Wastewater Treatment Facility

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 Wastewater plant

Our 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 as demonstrated in this public service announcement.

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. It is based on a review of infrastructure, management practices and compliance records.

We have also been honored for our energy-saving achievements:
EPA Recognizes Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility for Its Green Power Accomplishments

The history and processes of the Wastewater Treatment Facility and our use of recycled wastewater are outlined in this presentation by Public Works Director Mark Dettle.

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.

Major Accomplishments Over the Last 5 Years:

Wastewater Treatment Facility brochure:  Page 1 - Page 2

Information on Sewer Rates and Sewer Rate Table  

      Water Pollution Control Facility Annual Reports

      2015 [PDF]                 2011 [PDF]                 Archives 2006-10


      Pretreatment Program Annual Reports 
                2015 [PDF]                  Archives 2006-10


California Integrated Water Quality System Reports 

Annual Dye Study Report 2016 [PDF]
Annual Dye Study Report 2013 [PDF]

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:
Dan Seidel 
Superintendent of Wastewater Collection and Treatment Facility
831-420-6489 (fax)

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