Array of Comments Posted on Draft Discharge Permit for Sacramento Plant

Public comments on proposed new discharge requirements for the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant are available on the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s website.

More than 85 comment letters from local businesses, individuals, state and federal agencies, elected officials, water agencies, agricultural organizations and other groups around the state have been posted in advance of a public hearing set for Dec. 8-10.

ACWA is among the organizations urging the regional board to adopt a draft discharge permit that could require the Sacramento metropolitan area to reduce the amount of ammonia it discharges into the Sacramento River from its wastewater treatment plant.

According to background information provided by the regional board, the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District’s treatment plant near Freeport discharges about 141 million gallons per day of secondary-level treated wastewater. The discharge, which accounts for over 60% of all municipal wastewater discharged to the Delta, contains 14 tons per day of ammonia and is considered a major source of ammonia to the river and the Delta.

Recent studies have suggested that ammonia and other nutrients may be disrupting the food web in the environmentally troubled Delta, contributing to the decline in native fish populations such as Delta smelt.

The regional board has required all other large wastewater dischargers to the Delta to provide advanced treatment, including tertiary filtration and ammonia removal.

The hearing will be held at the regional board’s offices in Rancho Cordova. Details are available here.

ACWA’s comment letter is available here.