dr. Chesler also has 8 years of experience teaching high school math as well as college undergraduate and graduate level engineering classes. She has been a professor in the BACWWE program since its inception.

Richard E. Danielson - Laboratory Director, BioVir Laboratories, Inc.

Rick developed an interest in environmental biology while working at the Environmental Studies Laboratory while attending USD. Rick's master's and doctoral theses dealt with freshwater toxicology and the microbiology of wastewater reclamation and water distribution systems. He taught microbiology for a year at Chaffee Community College and was chief of the Environmental Microbial Diseases Section of the California Department of Health Services for 5 years before assuming his current position. He has been a lecturer in the field of public health microbiology at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health for more than 10 years. BioVir tests environmental samples for microorganisms of public health importance.

Chad Davisson - Wastewater Stormwater Manager, W. County Water, Richmond

Chad has over 20 years of municipal water and wastewater experience:

  • Project Manager for Water Reclamation Facility Capital Project which provides 100% beneficial reuse of tertiary treated effluent.
  • Developed Industrial Source Control and Recycled Water Cross-Connection Programs for County of San Diego and Olivenhain Municipal Water District.
  • Chief Plant Operator for the 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility.
  • Provided consulting cross-connection control services for recycled water retrofit projects at schools, parks and golf-courses.
  • Presently the Environmental Services Division Manager for the City of San Mateo responsible for the management of the city’s wastewater treatment, collections, stormwater, environmental compliance and flood control functions.
  • Instructor for Water Treatment, Wastewater Treatment, Advanced Wastewater Treatment, Wastewater Collection Systems and Water Conservation at Cuyamaca and Solano Community Colleges.


  • B.A. in Public Administration from San Diego State University, School of Public Administration and Urban Planning. Graduated Cum Laude and with Distinction in the Major.
  • Holds a Grade V Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification from the California State Water Resources Control Board.
  • Holds a Cross-Connection Control Specialist Certification through the American Water Works Association.

Steven Dominguez - Plant Manager, Delta Diablo Sanitation District

Steven has over 26 years of wastewater operations and maintenance experience:

  • 22 years in powered systems technology with the United States Air Force, Travis Air Force Base.
    Certified Grade V Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator.
  • Began career in the City of Vacaville’s WWTP in 1988 promoted to the level of Senior Operator.
  • 2 years as the WWTP Superintendent for City of West Sacramento.
  • 3.5 years as the Training Supervisor for Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (CCCSD) establishing an Operator-in-Training student internship program.
  • Currently employed at Delta Diablo Sanitation District (DDSD) for 6 years as the Plant Manager responsible for the Operations Division. The plant is a tertiary treatment plant with an average daily flow is 13.2 million gallons per day (MGD). DDSD produces up to 8 MGD reclaimed water for two power plants, two golf courses, and parks for the cities of Antioch and Pittsburg. The district has 7 years of zero violations and has received many CWEA awards.

Levi Fuller - Chief Plant Operator, Dublin San Ramon Services District

Levi has 26 years of Plant Operating Experience including:

  • 4.5 years operating auxiliary systems aboard the USS Nimitz CVN-68 Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier including a 400,000 GPD ocean water de-salination plant.
  • 2 years as a staff technician with Geragthy & Miller, Inc. where he worked on groundwater remediation projects.
  • 10 years at The City of Pinole Water Pollution Control Plant, last 5 as Plant Operations Supervisor.
  • 12.5 years at Dublin San Ramon Services District as Chief Plant Operator of the wastewater treatment plant which includes wastewater recycling using Micro-Filtration, Continuous Backwash Sand Filtration, and Ultraviolet Disinfection. In addition to his position as the Chief Plant Operator, Levi has also served as DSRSD’s Electrical and Instrumentation Supervisor and Field Services Supervisor, where he was responsible for the operation of DSRSD’s wastewater collection, potable water, and recycled water distribution systems.

Daniel Gill - Water Treatment Superintendent, Contra Costa Water District (CCWD)

Currently, Dan is the Water Treatment Superintendent for CCWD managing the production of safe drinking water at three treatment plants and three small water systems. Previously, Dan has supervised and operated with EBMUD, City of Fairfield, and the City of Vallejo. Dan holds a T5 Water Treatment License and has a Master's Degree from CSU East Bay in Public Administration with emphasis in Public Management. Dan also holds Specialist Certificates from CSU Sacramento's Office of Water Program in Water and Wastewater Operation. Dan is an Adjunct Professor at Solano Community College and teaches WATR 104/108. Dan is also an Army Veteran, with two tours of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2006.



  • T5 Water Treatment License
  • D3 Water Distribution License
  • Master of Public Administration, CSU East Bay with emphasis in Public Management
  • BS Business Administration, University of Maryland with emphasis in Management
  • Adjunct Professor, Solano Community College

Randy Grieb - Manager of Plant Operations, Central C.C. Sanitary District - Retired

Randy has 33 years of experience in the design, operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment systems. He worked two years with East Bay Municipal Utility District in Special Projects Engineering and 31 years with Central Contra Costa Sanitary District as a Process Control Engineer and later as the Plant Operations Division Manager, retiring in 2011.

