The Department of Public Works & Utilities works diligently to keep our town flowing, flushing and clean! Sixty-five thousand residents depend on us to provide reliable drinking water, sewer, and garbage services every day. Currently, City efforts are focused on major infrastructure investments to ensure that customers are continuously provide with:
- Safe, affordable, and reliable drinking water when they turn on the tap
- Garbage & recycling collection services and management of the City landfill
- Reliable sewer pipelines and wastewater treatment that protect public health and the environment
The Public Works & Utilities Department works very hard to maintain the highest level of service at the lowest cost to our residents.
Major Investments in the Last Fiscal Year
Replacing & Improving Water Infrastructure
About 7 million gallons of safe drinking water are pumped every day from City groundwater wells and sent through 177 miles of water pipes to serve our residents. While driving around town, residents may see ongoing water pipeline replacement work. This reflects continued efforts to upgrade 50 year old water mains! The Water Division's pro-active plan helps prevent leaks, conserve water, and improve service to customers. Additionally, water wells, built up 90 years ago, require ongoing maintenance to keep up with water production demands. This past winter didn't bring enough rain to build up water reserves that were already hard hit by a five year drought,. for this reason, the City is working on long-term, reliable water supply solutions, including exploring sites for new wells.
Completed & Future Water Infrastructure Projects
Projects Completed 2017/2018:
Main St. * Crescent Dr. * Alston Way * Melrose Ave. * Claremont St. * Oakhill Rd. * Marchant St. * Maple Ave.
Future Projects 2018/2019:
Bockius St. * Grant St. * Elm St. * Blackburn St. * E. Beach St. * Lincoln St. * Center St. * Rogge St.
Maintaining Sewers & Preventing Blowouts
Every three years, the City cleans out 140 miles of sewer pipelines that run under our town. Almost a third of these are over 50 years old! This effort includes replacing deteriorated sections that can cause problems for our residents and the environment. This year the City also launched a new Sanitary Sewer Manhole Project to reduce the distance between manholes, increase maintenance efficiency, and prevent "blowouts" during sewer line work. Adding manholes increases ventilation so it doesn't "blowout," or push air back up, into toilets.
|Our sewer service team keeps sewer lines flowing to prevent service disruptions and overflows.|
Solid Waste Collections Services Expand!
As part of your garbage bill, the Solid Waste Collections team keeps the city clean and healthy. In addition to picking up garbage, recycling and yard waste, the City is now expanding to provide Food Waste (Organics) Collection for businesses. Organics Recycling is the latest State mandate in waste reduction. Watsonville has implemented this mandate with 34 businesses currently enrolled. So far, this program has recycled more than 2,000 tons of food waste that would otherwise go to the landfill helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions created by garbage.
This year the City also launched a public education program on how critical it is to "recycle right." Our Recycling Program is helping reduce the amount of garbage being produced in Watsonville.
All of these waste reduction efforts are important as our landfill will be closing in 2019. The majority of garbage and recyclables collected will be trucked to the Monterey Regional Waste Management District in Marina. After closure, the City is mandated to set aside money to monitor the landfill for the next 30 years.
The City Waste and Recycling Center at 320 Harvest Drive accepts household hazardous waste, yard waste, e-waste, tires, trash, mattresses, concrete and cardboard.