SOCWA has four primary program areas – wastewater treatment, industrial waste management, ocean monitoring and recycled water permitting. These programs are designed to guard the natural environment and provide an efficient way to manage water. Select the programs below for more information.


Fundamental to guarding the environment is SOCWA’s treatment of the water that runs down the drain from your sink, shower, washing machine or dishwasher, or water that flushes down your toilet. SOCWA also accepts into its treatment plants some water that is diverted from storm drainage systems. We call this water “dry weather runoff” because it originates from over-watering and other outdoor uses of water. The runoff water diverted into the sewer systems comes into the wastewater treatment plants and is treated to a standard that protects local beaches and waterways.


SOCWA has the regional responsibility to hold the permits that apply to the use of recycled water in certain areas of South Orange County. This allows for coordination among various agencies that have customers using recycled water. Among the initiatives important to the use of recycled water is the update of the Salt and Nutrient Management Plan, which sets standards for assessing the impact of the use of recycled water on groundwater, among other items.


SOCWA’s wastewater is discharged through two ocean outfalls two miles offshore. We constantly monitor the coastline of South Orange County to keep our beaches clear of health or environmental risks.


SOCWA’s Industrial Waste Management Program empowers industrial users to be proactive about their wastewater and help protect the environment and sewer systems.