Click to Home
Go To Search
Urban Forest
San Jose Home
Historic ground-breaking of the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility in 1956San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility History
  • 1880s - The City of San José constructs a simple sewage system that takes untreated wastewater into the Bay.
  • 1940s - Indoor plumbing grew among Americans, generating more wastewater.
  • 1946 - The federal Water Pollution Control Act passes in response to the increase in wastewater contaminating the nation's waters. It was the first federal law to regulate water pollution.
  • 1950 - Santa Clara County recommends two separate collection systems for stormwater and wastewater to reduce the amount of water requiring treatment.
  • 1954 - The City of San José annexes land at the southern Bay and purchased bufferlands for the Plant site.
  • 1956 - The City of San José constructs the Plant with only primary treatment facilities designed to treat organic waste from canneries.
  • 1959 - The City of Santa Clara helps fund upgrades, gaining an approximate 20 percent ownership.
  • 1964 - The Plant expands to include secondary treatment to meet state regulations and accommodate a growing population.
  • 1960s & 1970s - City of Milpitas, Cupertino Sanitary District, and the West Valley Sanitation District join.
  • 1972 - The Clean Water Act is enacted to eliminate all discharged pollutants by 1985. The focus is to limit pollution levels in the water and regulate pollution at the source.
  • 1979 - The Plant expands to include tertiary treatment to meet Clean Water Act regulations.
  • 1998 - The South Bay Water Recycling facility and pipeline is constructed.
  • 2006 - The Plant celebrates 50 years of service.
  • 2008 - Plant Master Plan launches to plan the next 30 years.
  • 2013 - Plant Master Plan Environmental Impact Report scheduled to be completed. In the summer the Plant is renamed to San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility.