Picture Perfect Wastewater Treatment

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Courtesy of Alfa Laval

At first, Hollywood and wastewater treatment may seem like an unlikely pair. But the City of San Diego Metropolitan Wastewater Department’s (MWWD) Metro Biosolids Center (MBC) is an uncommon place.

From serving as a two-time movie set to winning awards for striking architectural design, the MBC has been recognized as an industry leader in creative thinking, community involvement and environmental responsibility.

The MWWD includes several facilities interconnected through an elaborate pipeline system, including the MBC, the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant and the North City Water Reclamation Plant. Completed in 1998, the MBCwas designed with an artistic flair not commonly associated with government departments. Older MWWD
buildings have been renovated to reflect a similar sensibility, integrating the buildings into the communities they serve.

A real powerhouse

The MWWD’s real strength extends far beyond its facilities’ good looks.

The MWWD serves a 450- square-mile area in Greater San Diego. Two million people from 16 cities and districts generate up to 680,000 cubic metres (180 million gallons) of wastewater daily. The plant handles this challenge
with ease. In the process, it not only generates enough power to be entirely self-sufficient, but excess power is sold to the local energy grid, offsetting operating costs and making a positive environmental impact on the community.

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