The City of Beaumont, California operates a wastewater treatment plant to manage and treat the wastewater generated by the city's residents and businesses. The plant plays a crucial role in ensuring the protection of public health and the environment by effectively treating and disposing of wastewater in a safe and responsible manner.
Purpose: The primary purpose of the plant is to treat domestic and industrial wastewater before it is released back into the environment. The treatment process removes contaminants and pollutants from the wastewater to make it safe for disposal or reuse.
Treatment Process: The wastewater treatment plant in Beaumont employs a multi-step process to treat the wastewater. The typical treatment steps include:
- Preliminary Treatment: Large solids, such as debris and grit, are removed through physical processes like screening and grit chambers.
- Primary Treatment: In this stage, the wastewater is settled in large tanks, allowing solids to settle to the bottom as sludge, while lighter materials float to the top. The separated sludge is later treated separately.
- Secondary Treatment: The remaining wastewater undergoes biological treatment, where microorganisms break down organic matter and nutrients through aeration and mixing processes. This stage helps to further purify the water.
- Tertiary Treatment: If necessary, an additional treatment stage called tertiary treatment may be employed. Tertiary treatment involves advanced processes like filtration and disinfection to remove any remaining impurities and pathogens.
Compliance and Regulations: The wastewater treatment plant operates in compliance with federal, state, and local regulations to ensure that the treated water meets specific quality standards before it is discharged or reused. These regulations help protect water bodies and maintain ecological balance.
Environmental Impact: The wastewater treatment plant's operations aim to minimize its environmental impact. By treating the wastewater properly, the plant helps prevent pollution of nearby water sources, such as rivers, streams, or groundwater. Additionally, the treatment process often produces byproducts such as biosolids, which can be further treated and reused as fertilizers or converted into renewable energy sources.
Reuse and Disposal: After treatment, the wastewater can be discharged into a nearby water body if it meets the required quality standards. Alternatively, treated wastewater can be reused for various non-potable purposes like irrigation, industrial processes, or groundwater recharge, depending on local regulations and infrastructure availability.
To provide a consistent, statewide regulatory approach to reduce Sanitary Sewer Spills, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted Statewide General Waste Discharge requirements for Sanitary Sewer Systems, Water Quality Order No. 2022-0103-DWQ on Dec 6, 2022. This requires public agencies that own or operate sanitary sewer systems (consisting of one mile or ore of system pipelines) to develop and implement Sewer System Management Plans to reduce/eliminate spills. See link below for Beaumont's Sewer System Management Plan.
What does a wastewater treatment plant do?
Treatment plants remove impurities contained in wastewater so that the treated wastewater can be safely returned to the environment. This same purification process occurs in nature to break down wastewater into its most basic components of carbon dioxide and water. Common methods of treatment include physical, biological, and chemical treatment to stabilize the water.
Where does the water go once it’s treated?
Environmental regulations developed by the State Water Resources Control Board and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service require the discharge of a portion of our treated water to Cooper’s Creek for continued beneficial use by riparian habitat. The remaining highly treated recycled water can be transferred to our water agency partners who may use it for the irrigation of parks, golf courses, and other landscaping needs, as well as use for groundwater recharge projects.
2023 Sewer Service Study
The management and treatment of wastewater is a critical aspect of maintaining a clean and sustainable environment. Recently, the city initiated a comprehensive Wastewater Cost of Service Study to evaluate and revise the existing pricing structure and policies surrounding wastewater services. This endeavor aims to promote efficiency, fairness, and long-term sustainability for both the city and its residents.
On May 30, 2023, the Beaumont City Council held a workshop to review the results of a Sewer Service Study. The Study recommended increasing sewer rates to meet the revenue requirements of the Sewer Enterprise Fund in light of projected increasing expenditures. The City of Beaumont will conduct a public hearing on August 15, 2023, at 6:00 p.m., in the City Council Chambers, located at 550 E. 6th Street, to consider proposed adjustments to the rates charged for sewer service. If approved by the City Council, the increases will take effect on September 1, 2023, with subsequent annual increases on July 1, 2024, through July 1, 2027. The public hearing will be conducted at the time, date, and location specified above. All members of the public are invited to attend the hearing. This notice is being sent to all record owners of property upon which the proposed increased sewer rates will be imposed and any tenants who are directly liable for the payment of such rates (that is, customers of record who are not property owners). The presentation, list of Capital Improvement Projects and the Proposition 218 letter, which is mailed out to properties in the City is linked below:
*Proposition 218: In 1996, California voters approved Proposition 218, which amended the state constitution as it relates to the passage of property-related fees such as sewer rates. Proposition 218 requires that local governments follow a strictly defined process for setting fees.. Proposed rate increases are subject to a “majority protest.” This means that a proposed rate increase will not be passed if a majority of property owners (or tenants who are directly liable for the payment of the rates), submit written and signed protests opposing the increase.
Please remember to not flush anything other than the 3 P’s (pee, poo and toilet paper).Avoid sewer backups and protect your pipes. Dispose of these items in the trash and NOT the toilet.
- Disinfecting wipes
- Baby wipes
- Paper towels
- Facial tissue
Many of these products are marketed as flushable, but often times are not compatible with sewer systems and infrastructure. Other products are not intended to be flushed but end up being improperly disposed of in the toilet. Wipes can catch on tree roots and accumulate with fats, oils and grease and become large obstructions in the pipes. Further down the line, they weave together and create giant rags which get stuck in pumps, collection systems, and motors, causing backups and equipment failures.
F.O.G. Buildup is Dangerous to You and the Environment
F.O.G. is not broken down by garbage disposals. When you pour F.O.G. down your kitchen sink, it enters the sewer system where it cools and eventually congeals into a solid “ball” of grease. These balls cause blockages in the sewer system, posing dangerous health and environmental risks and increasing costs for you, the customer. Blockages in the sewer system can cause raw sewage to back up into your home or your neighbors’ homes. Blockages also and spill into creeks, rivers, and streams, causing significant environmental damage.
Preventing Problems from Fats, Oils and Grease Buildup
Never pour fats, oils or grease in sink drains or toilets. You can prevent F.O.G by following these simple tips:
- SCRAPE grease solids directly into a lined trash can.
- POUR cooled liquid grease into a sealed container.
- WIPE the remaining grease and debris with a paper towel and throw in the trash.