Some of SOCWA’s highly treated wastewater must be discharged miles offshore through two ocean outfalls (basically, large pipes). This process requires SOCWA to hold a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, which are issued by the Regional Water Quality Control Board. The NPDES permit is among the nation’s strictest and includes dozens of rules and regulations.
While SOCWA holds the NPDES permits, it is truly a regional partnership. Effectively all South County wastewater that must be discharged into the ocean utilizes SOCWA’s outfall and permits.