Key Staff

SMWD was formed in 1964 as a landowner district (Section 35306 of the California Water Code) by a group of ranchers who wanted to create a reliable source of water for their cattle. As development occurred within the district’s boundaries, SMWD was reorganized in 1995 as a registered voter California Water District (California Water District legislation is Section 34000 of the California Water Code).

SMWD’s primary focus as a special district is to provide high-quality potable water, sewage collection and treatment, production and delivery of tertiary-treated recycled water, and urban runoff treatment. Day-to-day operations are supervised by the General Manager and implemented by staff.

Daniel R. Ferons, General Manager

Picture of Dan Ferons

Daniel Ferons was appointed by the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) Board of Directors to serve as General Manager effective July 1, 2012. SMWD is the second-largest water agency in Orange County, serving approximately 165,000 customers in the communities of Mission Viejo, Coto de Caza, Rancho Santa Margarita, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch and Talega.

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Prior to his appointment as General Manager, Mr. Ferons served as the District’s Chief Engineer since 1994. In 2008, Mr. Ferons accepted the additional duties of Director of Operations. As such, he was responsible for the District’s annual operating budget, the day-to-day function of the engineering and operations departments, and the development of the District’s infrastructure to provide water and recycled water to our customers, as well as the treatment of wastewater.

During Mr. Ferons’ 27 year tenure with SMWD, the District has grown from 13,000 service connections to more than 56,000 with robust development of the water, wastewater and recycled water systems. He has overseen and managed a number of significant milestone projects, including the planning and construction of the Upper Chiquita Reservoir, expansion of the Chiquita Water Reclamation Plant, design and implementation of the Upper Oso Reservoir Oxygenation System and innovative, urban return flow projects such as the Dove Canyon diversion project and Horno Basin urban collection system.

Additionally, Mr. Ferons represents the District on the boards of several joint powers agencies. Prior to joining SMWD, Mr. Ferons was employed by several engineering consulting firms and was involved in the design of public works and preparation of development plans throughout Southern California.

Mr. Ferons holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona and is a Registered Professional Civil Engineer in California. He is an active member of the Orange County Water Association, American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation.

Click here to contact Daniel R. Ferons.

Deputy General Manager

Don Bunts

Assistant General Manager - Finance

Robert Grantham

Secretary to the Board

Kelly Radvansky

Chief Engineer

Tricia Butler

Operations Manager

Rich Kissee


Erica Castillo

Information Technology Manager

Dustin Navarro

Director of External Affairs

Jim Leach

Customer Relations Manager

Beth Geldert

Human Resources Manager

Kathleen Springer

Click here to contact key staff.

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