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William J. O'Connell papers
WRCA 096  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Collection Scope and Contents
  • Biography
  • Collection Number
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: William J. O'Connell papers
    Date (inclusive): 1952-1966
    Collection Number: WRCA 096
    Extent: 65 linear feet (56 cartons, 554 items
    Repository: Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
    Riverside, CA 92517-5900
    Languages: English.


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Water Resources Collections and Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Distinctive Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Water Resources Collections and Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], [date if possible]. William J. O'Connell papers (WRCA 096). Water Resources Collections and Archives. Special Collections & University Archives, University of California, Riverside.

    Collection Scope and Contents

    Papers include correspondence, news clippings, memoranda, office files, legal documents, drafts of legislation, and transcripts of hearings. Principal topics include area planning, flood control and drainage, garbage and refuse collection and disposal, sewerage and industrial wastes, water quality management, water resources development (both state and federal), and water supply and distribution.


    The following "qualification" material was presented as an EXHIBIT in a case where William O'Connell testified in his capacity as consultant for the Contra Costa County Water Agency. It is included here for the biographical detail.
    W. J. O'Connell Associates
    1214 Burlingame Avenue
    Burlingame, California
    Consultant to Contra Costa County Water Agency
    Graduate work in bio-chemical and chemical engineering, Rutgers University, 1927.
    Bachelor of Science degree, University of California, 1925, in engineering.
    Undergraduate work in civil and sanitary engineering, University of California.
    Lick-Wilmerding High School, San Francisco.
    Professional Engineer
    Civil and Professional Engineers Certificate No. CH 1866, State of California.
    Related Advisory Responsibilities
    Consultant to:
    1. State Senate Interim Committee on Proposed Water Projects (past).
    2. Contra Costa County Department of Public Works (present).
    3. Contra Costa County Planning Commission (present).
    4. Southwest Contra Costa County Water District (present).
    5. East Bay Municipal Utility District (past).
    6. City of Hayward (past).
    7. Standard Oil Company of California (present).
    8. Office of Rubber Reserve, U.S. Reconstruction Finance Corporation (past).
    9. Oakley County Water District (past).
    10. California Fish Canners Association (present).
    11. Canners League of California (present).
    12. Hickmott Canning Company (present).
    13. Tri-Valley Packing Company (present).
    Member of:
    1. Advisory Council, University of California Water Resources Center (present).
    2. Engineering Advisory Committee to State Department of Water Resources on South Bay Aqueduct (present).
    3. Technical Advisory Group on Repayment Contracts, Counties of Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara (present).
    4. Task Group A4.D1 (Industrial Water Use), American Water Works Association (past).
    5. Advisory committees of the University of California and California Institute of Technology on sanitary engineering research projects for the State Water Pollution Control Board (past).
    6. Chairman, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce special projects committee studying water pollution control and San Francisco Bay salt-water barrier proposals (past).
    Related Association Memberships:
    1. American Water Works Association.
    2. American Public Works Association.
    3. American Public Health Association.
    4. American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
    5. American Chemical Society.
    6. Contra Costa County Development Association.
    Thirty years professional and industrial engineering experience.
    Worked with A.D. Edmonston, Division of Engineering and Irrigation, California Department of Public Works, 1925-26, on State Water Plan.
    With Wallace Tiernan Sales Corporation, 1928-41, providing technical services on problems of municipal and industrial water supply and waste disposal throughout the United States, including water supply problems of numbers of large central generating stations.
    Since 1942, has operated own consulting offices to advise on industrial process problems encountered in food, solar salt, chemical and heavy industrial operations and on the use of manufactured products or utility services in wet processes. Wide experience in developing suitable water supplies and providing for waste disposal and air pollution control in a variety of industries. Industries advised on the effects on their long-range expansion plans of the attitudes of local, county and state governmental agencies toward provision and regulation of the use of water supply and waste disposal facilities needed by industry and the extent of public financing of the construction and operation of such facilities. Works with lawyers on technical data to be used in legal proceedings.
    Comprehensive studies made of California's water resources development proposals with particular attention to ultimate use by state and county agencies and industry.
    Technical information and advisory services provided for cities, counties, and public districts concerning water resources development, waste disposal, air pollution, recreational use of water, fisheries resources, water rights, water quality control, saline water conversion and flood control.
    Illustrations of Work Performed:
