During the 1950s, a centralized wastewater treatment facility did not exist in the Conejo Valley. Yet, the need for such a facility was acute, as the use of septic tanks, the most common method of waste disposal, was unable to meet the needs of the rapidly growing community. Because of this, the Conejo Valley Sanitary Company, a subsidiary of the Janss Corporation, constructed a small treatment plant in 1961. The City of Thousand Oaks was incorporated in 1964. With new housing and business developments, waste disposal continued to be a major challenge.
The Janss Corporation's decision to purchase the Hill Canyon site was an excellent one. Because of the topography of the City, wastewater can flow by gravity through two main lines into the treatment plant. Only a very small portion of the City's wastewater needs to be pumped. That decision has saved City residents millions of dollars in avoided electrical costs and the pollution associated with its generation. It represents one of the first great environmental decisions made for the City.
On July 1, 1966, backed by a voter-approved bond, the City of Thousand Oaks purchased the Conejo Valley Sanitary Company and with it, the Hill Canyon Wastewater Treatment Plant (HCTP). This facility provides treatment for wastewater from about 90 percent of the City. Wastewater generated in the Westlake portion of the City is collected and treated by the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. Both treatment plants operate under similar National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits.
The City's Public Works Department, Utilities Division, is responsible for the planning, administration, operation, and maintenance of the wastewater collection and interceptor systems, as well as HCTP. Structured as an enterprise function of the City, revenues for the Division's activities are funded by existing and new system users through service and connection charges.
HCTP is a 14 million gallon a day capacity advanced tertiary wastewater treatment plant. HCTP currently treats an average of 8 million gallons of wastewater per day generated from its domestic, commercial, and industrial customers. By the time treated water is discharged to a fork of the Calleguas Creek, it is completely suitable for reclamation and is low in nitrogen and crystal clear in appearance.
This treatment includes screening, grit removal, clarification, nutrient removal, secondary clarification, multi-media filtration, disinfection, and dechlorination.
This effort occurs 24/7/365, and the positive environmental results can be viewed all along the Calleguas Creek.
HCTP staff is committed to environmental excellence, economy, efficiency, conservation, optimization, and renewable energy generation. HCTP is viewed by its City Council as more than just a wastewater treatment plant, it is an important community financial and environmental asset.
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