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Our History

Regional San: The Early Years

After World War II, Sacramento grew rapidly, and wastewater treatment plants popped up along the Sacramento and American Rivers to serve the growing population. In the 1960s, recreational interests and water supply needs began to prompt concerns about wastewater discharge into local waterways. By the 1970s, more than 20 separate wastewater collection and treatment systems were supporting 600,000 people in the region.

In 1973, the County and City of Sacramento joined forces with the City of Folsom to form Regional San, which assumed responsibility for regional wastewater treatment. With funding help from large federal and state grants, Regional San built a new wastewater treatment plant in Elk Grove and a vast interceptor pipeline system to link to each of the area’s local sewer collection systems. This regional project took about 10 years to finish and was considered a state-of-the-art facility at the time of completion. The Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (Treatment Plant) began providing service in 1982, cleaning the region’s wastewater and discharging the treated effluent to the Sacramento River.

Regional San Today

Regional San now serves a population of about 1.4 million residents in the region. We are the largest inland treatment plant in California. While the focus of our mission is to safely clean your wastewater, we do much more than that. We also recycle water to irrigate schools and parks, produce high-quality biosolids to serve as fertilizer and recycle methane gas, a byproduct of the treatment process, by converting it into electrical energy.

Our commitment to environmental stewardship doesn’t end there. We’ve invested millions of dollars in water quality research and continue to advocate and support high-quality scientific research. We monitor conditions in the Sacramento River, conserve wetlands, renew woodlands and grasslands, and protect hundreds of acres of habitat in the Bufferlands surrounding our Treatment Plant. And we’ve brought people together in programs that help improve the health of the Sacramento River watershed.

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