Before the establishment of the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA), each community in the Monterey Bay area operated their own sewage treatment plant. Coastal communities discharged directly into the Monterey Bay with relatively short outfall pipes. (Additional information can be found on the MRWPCA History page.)
By 1983, several phased construction projects were completed to connect communities to MRWPCA's Regional Treatment Plant. This utilized the previous treatment plants as pumping stations, which were connected to one of 3 interceptor pipelines. The projects also included a 60-inch diameter outfall pipeline extending 2 miles into the Monterey Bay.
Today, MRWPCA operates and maintains 25 pump stations, 35 pressure-vacuum stations, approximately 30 miles of pipeline from each pump station to the Regional Treatment Plant. To learn more about the wastewater treatment process visit the Turning Wastewater Into Safe Water page.
Each pump station is equipped with remote sensors and control capability, which increases reliability while reducing emergency response time and costs. Most pump stations also have electrical generators to keep working even during power outages. Field maintenance teams perform frequent checks on each station to ensure pumps are in good condition and system alarms are operable.
Facility construction was funded by federal and state grants. The Regional Treatment Plant represents an investment of approximately $150 million: $48 million for the connecting interceptors and pump stations; $28 million for the 60-inch diameter outfall line; and $74 million for the Regional Treatment Plant. Regional Treatment Plant operation and maintenance costs are funded by property owners through bi-monthly billings. See how MRWPCA minimizes rates.