UC Merced produces wastewater that is transported via the campus sewer system, without treatment, to the City of Merced Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). Campus wastewater is collected from restrooms, sinks, laboratories, dark rooms, shops, and dining hall kitchens. The City regulates what may be discharged, to ensure proper treatment before discharge to Hartley Slough, and eventually, the San Joaquin River. The City treatment plant utilizes physical methods (screening and settling), a microbial process, and a disinfection step to purify the water it receives. Toxic materials in wastewater will damage the treatment plant's working microbial population and will pass through the plant without being treated.
UC Merced works towards ensuring that the wastewater produced is free of toxic materials and that the sewer system is managed in accordance with state and local ordinances, rules, and regulations.
Sewer System Management Plan (SSMP)
UC Merced has developed and implemented a Sewer System Management Plan (SSMP) to comply with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Waste Discharge Requirements for Sanitary Sewer Systems Water Quality Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ (WDR). The purpose of the SSMP is to prevent and mitigate Sewer System Overflows (SSO). The WDRs require covered entities to prepare and implement a SSMP in order to:
- Provide a plan and schedule to operate and maintain the sanitary sewer system at their regulated location
- Prevent infiltration/inflow (I/I) into the sanitary sewerage from non-sanitary sources
- Prevent sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) into the environment
- Report and mitigate any SSOs that do occur
Accidental Discharge and Wastewater Monitoring
Wastewater must be discharged to the sanitary sewer and never to the campus storm drain system. Unpermitted wastewater discharges, such as those caused by an emergency failure, must be immediately reported to the EH&S Environmental Programs Manager, who may need to notify the City before the discharge reaches the treatment plant.
Rules, Regulations, and Policies
- Sanitary Sewer Systems General Order
- City of Merced Municipal Code, Title 15, Division 1 – Sewer System
- Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 40: Protection of Environment
- Sanitary Sewer Management Plan (SSMP)
- City of Merced Public Works Department Waste Treatment Facility
- Handling Sewage and Fecal Matter Safely
- US EPA: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)