Environmental Safeguards


As a regional body representing many jurisdictions, the Metro Wastewater JPA is proactively addressing many environmental issues, including:

  • Water Quality - The JPA is focused not only on wastewater treatment but the safest discharge of treated effluent that protects our coastal resources, local economy and quality of life. Currently the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant provides advanced primary treatment of wastewater discharged into the ocean. OPRA (Ocean Protection Reduction Act) legislation requires secondary treatment but the City of San Diego has had a modified permit for several years, permitting the continued use of advanced primary treatment. Although this has been called more than adequate to protect the ocean environment by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and elsewhere, it is doubtful that future waivers will be granted by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) after the current permit expires in 2008. If San Diego is required to go to secondary treatment, several technologies will be considered, including BAF (biological aerated filters) and membrane bioreactors.

  • Binational Involvement - The JPA has been a consistent advocate of finding binational solutions to the persistent problem of cross-border contamination. We have sent messages of support on a number of border-related issues and requested increased funding for border agencies. The current International Wastewater Treatment Plant (IWTP) at San Ysidro does not have the infrastructure or capacity to capture or treat all cross-border contamination that reaches the ocean, especially during heavy rains. The JPA is a staunch advocate for completion of secondary treatment of discharges from the IWTP South Bay Ocean Outfall and supports the International Boundary & Water Commission's implementation of comprehensive solutions to the problem of cross-border sewage flows.

  • City of San Diego Water ReUse Study

    The Water Department of the City of San Diego is conducting an ongoing Water ReUse Study. Each month it issues updates through an electronic newsletter. E-mail to: WaterReuseStudy@SanDiego.gov.

    Reverse Osmosis Has A Variety Of Water Treatment Uses

    Reverse osmosis (R/O) can be used in several ways to purify water – for advanced treatment to tertiary level recycled water, seawater desalination and for groundwater demineralization or desalination.

    Australian City Considering Reservoir Augmentation Project

    The Queensland, Australia, city of Toowoomba is proposing a reservoir augmentation project that would produce three million gallons of advanced treated recycled water per day.

    Recycled Water Pipeline Installation Passes Halfway Mark

    The Otay Water District’s construction of a six-mile long pipeline connecting the South Bay Water Reclamation Plant to the Otay Water District’s recycled water distribution system is more than 50% completed.

    Recycled Water Customer Focus – University of California, San Diego

    The University of California, San Diego campus in La Jolla has been using City of San Diego recycled water since 1998. Athletic fields are some of the areas on campus irrigated with water from the North City Water Reclamation Plant.

    In the News

    Links to current newspaper and industry information are compiled specifically for E-Update readers.