South Orange County Wastewater Authority’s mission is to collect, treat, beneficially reuse and dispose of wastewater in a manner that protects and respects the environment, maintains the public’s health, and meets local, state and federal regulations.


SOCWA was created on July 1, 2001 to facilitate and manage the collection, transmission, treatment and disposal of wastewater for more than 500,000 homes and businesses across South Orange County. SOCWA also manages production of recycled water for irrigation and commercial uses, which saves approximately 1.6 billion gallons of domestic water each year that otherwise would be used for those purposes, which is equivalent to 16,259 acre feet of water.

SOCWA is a Joint Powers Authority with ten member agencies, consisting of local retail water agencies and cities that provide water to their residents. It operates three treatment plants and two ocean outfalls, in addition to multiple programs to meet the needs of its member agencies and the requirements of the Clean Water Act and applicable National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.

SOCWA has no taxing authority. All of the funding for SOCWA comes directly from the rates and charges of the member agencies.