Wastewater Division

The Wastewater Division of the Public Works Department is responsible for operating and maintaining the City's sewer collection system and  Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The Wastewater Division staff poses State certifications in wastewater treatment and collection system operation to ensure professional operation of the City's Plant and sewer system.
Wastewater Treatment Plant

Sewer Collection System

The City of Solvang sewer collection system consists of over 20 miles of sewer pipeline ranging in size from 6" diameter to 18" diameter.  The City operates our sewer collection system under a Permit issued by the Regional Water Quality Control Board.  The sewer collection system is comprised of sewer lines, access manholes, and customer laterals.  The Wastewater Division also operates and maintains two sewer lift (pumping) stations.  Most sewer manholes are located within the paved roadway with covers (or lids) that are flush with the road surface.  The manhole covers are cast iron discs ranging in size from 24" to 48" in diameter.

The Wastewater Division takes a proactive approach to maintaining our sewer collection system and implements an aggressive and comprehensive cleaning program.  Sewer lines throughout the City are cleaned on a regular basis by use of special hydraulic jetting equipment that removes blockages and flushes the lines.  The Wastewater Division maintains and periodically updates our Sewer System Management Plan to ensure smooth operation of our sewer collection system.  View most current Sewer System Management Plan (PDF).

Wastewater Treatment Plant


The City of Solvang operates a Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) type Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) with a design capacity of 1.5 million gallons per day (MGD).  The WWTP operates under a Waste Discharge Permit issued by the Regional Water Quality Control Board.  The WWTP currently receives and treats wastewater from the City of Solvang and the Santa Ynez Community Services District (SYCSD) which serves the town of Santa Ynez.  The SYCSD owns 0.30 MGD capacity in the Solvang WWTP.  The Plant provides full secondary treatment of the wastewater received.  The WWTP discharges treated wastewater to percolation ponds located adjacent to the Plant.  The Plant is staffed by six City employees: the Wastewater Division Supervisor, four Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators, and the Collection System Operator.

Feel free to contact our Wastewater Division staff Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., at (805) 688-6997, or by email if you have any questions about the Solvang WWTP.

Fats, Oils & Grease Program


The Wastewater Division implements a Fats, Oils & Grease (source control) Program to educate business owners and the public, and to limit the amount of fats, oils and grease discharged to the public sewer system and Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Our source control program has proven to be extremely effective in the preservation of both our collection system and Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

Problems and Questions


See below for guidance on common questions or problems.

Questions on Your Sewer Bill


For questions on your sewer bill please see the "Utilities" section of the City's web site.  If your questions are not answered there you may contact the City's Utility Billing Clerk at (805) 688-5575.

Backed Up Plumbing/Plugged Sewer


Do you have a plugged sewer lateral (customer line)?  Customer sewer laterals extend from the customer's house or building all the way to the sewer main in the street.  Customers are responsible for the operation and maintenance of their entire sewer lateral including that portion within the public right-of-way.  Contact a local plumber for assistance.  Also, we recommend customers consider installing a "clean-out" near their front property line or near the front of their house if one does not exist.

Bubbles or Noise from your House Plumbing


Sewer lines throughout the City are cleaned on a regular basis by our Wastewater Division staff, and they use high pressure hydraulic jetting equipment to remove blockages and flush the lines.  Occasionally, a customers private plumbing P-traps and vents are not working properly.  In this case the jetting performed by the City may send air and water up the private sewer lateral creating noises and/or bubbles in the customers toilets.  Generally this does not damage the customers private plumbing facilities.  Feel free to call the Wastewater Division staff at (805) 688-6997 if you have any questions or concerns.

Customer Sewer Lateral location


Customer sewer laterals extend from the customer's house or building all the way to the sewer main in the street.  Unfortunately, the City's Record Drawings (as-built drawings) for our sewer collection system do not record the locations of customer sewer laterals.  However, some houses and buildings do have a sewer "clean-out" located in the front between the structure and the street.  You can look for a "clean-out" to locate your customer sewer lateral.