A ‘Utility of the Future (UOTF)’ is defined by clean water utility leaders pioneering innovative technologies and cutting-edge practices, with a focus on resource recovery, efficiency and sustainability.
Our pursuit in being a “Utility of the Future” means we continue to embrace innovative, new technologies just as we have since the beginning. Innovative wastewater treatment plants like ours rely on the best practices which model Mother Nature’s successful balance in creating clean water while reclaiming water resources. Some of our practices go back hundreds or thousands of years, such as using gravity to both move water through the system and to settle out solids to stabilize in lagoons.
Other processes we use rely on new technology to treat the wastewater, like our bio-augmentation pilot project where we we’re adding specific types of cultured bacteria to the beginning of the process to minimize the impact that certain chemicals have on our biological treatment process. Another innovative pilot project starting in the fall of 2018 involves a partnership with UCSB to determine how much more energy we might be able to generate by adding some of UCSB’s food waste to our anaerobic digesters. This pilot project also showcases the power of partnerships. These are just a few examples of how we are constantly innovating in order to improve the quality of our water at the lowest possible cost. Our long range goal is to recover and generate enough alternative energy onsite to be completely energy self-sufficient. This energy self-sufficiency is one way we are working for the betterment of our community while protecting the environment.