In 2001, South Coast Water District and nine other agencies and cities formed the South Orange County Wastewater Authority, or SOCWA, to treat and dispose of wastewater on a regional basis. SOCWA operates two wastewatrer treatment plants which work in conjunction with SCWD to remove approximately 4 million gallons of wastewater a day for treatment.
Serving the Northern part of the District is the Coastal Treatment Plant, located in Aliso Canyon, Laguna Niguel, with the capacity to treat 6.7 million gallons a day.
Serving the Southern part of the District is the J. B. Latham Plant, located in Dana Point with the capacity to treat 13 million gallons a day.
To reach these plants, SCWD employs 140 miles of sewer main lines ranging from 6 inches to 24 inches in diameter, 14 sewer lift stations, 3 miles of force mains and more than 3,800 manholes leading down into the system. Wastewater then undergoes pre-treatment, primary treatment and secondary treatment, before it safely enters the ocean miles offshore through a pipeline. The treated wastewater meets the quality standards of the Federal Clean Water Act for offshore discharge.
Zero sewer spills is our standard and spill prevention is backed through ongoing planning, maintenance, repair, and capital improvements to facilities. View a full list of our current projects here or learn more about wastewater in our FAQs. Local businesses are welcomed and encouraged to participate in our The Drain is Not a Dump program, which aims to eliminate grease and oils from our sewer lines.