The Operations Section is responsible for the day to day operation of the Water Reclamation Plant. The Operations Section is staffed by twenty-four highly trained wastewater treatment plant operators who are certified by the State of California Water Resources Control Board. The primary objective of the team of certified operators is to control the processes which are used to treat the raw wastewater received at the Water Reclamation Plant. A variety of treatment processes are used to filter the wastewater to meet or exceed the discharge requirements included in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit issued by the State of California. These processes include:
Preliminary Treatment: The initial treatment step which is designed to remove large particles and debris from the wastewater through the use of Bar Screens and Grit Chambers. This process helps prevent damage from occurring to expensive pumps and other in plant equipment.
Primary Clarification: This step involves the use of large circular retention basins to separate the settleable and floatable solids from the wastewater. Gravity and retention time are used to complete the separation process.
Activated Sludge: This step includes the initiation of a biological process used to oxidize ammonia contained in the wastewater. The ammonia contained in the wastewater is extremely harmful to aquatic life. Ammonia is an inorganic pollutant that enters the waste stream is generated from human waste and places a heavy oxygen demand on receiving waters. The wastewater which enters the aeration basins is injected with dissolved oxygen by means of powerful process blowers. In the presence of dissolved oxygen, ammonia is biologically oxidized to its less toxic form of nitrate.
Secondary Clarification: This step is very similar to the system used in primary clarification. This process uses gravity and retention time to settle out additional particulates from the wastewater. Polymer is added to the wastewater during this process to assist in the removal of smaller particulate material which is not removed in the primary clarification process.
Solids Handling: Solids material removed during the earlier treatment processes is dewatered by means of a centrifuge unit and belt press. The remaining bio solids are hauled offsite to an approved disposal location.
Tertiary Treatment: This step is completed offsite at the Rapid Infiltration/Extraction facility. This process involves the discharge of treated wastewater received from the Water Reclamation Plant into a series of retention basins to naturally filter the waste water. The wastewater percolates through the sand media located in the basins and is rapidly extracted. The extracted water is removed of smaller particulate material in addition to harmful/pathogenic organisms.
Disinfection: This is the final step of the treatment process. Wastewater extracted from the Rapid Infiltration/Extraction retention basins is pumped through a series of channels which house banks of ultra-violet lamps. The radiation emitted from the ultra-violet lamps disinfects the wastewater. This process alters the ability of harmful micro-organisms to reproduce and thereby prevents any micro-organisms from being discharged to the receiving waters.