Raj Gumber - Laboratory Supervisor, Dublin San Ramon Services District

Raj has 18 years of experience teaching chemistry in a college and over 20 years experience in performing chemical and biological analysis on water and wastewater:

  • Has been with Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) for 19 years where currently he is a laboratory supervisor. This is a public organization and is a service provider for drinking water, recycled water, and treatment of wastewater. He is responsible for keeping the lab certified, implementing the QA/QC program, supporting the plant process and engineering projects, and sending the monitoring reports to the regulatory agencies.
  • Worked as a chemist at Unocal Refinery and Marin Municipal Water District.
  • Taught chemistry in a college in India for 18 years.
  • Adjunct faculty with Solano Community College specializing in water and wastewater training program with emphasis on basic chemistry for water and wastewater. 


  • M.S. degree in Chemistry
  • Laboratory Analyst Grade 4 (highest lab grade issued by CWEA)
  • Member American Water Works Association (AWWA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), and California Water Environment Association (CWEA)

Peter Martin - Water Treatment Superintendent at EBMUD and CCWD - Retired

Peter has over 28 years of experience in the water industry, during which time he's worked as a water treatment operator, process engineer, design engineer, and water treatment superintendent. He has a Grade 5 Water Treatment Operator certificate and is a registered Civil Engineer in California. He currently works part-time as a water system operations consultant.

E.J. Shalaby - General Manager, West County Wastewater District, Richmond

E.J. is a manager with over 31 years of planning, design, operations and maintenance experience at large-scale wastewater treatment, recycled water and conveyance facilities within the public and private sectors:

  • Program Manager for Veolia Water NA.
  • Chief of Plant Operations with the Aliso Water Management Agency in southern California, operating a secondary treatment process and title 22 compliant tertiary treatment plant.
  • Adjunct faculty with Solano Community College specializing in wastewater training programs with emphasis on basic wastewater treatment and wastewater math. 


  • M.A. in Public Administration from San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
  • B.S. in Business Management
  • A.A. in Environmental Studies with an emphasize on wastewater treatment
  • Grade V (4615) Wastewater Operator, Certificate issued from the California State Water Resources Control Board

Jim Smith - Superintendent of Water Treatment, East Bay Municipal Utility District

Jim is responsible for six water treatment plants ranging in size from 25 MGD to 175 MGD. Before his position at EBMUD, he was a consultant specializing in plant optimization and tracer studies and a production superintendent with the Pennsylvania American Water Company. Jim has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Environmental Science. Both degrees specialized in water and wastewater treatment. Jim is also an Adjunct Professor at Solano Community College. He served on the Board of Directors of the Contra Costa Workforce Development Board (2008 to 2011) and is currently on the Executive Committee of BAYWORK.


  • B.S. degree in Environmental Resource Management from Pennsylvania State University
  • Environmental Science from Drexel University
  • Grade V Water Treatment Operator

Mike Yeraka - General Manager and Chief Engineer, Diablo Water District, Oakley

Mr. Yeraka has over 28 years of experience in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of various drinking water treatment, storage, pumping and pipeline systems. He has also worked as a process engineer developing water system instrumentation and control strategies.  For the past 20 years he has been the General Manager and Chief Engineer of the Diablo Water District in Oakley and has full responsibility for all of the District’s operations, engineering, finances, personnel and maintenance. 


  • B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from U.C. Berkeley
  • California Registered Civil Engineer
  • Member American Water Works Association

Paul Zolfarelli  - Director of Water Quality Services, Oro Loma Sanitary District

Paul has 28 years of experience in the Public Sector: 

  • 15 years with the City of San Leandro where he started as a Maintenance Worker. Promoted to positions including Plant Operator, Lab Tech, Industrial Waste Inspector, Environmental Compliance Coordinator and Plant Superintendent.
  • 2 years as the Water Resources Manager with the City of Livermore, overseeing both water distribution and wastewater treatment.
  • 4.5 years with the City of Brentwood as Director of Public Works managing the Water, Wastewater, Street Maintenance, Fleet Services, Refuse and Administrations Divisions.
  • For the past 5 years Director of Water Quality Services for the Oro Loma Sanitary District, a 20 Million Gallon per Day Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Education and Certifications:

  • A.A. Degree in Business Administration
  • CWEA Certified Industrial Waste Inspector
Grade V Wastewater Treatment Operator from California State Water Resources Control Board



Student Testimonial

The instructors are drawn from the industry, so we have a lot of practical experience.  We know what is and isn’t important in the textbook — and we’re also part of a network of managers already in the field, so we’re often in a position to recommend students to colleagues looking to hire a qualified candidate."

Levi Fuller Chief Plant Operator Dublin San Ramon Services District