In celebration of World Water Day last week on March 22, our Public Works and Water departments hosted a public tour of the Wastewater Treatment Facility to look at how our region’s wastewater could be used to supplement local water supplies.
Senior Wastewater Operator Dave Meyers described how the plant’s all-natural processes operate much like the human body does in processing liquids and solids into waste.
The tour group heard about the various levels of quality that wastewater can be treated to—from tertiary, which is a level of treatment that allows for irrigation, all the way up to a purified level that can be used for drinking water. Currently, Scotts Valley and Watsonville are the only Santa Cruz County municipalities to provide recycled wastewater for irrigation use.
The Santa Cruz Water Supply Advisory Committee included using recycled water in its list of recommendations for increasing water supply that the City Council has approved, along with conservation, aquifer storage and recovery, water transfers and desalination. The Water Department is studying each recommendation concurrently to determine feasibility. City Council will make a final decision in 2020 on which recommendations will be pursued.
For a closer look at the all-natural Wastewater Treatment Facility processes, check out our 5 minute video on YouTube.