Our new public service announcement shows how the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility provides quality of life service to the community while helping to reduce the City’s carbon footprint and protecting the environment.
Below is a link to a presentation done by Public Works Director, Mark Dettle, at a recent meeting discussing the use of recycled wastewater. It outlines the history and processes of the City's Award Winning Wastewater Treatment Facility.
We are proud to have won "best in state" from the California Wastewater Environment Association 2013:
Santa Cruz Plant Honored as Best Wastewater Treatment Facility in California. This award acknowledges outstanding achievement in more than 20 categories honoring exceptional California treatment plants, water environment professionals and collection systems. The award combines the results of a review of infrastructure, management practices and compliance records of all entrants into the competition.
The accomplishments listed below were managed by changing out the Facility lighting. These were the challenges:
Reduce the Carbon Footprint -- DONE
Increase Security at the Facility -- DONE
Cut Lighting costs in half -- DONE
Purpose and Functions (37 Employees)
Organization chart [PDF]
Wastewater Treatment Facility
Operates and maintains a regional wastewater treatment and disposal facility. Wastewater treatment and ocean outfall disposal are provided for the City of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz County Sanitation District (includes Live Oak, Capitola, Soquel and Aptos). Ocean outfall disposal is provided for the City of Scotts Valley.
Wastewater Source Control
Provides inspection, sampling and monitoring of business and industrial establishments to limit discharge of harmful constituents into the sanitary sewer system and storm drain system. Issues wastewater discharge permits to industrial discharges. Issues citations and levies fines for code violations. This program is a requirement of the State of California and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The City of Santa Cruz has been treating sewage at the wastewater treatment facility near Neary Lagoon and disposing of the effluent in the ocean since 1928. Treatment capacity has been expanded several times to accommodate the growth of the city and the addition of flows from the Santa Cruz County Sanitation District. (Photograph of the modern facility below.) The current rated design capacity is 17 MGD (millions of gallons per day) and with an average daily flow of 10 MGD. Design for wet weather flow is 81 MGD.
View The Wastewater Treatment Facility in 360º Interactive Panorama
Note: These Panoramas are large files (about 370kb each) and will be slow to load on a 56k modem.
Major Accomplishments Over the Last 5 Years:
- WWTF Energy and Environmental Summary
- Completion of 50 Kw photovoltaic system
- Integration of 1.3 megawatt cogeneration system into facility power grid
- Carbon Absorption Odor Control System
- $60 million upgrade from advanced primary treatment to full secondary treatment
- Conversion of effluent purification from gas chlorine to UltraViolet Light treatment
- Implementation of staffing reorganization to optimize plant efficiency
- Adoption of revised Sewer Use Ordinance
- Integrate Energy conservation measures into plant operations.
- Implement paperless work order system for equipment repair.
- Ensure the proper and efficient operation of the entire wastewater treatment facility at a level commensurate with a model operation
- Control odor emissions from the plant as a good neighbor
Major Upcoming Issues:
- Implementation of Storm Water Ordinance Best Management Practices and integration of inspections and enforcement for storm water discharges into current wastewater discharge inspection program
- Review and implement facility optimization goals through the leadership team structure
- Start up and optimization of Phase II of Odor Master Plan
- Optimization of effluent purification process
- Evaluate biosolids processing and disposal
In April 1998, the City completed a secondary biological treatment system consisting of trickling filters/solids contact
tanks to improve effluent quality and satisfy federal requirements and the California Ocean Plan.
- Treatment Processes
- Statement of Values, Mission, and Goals
- Wastewater Treatment Facility Brochure:
Page 1 - Page 2
- Information on Sewer Rates and Sewer Rate Table
Annual Dye Study Report [PDF]
Annual Dye Study Report 2013
Additional Reports are filed online at the Electronic Self-Monitoring Report website of the California Integrated Water Quality System. You can find the reports that have been filed at this web link:
For more information contact:
Superintendent of Wastewater Collection and Treatment Facility