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Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility



Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility Environmental Documentation

The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility (ECWRF), referred to as the Water Recycling Facility and River Access Improvements EIR (State Clearinghouse #2001052089), was certified by the City of Petaluma in 2002. Subsequently, minor changes were made before and during construction of the treatment plant facilities, which were evaluated in four EIR Addenda dated April 2004, July 2005, February 2006, and April 2007. The original 2002 EIR and four subsequent Addendum are referred to as the “Certified EIR”.

ECWRF CEQA_2002 DraftEIR_Vol_1.pdf
ECWRF CEQA_2002 DraftEIR_Vol_2.pdf
ECWRF CEQA_2002 FinalEIR.pdf
ECWRF CEQA_EIR Addendum 2004.pdf
ECWRF CEQA_EIR Addendum 2005.pdf
ECWRF CEQA_EIR Addendum 2006.pdf
ECWRF CEQA_EIR Addendum 2007.pdf

Wastewater Collection

Petaluma’s wastewater utility provides 24-hour collection, treatment, disposal and reuse of domestic, commercial and industrial wastewater generated by Petaluma and the unincorporated Sonoma County community of Penngrove. The wastewater collection system is the underground piping that transports raw (untreated) wastewater from businesses and residences to the treatment plant. The collection system consists of more than 195 miles of sewer collection pipes and nine pump stations. Through a continuous inspection program, problem areas are identified using three (3) remote control TV cameras that are inserted through the main pipelines. Repairs or cleaning are initiated based on inspection results. Cleaning is done with the use of high pressure water jet vacuum trucks.


Wastewater Treatment and Reuse
Collected wastewater is conveyed to the City’s Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility located at 3890 Cypress Drive and adjacent to Lakeville Highway on the east side of the city. The Ellis Creek facility has been fully operational since July 2009, and replaces the original 70 year-old wastewater treatment facility on Hopper Street.

The Ellis Creek facility treats about 5 million gallons of the community’s wastewater each day. The wastewater is treated to meet increasingly stringent federal water quality regulations using a unique combination of modern wastewater technology and natural wetland treatment processes. In the winter, highly treated wastewater is introduced back to the Petaluma River.


View the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility Schematic.


The Ellis Creek facility produces high-quality recycled water through advanced treatment, filtration and ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection. Recycled water is used on-site for landscape irrigation, fire protection, plant-process-water and toilet flushing. Recycled water is used within the City to offset potable water for irrigation of city parks and two golf courses. Recycled water is also used for irrigation of vineyards and other agricultural lands. Methane gas produced in the treatment process is used as fuel for the treatment plant boiler, thus reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.


More information on the recycled water program is available here.

Part of the wastewater treatment process is the use of polishing wetlands, which are a low-cost way to use natural treatment processes to remove nutrients and metals from the wastewater. Recycled water has already received two stages of treatment before reaching the wetlands. The wetlands are home to a wide range of wildlife including pelicans, egrets, herons, sandpipers, Red-tailed hawks, western pond turtles and marsh wrens.



Over four miles of walking trails, which ring the facility’s polishing wetlands, are open to the public. A connecting trail leads to the Shollenberger Park trails. Starting from the Sheraton Hotel, hikers can now take advantage of over seven miles of trails between Alman Marsh, Shollenberger Park, and the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility trails. There is ample parking at the entrance to the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility at Cypress Drive.


For more information, view the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility Brochure.

Construction: Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility operational in 2009
Treatment Capacity: 6.7 million gallons per day average dry weather flow
Level of Treatment: disinfected secondary and tertiary
Pumping Stations: nine
Miles of collection pipeline: 195
Annual amount of wastewater treated: 2,000 million gallons


Contact Information

Director, Public Works and Utilities
Dan St. John, F.ASCE
202 N. McDowell Blvd
Petaluma, CA 94954
Phone: 707-778-4546
Fax: 707.206.6034
Email: dstjohn@ci.petaluma.ca.us

Administrative Offices
202 North McDowell Blvd.
Petaluma, CA 94954
Phone: 707.778.4546
Fax: 707.206.6034
Email: water@ci.petaluma.ca.us
Hours: 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Monday - Friday

Utility Billing
11 English Street
Petaluma, CA 94952
Phone: 707.778.4350
Hours: 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Monday – Thursday

Water, Sewer, or Storm Water Emergency
Phone: 707.778.4546

Water Conservation
Phone: 707.778.4507
Email: conservation@ci.petaluma.ca.us

Report Water Waste

Field Office
202 N. McDowell
Petaluma, CA 94954
Phone: 707.776.3777