COVID-19 UPDATE | The City is coordinating closely with our public health officials at the Santa Cruz County Health Department to prevent the further spread COVID-19. In an effort to protect you and our community, changes and measures have been adopted in daily operations and activities. For further details please click here for the City’s Response to COVID-19

Wastewater System

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 Wastewater plant

Our short video provides an important reminder to help prevent unsanitary sewer overflows during the current pandemic and always: in English; en español.

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 video. Learn more about us in our latest edition of Neighborhood News.

The Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility is proud to have been awarded 2020 Collection System of the Year (Small) from the California Wastewater Environment Association-Monterey Bay Section. Previous honors include 2013 Best in State Plant of the Year (Medium) and four 2017 California Water Environment Association-Monterey Bay Section awards: Overall Plant of the Year, Plant of the Year (Medium), Collections Person of the Year and Operator of the Year. We received second place for California Wastewater Environment Association 2017 Best in State Plant of the Year (Medium). 

Santa Cruz Plant Honored as Best Wastewater Treatment Facility in California. This award honors exceptional California treatment plants 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. The current rated design capacity is 17 MGD (millions of gallons per day) and with an average daily flow of less than 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

      2019 [PDF]               2015 [PDF]                 2011 [PDF]                 Archives 2006-10


      Pretreatment Program Annual Reports 
               2019 [PDF]              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:


Quarterly Public Tours

The treatment facility offers quarterly public tours. All tour attendees must be at least 10-years old as the facility includes high functioning, industrial process which is part of the city’s integral infrastructure. We will resume a published tour schedule once the Covid 19 virus epidemic has ended.

To request to join a tour or for tour-related questions, please contact Wastewater Treatment Operator Amanda Bird at or call the Operations Supervisor Dave Meyers at (831) 420-6293.


For more information contact:
Anne Hogan
Wastewater System Manager
831-420-6489 (fax)

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