We invite you to take a virtual stroll through our Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility! Our new video allows you to observe even more than our in-person tours. You’ll see how we treat 7 million gallons of wastewater each day with all-natural processing that is environmentally friendly.
Our operators will walk you through the primary, secondary and tertiary stages of treatment. You will learn how microorganisms consume the organic carbon present in the water and are the main workhorse of the facility.
You will see the large pumps that turn on automatically when needed in times of high flows. During storms and King Tides, wave action and pressure prevent the facility’s effluent from gravity flowing out. These pumps prevent the flows from backing up.
Our operators explain how ultraviolet light is used to disinfect the water by breaking down the cellular structure of any organisms/pathogens/viruses that may be present, preventing them from reproducing.
You’ll visit our two cogenerating engines which produce two resources when they run: electricity and hot water. The water is used to keep the engines cool while they’re running, it is used to maintain anaerobic digester temperatures and to heat various buildings.
The cogenerators plus solar panels allow the plant to create 70% of its power. Additional electricity is purchased from a local power producer who also uses renewable sources, thus 90% of all the power used at the plant is generated from renewable resources.
You will see that not all of the treated plant water goes out to the ocean. Some is recycled for on-site use in cleaning, mechanical sealing, and as heating water for the anaerobic digesters and some buildings. The plant produces and consumes an average of 150,000-gallons-per-day of recycled water.
The tour demonstrates how the facility produces a Class-B biosolid. This dirt-like material has a high concentration of nutrients and is used as a fertilizer on non-food crops or as top-soil at landfills. The facility produces about eight 25-ton trailers worth of these biosolids each week.
Our Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility not only provides an essential quality-of-life service to the community, it helps to reduce our City’s carbon footprint and protects the environment we live in! Click here to take the tour! En español.