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About the Wastewater Enterprise

 Map of the Sewer System in San Francisco

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The Mission of our Wastewater Enterprise (WWE) is to operate and maintain the City's water pollution control plants, pumping stations and collection system in full compliance with our Discharge Permits to protect public health and the environment. The WWE maintains the 900 mile long combined sewer system and 17 pump stations that collects sewage and storm water, moving the wastewater to the three treatment plants for treatment and discharge to the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean.

Wastewater Enterprise is committed to the principles of quality service and environmental stewardship, as outlined in the WWE mission statement:

  • Ensure reliability and optimize the life-cycle of physical assets
  • Comply with all applicable laws, regulations, permits and policies relating to wastewater and stormwater
  • Protect, recover, conserve and reuse resources
  • Advance business practices through optimization, coordination, communication and accountability
  • Forecast, communicate and manage funding for Enterprise operational and capital needs
  • Recruit develop and retain a motivated, diverse and highly qualified and supported workforce to ensure effective services
  • Ensure the safety and security of personnel and facilities, and maintain emergency response capabilities
  • Promote strong customer service and ethic
  • Foster constructive relationships with neighborhoods contribute to the community and promote local employment, training and business opportunities.

The city under The City

These miles of pipes and facilities create a “city under the City” for the City’s sewage and stormwater to journey through as it is pumped, treated, and discharged 365 days a year. Many parts of this system are aging and in need of upgrades. San Francisco is in dire need of fixing our 100-year old sewer system because vital infrastructure is failing and beyond repair, threatening public health. After eight years of public input and feedback along with in-depth analysis of long-term sewer capital projects, we are now moving forward with a plan to upgrade, replace, and seismically retrofit this aging system. This plan is the Sewer System Improvement Program (SSIP) a citywide investment to upgrade failing infrastructure and ensure the reliability and performance of our sewer system, now and in the future.

San Francisco’s Award-Winning Sewer Programs

San Francisco is the only major coastal city in California that operates a city-wide combined sewer system that collects and treats both sewage and stormwater. Our Water Pollution Program works to keep pollutants from entering the City’s sewer system and ultimately the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean. Some of the award-winning programs are “Only Rain Down the Drain” a curbside public education placard, Dental Mercury Reduction that reduces dental amalgam waste and implementation of Pollution Prevention Guidelines for homes and businesses in the City. Our facilities and many programs have received both state and national recognition from agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Association of Clean Water Agencies and California Water Environment Association.

Learn about the sewer system collection and treatment process here.


Last updated: 5/19/2016 2:56:47 PM