Sustainability & Innovation
Regional San is undertaking a monumental effort—called the EchoWater Project—to take our region’s wastewater treatment to a whole new level.
In 2010, Regional San was issued stringent new treatment requirements from the State of California that require us to make the most significant upgrade to our wastewater treatment plant since its original construction. This new system, which must be in place by 2021-2023, will produce cleaner water for discharge to the Sacramento River, as well as for potential reuse as recycled water (e.g., for landscape and agricultural irrigation).
Recycled water is treated wastewater that has undergone additional filtration and disinfection processes to make the water safe for non-potable (non-drinking) uses. Since April 2003, Regional San’s cutting-edge Water Recycling Program (WRP) has provided an environmentally responsible and safe water supply for non-potable purposes, such as landscape irrigation, industrial uses, and environmental restoration.
Regional San’s biogas recycling program is just one of the ways Regional San works to reduce impacts to the environment by innovatively reusing valuable resources. Methane gas, or “biogas,” is a by-product of the solids digestion process that is used to produce steam and electricity at the Carson Ice-Gen Project, a cogeneration facility owned by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and located at the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (SRWTP).
Regional San has developed a diversified biosolids management program that is both environmentally friendly and of high value to ratepayers. This two-pronged program consists of safely and effectively:
- Recycling biosolids into environmentally beneficial products
- Applying biosolids to land disposal units
Each year, Regional San’s treatment plant processes about 26,000 dry tons of biosolids, making the program one of the largest producers of biosolids in California. Approximately 70 percent of those biosolids are treated and then injected into on-site land disposal units, while the remainder is beneficially recycled at our Biosolids Recycling Facility (a partnership with Synagro).
Regional San constructed a solar energy array at the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. The solar array is one of the largest located at a wastewater treatment plant in the nation. The solar array offers a clean and sustainable energy source with several benefits.
Regional San entered into a power purchase agreement with Tesla (formerly SolarCity) who will finance, own, and operate the array. Under the agreement, Tesla will sell the power produced at the site to Regional San for a 25-year term at a fixed rate.
Much like Sacramento’s two rivers, which join together in a “confluence” to create something even bigger, Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional San) and the Sacramento Area Sewer District (SASD) developed the Confluence Regional Partnership Program to bring together ideas and efforts that advance environmental, educational, and economic vitality in the Sacramento region. Through this program, funding may be available to projects that help the community and advance Regional San’s and SASD’s missions, visions, values, goals, and objectives.