This Division is responsible for the monitoring, reporting, testing and treatment of all wastewater for the City of Arcata including 11 wastewater pump stations, 55 acres of oxidation ponds and 154 acres of treatment marshes.

The California State Water Resources Control Board and the United States Environmental Protection Agency require the following programs:
  • Water quality testing including, but not limited to: Chlorine, coliform, biochemical oxygen demand, digester solids, pH, heavy metals, oil and grease, settable solids, sulfur dioxide, suspended solids and toxicity. These tests can occur on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual basis.
  • Comprehensive monitoring, permitting and disposal of the City's wastewater solids composition program.
  • Comprehensive monitoring and maintenance program for the 240 acres of the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sewer Overflow Reporting Program

The City of Arcata has implemented a Sewer Overflow Reporting Program. By promptly reporting an overflow, the City is able to minimize the impact to the environment. To report a sewer back-up or overflow, please call the Environmental Services Department at 707-822-8184. After hours, call the after-hours emergency number at 707-822-2424. Although the City inspects the sewer collection system every day, with over 60 miles of sewer pipe in the City's service area, the City needs the help of customers and citizens to find and report these problems when they occur. Additionally, the State Water Resources Control Board website displays all sanitary sewer overflows in our area and provides additional detail on such spills. Visit the website for more information.

Requirement for Sewer Lateral Testing to Reduce Inflow and Infiltration

To help protect the public sewer system from inflow and infiltration, which can lead to sewer overflows and other complications, the City introduced Ordinance 1461. This ordinance requires the inspection and testing of sewer laterals for buildings and homes for sale that are over 25 years or older when the property is being sold, when a major remodel ($30,000 and up) is planned, and for projects involving more than 2 new drainage fixture units. The Sewer Lateral Replacement webpage has more information on the requirements of this ordinance and inflow and infiltration.


Watch the following video, Earthrise - Flush With Pride, from Daniel Nikolaison on Vimeo.