Reclaimed-water plant a priority for new board member

Ray Tjulander

Ray Tjulander

North Ranch resident Raymond Tjulander said the key to retirement is keeping an active mind.

He’s found the best way to do that is by participating in community service.

Tjulander, who retired from his position as a project manager for NASA in 1999, has served on the Thousand Oaks Cable TV Oversight Committee, the Thousand Oaks Residents Roundtable and the Ventura County Transportation Commission.

Now he can add the Triunfo Sanitation District board of directors to that list.

Tjulander was appointed to the five-member board July 20 to replace Steve Iceland, who stepped down in June. The new board member had run for a seat on the district’s board of directors in 2010 and lost, but maintained an interest in the agency. He applied again and was appointed to complete Iceland’s term, which runs through December 2018.

“I’m very excited about this new position, and I plan on giving it everything I’ve got,” Tjulander said. “I’ve been very active in meetings so far. . . . I’m jumping in full force.”

Tjulander holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Idaho, and his 38 years at NASA helped him develop the people skills that will serve him as a board member.

“Sanitation is basically chemical engineering,” Tjulander said. “Triunfo has no employees; everything is done though contractors. My career with NASA was managing contractors, so it seemed like a perfect fit.”

Now that he’s on the board he’s got a few goals he wants to accomplish.

Triunfo is working in partnership with Las Virgenes Municipal Water District to develop a plant that would convert reclaimed water into drinking water. The project still needs funding, and Tjulander is making it a priority to find it. The planned facility would reduce the amount of water the district has to buy from the Metropolitan Water District by taking reclaimed water intended for irrigation and making it drinkable. Tjulander said that when the project is completed, Triunfo will buy 20 percent less water from the metropolitan district.

“We are hopeful this year to build a pilot plant, a demonstration at the Las Virgenes headquarters facility, which will produce about 100 gallons per minute of potable water,” Tjulander said. “It will demonstrate the technology to anybody. Visitors can come through any time they want and get a lesson on how it works.”

His other area of focus is maintenance.

“It’s absolutely important that our customers receive high reliability,” Tjulander said. “Nobody wants to turn the faucet on and not get water; nobody wants to flush a toilet and find it’s backed up. It’s paramount to stay on top of that every day.”

The Triunfo Sanitation District serves over 30,000 people in Oak Park, Lake Sherwood, Bell Canyon, Westlake Village and North Ranch. The district’s board oversees the collection and treatment of wastewater and the production and distribution of recycled water for irrigation purposes. The district also distributes 80 million gallons of drinkable water per month to 14,000 Oak Park residents.