Wastewater Collection & Treatment
Wastewater originating from homes and businesses in the District’s service area flows into a system of pipes that convey the water to the treatment plant. The system handles flows from the cities of Temecula, Murrieta, and Wildomar. This system of pipes is referred to as the “collection system.” The collection system consists of 80 miles of pipes ranging from eight inches in diameter up to 24 inches in diameter. Most of the system flows by gravity to lift stations that raise the water to a higher level so that it can continue its journey to the reclamation facility. The system contains three lift stations.
Sewer Lateral Maintenance
Customers can protect their home from sewer system overflows. View the Residential Sewer Lateral Maintenance Pamphlet (PDF) for more information.
Fats, Oils & Grease
Customers can help keep the system flowing smoothly by not adding objects and substances that can block the drainage system. Fats, oils, and grease can solidify in the collection system and block pipes. For more information on fats, oils and grease, view our Fats, Oils and Grease Brochure (PDF).
Many personal hygiene wipes and cleaning products are marketed as being "flushable". But despite the confusing and misleading labels, you should never flush "flushable" or "disposable" products. No matter what a label says, the only items you should flush are human waste and toilet paper. Just because something disappears down your toilet doesn’t mean it won’t cause a problem in your sewer pipe or further down the line at wastewater treatment facilities. Items labeled as "flushable", "disposable", or "biodegradable" can get caught on roots in sewer pipes and contribute to blockages, backups, and overflows. Dispose of them in the trash, not the toilet.
Mercury is a naturally occurring element, exposure to which can affect the human nervous system, harm the brain, heart, kidneys, and immune system. If rinsed down the drain, the liquid metal will make its way to a wastewater treatment plant, which is not designed to remove toxic metals. As a result, some of that mercury will remain in the cleaned and disinfected wastewater that is discharged into receiving waters. That tiny amount of mercury sinks into the sediment. Bacteria and other natural processes transforms the mercury into methylmercury, which is easily absorbed by tiny plants and aquatic organisms in the water. From there, mercury begins its ascent through the food chain.
Wastewater agencies throughout California are working to reduce the amount of mercury that enters the environment through a variety of programs: household hazardous waste collection facilities, installation of mercury amalgam separators in dental practices, and mercury thermometer exchanges in high school and college chemistry labs.
Wastewater flows originating in the District service area are treated at the Santa Rosa Water Reclamation Facility in Murrieta. The treatment plant was constructed in 1989 and has the capacity to treat five million gallons of wastewater per day.
The plant uses a biological treatment process followed by chemical clarification, filtration, and disinfection to prepare the water for reuse. Laboratory tests are conducted daily to ensure that the water meets the State's standards for reclaimed water. The District's reclaimed water customers use virtually all of the treated water. In 2011, more than one billion gallons of water were treated and reused.
The Water Environment Federation provides a number of resources for the public to learn more about water reclamation.