The South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District is proud of its plant and the Staff who operate it. Through Staff innovations, the plant is able to run effectively and efficiently everyday, resulting in high quality wastewater treatment. The District maintains a great working relationship with the EPA, State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards and has a reputation and record for meeting its wastewater discharge requirements. This again stems solely from the exceptional Staff who work at the plant every day offering their expertise and knowledge of wastewater treatment.
District Staff are not only exceptional operators at the plant, but the District also hires employees who can perform a variety of skilled tasks.
These tasks include:
- electrical work,
- fabrication of parts, and
- other cost-reducing and plant-enhancing activities.
The District is specifically responsible for nearly nine (9) miles of trunk main and sewer pipes from the Cities of Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, and the Oceano Community Services District. District employees are on duty protecting your health and safety by ensuring that the sewer system operates efficiently 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. The District remains cognizant to three basic principles when approaching a new technology that may improve plant effectiveness:
- The District avoids unnecessary costs by empowering Staff to be creative and innovative in solutions to problems.
- The District avoids unnecessary costs by maintaining the physical plant on a regular basis, completing projects as needed and proactively, before further maintenance might be required.
- The District has adopted purchasing policies and procedures that are reviewed during each budget cycle. These policies provide for the competitive bidding procedures and establish purchasing thresholds for buying equipment, supplies and services.
Specifically, this approach has allowed costs to its customers to remain minimal. A few of the innovations that the District has been instrumental in improving plant efficiency and keep costs down are:
Back in the 1960s, the treatment plant site was somewhat restricted and without possibilities of future expansion. One space-saving concept was to construct one integrated secondary process element that could be duplicated three more times in the future as capacity was needed. The integrated unit was a 65-foot-diameter secondary clarifier surrounded by four aeration tanks, all within an 80-foot-diameter circle. The system was an Inka aeration system, which saved space, but also, because of the extensive use of common walls, proved to be quite inexpensive to construct. This system was not typically used in the 1960’s and it provided “cutting edge” technology at a reasonable price.
Another innovation of the original wastewater treatment plant was the construction of a primary and secondary digester, both within a single tank 70 feet in diameter. The center compartment was separated by a 50-foot-diameter steel dividing wall which provided a primary digester tank, with the circular, annular compartment becoming a secondary digester. The center, primary digester was provided with a Pirovortx mixing system, which at the time was one of the earliest such mixing systems in use. This system, which Kennedy/Jenks Consultants invented and had patents on, has proved to be probably the most effective of any digester mixing system. As plant flow capacity began to exceed its limitations, the plant decided to change its process from that of activated sludge to a fixed film reactor (trickling filter or FFR). This new technology allowed the plant to expand to twice its capacity and meet the local Regional Water Quality Control Board and EPA standards with ease. The results of this innovative technology resulted in an energy savings of 50% and effectiveness of BOD/SS reductions far beyond what the had been hoped to achieve.
By solving today's challenges with new technologies, the District is capable of continuing its long history of meeting our water pollution control objectives and waste discharge requirements.The District continues to learn from its past and continue to move forward with today’s innovations that are based upon sound science and engineering that brings solutions to the challenges we face concerning the best technology for wastewater treatment that will carry us into the future.
We are very proud of the job we do and take pride in providing our customers with this quality service and sound technology.