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December 17, 2008 > Sanitary District selects contest winner

Sanitary District selects contest winner

Submitted By Michelle Powell

The economy may be going down the drain, but for Mark Dutra, a Union Sanitary District customer since childhood, years of flushing have finally paid off. Dutra is the winner of USD's "Win Free Sewer Service for a Year" contest, so everything that goes down his drains will go at no charge.

Dutra received a check to offset the residential sewer service charge of $259.18 that was billed along with his property tax this year. He plans to use his refund to purchase Christmas presents. "I'm helping to bolster the economy," he says jokingly.

A lifelong resident of Union City, Dutra remembers when USD's Alvarado Wastewater Treatment Plant was completed in 1981. His memories of fishing with his father on San Francisco Bay have fueled his interest in protecting the environment and in USD's role in keeping pollutants out of the Bay.

The contest was a feature in the fourth annual issue of USD's "Customer Focus" newsletter, which was delivered to all residents and businesses in the Tri-City area in September 2008. The newsletter is published to inform the District's customers about the utility and the services it provides. It can be read online on the "What's New" page at

In his survey, Dutra listed the newsletter's "What Happens to Wastewater?" article as his favorite feature. The article highlighted the journey that wastewater takes through USD's treatment facility as it is processed and prepared for disposal. The newsletter also featured information about USD's national award-winning Environmental Compliance Team, tips for helping the environment, sewer issues that are in the news, and the District's latest awards.

Newsletter readers were encouraged to visit USD's website and complete an online survey that entered them into the contest. A computer program randomly chose Dutra's entry number as the winner.

Union Sanitary District operates a 30 million gallon per day wastewater treatment facility in Union City and provides collection, treatment and disposal services to the Tri-City area. For more information about USD's "Customer Focus" newsletter and contest, contact Michelle Powell at (510) 477-7634 or visit the District's website at

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