For all wastewater treatment plants, the level of treatment required before the water can be released back into the environment is dictated by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. For Regional San, this wastewater discharge permit is issued by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board), the state agency that regulates wastewater dischargers in our region. Discharge permits must be renewed every five years, and each time, new conditions may be imposed that require treatment agencies like Regional San to make changes to their processes.
In 2010, the Regional Water Board issued a discharge permit to Regional San that included strict new conditions requiring extensive infrastructure and technology upgrades (the EchoWater Project).
Regulators at the Regional Water Board set a very high bar for Regional San due to our location upstream from the fragile Delta ecosystem. The strict new permit conditions were driven by the Regional Water Board’s view that improved treatment processes at Regional San’s plant will improve water quality in the Sacramento River and help alleviate ecological problems in the Delta.
Learn more about the wastewater discharge permit.