About a decade ago, Novato Sanitary District took up the challenge of rebuilding every part of the sanitary system to meet strict new quality standards. A great deal of progress has been made on the three-part upgrade program with the completion of the new treatment plant, massive improvements to the sewer pipeline collection system, and kick off of our first lateral pilot program.
Major Upgrade Completed: THE TREATMENT PLANT
First priority was construction of the new, $90 million, advanced wastewater treatment plant. Completed in 2011, the facility has been phased into full operation.
Major Upgrade Underway: THE COLLECTION SYSTEM
Beginning around 2000, the District initiated sewer collection system master plan efforts for upgrades, improvements and maintenance needed for the approximately 250 miles of sewer pipelines, 40 pump stations and 6,000 manholes. Since then, the District has invested up to $5 million annually in upgrades and maintenance to the collection system. The upgrade program is anticipated to be an on-going effort (similar to painting the Golden Gate Bridge!), that the Novato community can be proud of as a role model for wastewater systems in the Bay Area.
Major Project Completed: RECYCLED WATER FACILITY
In 2013 the District (in collaboration with the North Marin Water District) completed and placed into operation a Recycled Water Facility. This facility produces up to 1.7 million gallons per day of tertiary treated recycled water that is compliant with Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR). This high quality recycled water offsets potable water use in Novato.
Next Major Challenge: LATERALS
The third leg of the program is to repair and upgrade private sewer lines that run from homes and buildings to the public sewer main in the street. There are more than 200 miles of laterals in Novato; and many are deteriorating and are a major factor in sewer overflows and spills.
Recognizing that it could take years to resolve the lateral problem, the District has been upsizing both its treatment plant and collection system improvements to handle high inflows of stormwater into damaged laterals. The expanded public sewers and treatment plant should accommodate inflows from damaged laterals until about 2025. This buys the District and the community time to design solutions and raise funds needed to repair private sewer laterals.