Wastewater Treatment Plant

View the short video and see what the Wastewater Division is all about!

Long before the Federal Government dedicated the pristine Monterey Bay as a National Marine Sanctuary, the Watsonville Wastewater Treatment Facility was serving as first line of defense in protecting the Bay’s precious water quality. First constructed during the 1920’s and has gone through several expansions, the Watsonville Wastewater Treatment Facility has seen its mission grow from servicing a small agricultural community to treating wastewater for as many as 55,000 residents, commercial and industrial discharges. More than 170 miles of pipeline are used to transport wastewater to the facility for treatment.

The Wastewater Treatment Facility is located off of West Beach Road at 401 Panabaker Lane. This facility treats an average daily flow of 6.7 million gallons of wastewater that originates from residential, commercial and industrial sources. The wastewater is treated to the advanced secondary treatment level for ocean discharge and, advanced tertiary treatment for direct food crop irrigation. Both levels of treatment, undergo extensive monitoring and testing to insure compliance with all Local, State and Federal pollution prevention laws prior to being discharged to the Monterey Bay over a mile off shore, or to approximately 2000 acres of row crops. The Public Works & Utilities Laboratory is located at the Water Resource Center located at 500 Clearwater Lane. In addition to wastewater treatment monitoring, drinking water and landfill analysis are also performed to insure compliance with all applicable State and Federal Laws.

Wastewater Treatment Facility Facts

21 Square miles, composed of
City of Watsonville, Pajaro , Freedom,
and Salsipuedes sanitary districts
consisting of a population of 55,000
1 Facility Manager
8 Operators
5 Mechanics
4 Laboratory Personnel
1 Source Control Manager
1 Administrative Assistant
4 Collection System Operators
Average Carbonaceous
Biological Oxygen Demand
Influent: 387 milligrams/liter
Effluent: 10.8 milligrams/liter
Average Suspended Solids
Influent: 347 milligrams/liter
Effluent: 9.0 milligrams/liter
Plant Capacity
12.1 million gallons per day, secondary
7.7 million gallons per day, tertiary
Bio-solids Removed from Facility Each Year
3200 Wet Tons
Average Daily Flow
6.7 million gallons per day