Environmental Protection

Safeguarding the Environment

Technology in balance with nature


Talking about environmental protection is good, but doing something about it is even better. At Regional San, we believe that protecting the environment for future generations requires a concerted effort across many fronts. Motivated by a strong environmental ethic, dedicated staff throughout our organization lead the way in environmental action founded on the latest scientific research and accomplished with appropriate uses of technology.

In this section, you’ll find information about how Regional San complies with strict environmental rules, implements innovative pollution prevention programs, sensitively manages the Bufferlands around our treatment plant, and helps develop workable approaches to managing the entire Sacramento Watershed.


Discharge & Regulatory Permits

Regional San's proud record of strict compliance with environmental rules

Regional San is subject to numerous environmental regulations designed to protect the waters that sustain our lives, the land we live on, and the air we breathe. Compliance with environmental regulations is a fundamental part our mission, and we take pride in our outstanding record.

The sections here outline some of the most significant environmental permits that affect Regional San.


Pollution Prevention Programs

Empowering our customers as environmental stewards

We’re committed to educating our customers about how they can help protect our region and become proactive environmental stewards. We work hard to protect the health of our region and the natural world around us.

The level of treatment the wastewater receives during our treatment process is dictated by a discharge permit issued by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.


The Bufferlands

A thriving ecosystem providing vital habitat

Wastewater treatment plants need to be good neighbors to the local community. That’s why in the 1970s, we decided to purchase the property surrounding the treatment plant to develop a buffer between treatment plant operations and its nearest neighbors. This 2,150-acre expanse of open space minimizes the potential for odor and other nuisances that could impact the surrounding neighborhoods. However, the Bufferlands provides much more than a nuisance buffer.


Our Science Program

A Commitment to Sound Science

Regional San’s core mission is to protect public health and the environment by conveying, treating, and recovering resources from wastewater responsibly and cost-effectively. Critical to this are programs and resources to produce scientific information necessary to meet that mission.


Our Environmental Laboratory

Our state-of-the-art facility meets critical analytical needs

The Regional San Environmental Laboratory has been in operation at the EchoWater Resource Recovery Facility since 1982. The laboratory employs trained, professional environmental scientists and technical staff committed to providing quality services to meet both routine and challenging analytical needs for studies or monitoring programs.


Sacramento’s Watershed

Our rivers depend on a healthy watershed

Our rivers depend on a healthy watershed. Just as no human being exists as an island apart from other humans, no river exists in isolation from its tributaries and related ecosystems.

That’s the fundamental truth underlying a landmark effort to bring together stakeholders from throughout the immense Sacramento River watershed to develop workable means of improving water quality region-wide.

The Watershed Approach to River Protection

Working with Congress and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Regional San led the way by obtaining $8.4 million to fund an extensive Sacramento River coordinated monitoring and public education effort. This precedent-setting program is a partner to a statewide Watershed Management Initiative being directed by the California Water Resources Control Board.

The Delta's decline is driving tough new regulations that will impact Regional San's ratepayers.

Delta Resources

Working to ensure a sustainable Delta

Regional San has been actively engaged in efforts aimed at solving the serious issues facing the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. A variety of potential solutions to the Delta’s problems have been proposed, most of which aim to produce a Delta that simultaneously supports a vibrant ecosystem and continues to supply fresh water to large parts of the state.

As these solutions evolve, Regional San will continue to contribute to the ongoing Delta dialogue with the aim of supporting policy decisions that produce measurable and cost-effective benefits for the Delta ecosystem.


Coordinated Monitoring Program

Safeguarding water quality in our two iconic rivers

To protect and enhance the health of the Sacramento and American rivers, Regional San and the Sacramento Stormwater Quality Partnership joined forces in 1991 to create a Coordinated Monitoring Program (CMP). The fundamental purpose of the CMP is to develop high-quality data to aid in the development and implementation of water quality policy and regulations in the Sacramento area. With the help of Regional San’s Environmental Laboratory, river-water data is collected and tested for a variety of constituents.The CMP identifies water quality conditions, trends and influences that are invaluable in defining the health of the river system in a cost-effective manner.

CMP-partnering agencies support many area programs committed to safeguarding river water quality in the Sacramento and American rivers. Data from the program is available on CEDEN.

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