The San Luis Obispo Water Resource Recovery Facility treats municipal wastewater collected from the city, California Polytechnic State University and the San Luis Obispo County Airport. The facility was built in the 1930s and has since undergone many phases of expansion, leading to a web of obstacles below and above ground. To overcome these hurdles, our team utilized virtual design and construction to keep the plant running smoothly while the team phases in new treatment processes. 

The plant improvements are the most extensive ever undertaken at the facility and will meet new waste discharge requirements, treat future flows, replace aging equipment and maximize the production of recycled water. The upgrades include:

  • a membrane bioreactor;
  • an expanded flow equalization basin;
  • primary pumping system for sludge;
  • chemical facilities;
  • ultraviolet disinfection facility;
  • effluent cooling station;
  • sludge-thickening facility;
  • new aerobic digester and pump station;
  • and modifications to the existing systems, including headworks, primary clarifier and odor control system.

These enhancements will increase the capacity of the plant and allow the city to produce higher quality water for reuse and improve the health of the San Luis Obispo creek's ecosystem downstream of the facility.

Upon completion PCL will have installed more than 10 miles of pipe, 2.5 miles of electrical duct bank and 15,000 tons of concrete while maintaining full operational and safety standards during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city’s hands-on approach and desire for a transparent, holistic methodology helped to ensure a streamlined, sustainable construction project.

The upgrade takes the city a step closer to its sustainability goal of fully reusable wastewater. The project incorporated several technological advances to reduce the project’s carbon footprint, and ultimately benefit the city’s Climate Action Plan to be carbon neutral by 2035.  

Constructed by