    Directs detailed staff study of State water planning, including analysis of historic flows of rivers tributary to the delta, extent of diversions, historic and projected effects of planned state works on chlorinity encroachment, historic and existing water rights, projected water needs in the Delta and effects of upstream drainage and seepage on the Delta, and related problems. Directs preparation of reports for presentation to state agencies, illustrated by Graphic Portrayal in Color and Symbol of the Effects of Salinity Encroachment in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Based Upon the Assumed Construction and Operating Schedules of the Biemond Cross-Delta Transfer Plan. Provides technical analysis of legislative proposals relating to the California Water resources development program and its effects upon Contra Costa County.
    Confers with legislative committees, the State Department of Water Resources, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and other agencies. Assembled technical information for the 1959 report, Contra Costa County's Water Requirements: A Report to the Citizens from the Board of Supervisors Concerning (1) The Threat of Deterioration of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Water Supplies (2) The Program Required to Protect County Water Needs (3) The County's Ultimate Water Needs.
    Confers with representatives of other counties on technical aspects of formulating repayment contract terms for purchase of California Water Resources Development System water from projected South Bay Aqueduct.
    Contra Costa County Department of Public Works
    Consultant on problems of water supply, water pollution, sewerage, refuse and garbage disposal, and air pollution, since 1954. Advises on preparation for and appearances before legislative committees and administrative agencies. Consults on the recreational uses of impounded water. Confers on possible location of U.S. saline water conversion plant at Antioch. Arranged and conducted air-and-boat tour to familiarize leaders of Feather River Project Association with Delta problems and Delta Concept in State water planning.
    Southwest Contra Costa County Water District
    Responsible for planning development of supplementary industrial water supply for Richmond area, including use of reclaimed sewage.
    State Senate Interim Committee on Proposed Water Projects
    Acting staff director, 1958-59, advised committee on all phases of state water planning and problems, arranged hearings, conferred with the Department of water Resources and other agencies, and analyzed and reported to the committee on testimony, exhibits and prior studies. Prepared questionnaire addressed to each county as to its water resources and needs, now and in the future, and as to the effects and sufficiency of state proposals. In addition, directed an intensive study of Delta water problems and possible effects of proposed cross-transfer works. Prepared committee's progress report to the Senate, Study of Sufficiency of Proposals and Some Effects of the California Water Development Program, May 14, 1959.
    East Bay Municipal Utility District.
    Technical information and advisory services on effects upon salmon fisheries of proposed Mokelumne River diversions and storage; preservation of the fisheries; and participation in negotiations with interested agencies.
    Standard Oil Company of California
    Consultant on water supply, waste recovery, and disposal, and process problems since 1947.
    Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Office of Rubber Reserve
    Consultant on water supply and waste disposal needs at all California synthetic rubber plants of the RFC during world War II.
    City of Hayward
    Technical information and advisory services on solution of well water supply problems.
    Canners League of California
    Consultant, since 1950, on water supply and waste disposal problems. Advises on effects of water supply and sewerage service proposals.
    California Sardine Products Institute and California Fish Canners
    Analyzed water supply and waste disposal problems of the industry, recommending basis for water quality control program and design of treatment facilities to meet water pollution control requirements.
    Oakley County Water District
    Technical information and advisory services on general plan for flood control.
    Western Fruit and Vegetable Canners Association
    Analyzed the magnitude of the California fruit and vegetable canning industry's contribution to pollution of waters of the state and appraised how that responsibility is to be met in the future. Prepared Report on Problem of Disposal of Processing Waste and Presentation of Facts Relating to the California Fruit and Vegetable Canning Industry. Tri-Valley Packing Company
    Original design for canner waste disposal works to meet water pollution requirements at Stockton plant.

    Collection Number

    Collection number updated February 2019. Legacy collection number was MS 80/4. This change was part of a project in 2018/2019 to update the collection numbers for collections in the Water Resources Collections and Archives.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    California State Water Project
    California. Legislature. Assembly. Fact-Finding Committee on Water
    California. Legislature. Senate. Fact-Finding Committee on Water
    Drainage -- California
    Flood control -- California
    Refuse and refuse disposal -- California
    Regional planning -- California
    Sewage disposal -- California
    Sewerage -- California
    Solid waste -- California
    Water quality management -- Law and legislation -- California
    Water resources development -- Law and legislation -- California
    Water-supply -- California -- Contra Costa County
    Water-supply -- Law and legislation -- California