by City staff
Most of us probably don’t think about what happens after we flush the toilet or wash something down the sink drain. “It” just goes away, somewhere – out of sight, out of mind.
In our community, that sewage (wastewater) is managed by Ventura Water which provides treatment services to more than 113,000 residents. Ventura Water also performs wastewater collection and treatment for McGrath State Beach Park and the North Coast Communities.
Ventura’s residences and businesses generate about 8 to 9 million gallons of wastewater per day, which is carried by more than 300 miles of sewer mains and 14 lift stations to the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility. This facility is a tertiary treatment plant, located in the Ventura Harbor area near the mouth of the Santa Clara River, where the river meets the Pacific Ocean.
Currently, following a three-step treatment process at the facility, most of the highly treated and disinfected wastewater is discharged into the estuary after flowing through a series of wildlife ponds with a retention time of about four days. A small percentage is made available as recycled water for two golf courses and landscape irrigation in the Harbor and Olivas Drive areas. In 2016, with the addition of a recycled water mobile reuse program, this valuable resource was further maximized for other beneficial uses such as residential landscape irrigation and construction site dust control mitigation measures.
Municipal sewer line systems are critical to public safety and environmental protection. These systems collect and transport sewage to the treatment facility.
As you would imagine, wastewater contains harmful constituents that can become a public health hazard and/or environmental problem if the raw sewage is not safely conveyed and treated. Efficient, updated sewage system infrastructure is essential to providing durable, reliable wastewater treatment and service for our community.
As a 150+ year-old city, Ventura’s infrastructure has some very outdated sewer systems where replacement isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. Recently, the City of Ventura’s Public Works Construction division completed the Front Street sewer line replacement project between Ash Street and Ann Street. This project replaced sewer pipes that were originally constructed in segments — with the earliest segments constructed in 1927 and the most recent completed in 1978. The City replaced approximately 1,500 linear feet of 8-inch diameter sewer pipes with new, wider capacity 15-inch sewer pipes. Throughout the construction period, nearby businesses continued to receive sewer service and remained open for their customers. (Thank you to the businesses and customers for their patience and understanding during this important construction work!)
You never really appreciate the City’s most important, yet unseen, infrastructure even though you use it daily. To support current and anticipated growth, the City will continue to make improvements to meet these needs and preserve the vitality of our community for generations to come!