For Our San Martin Neighbors

Wastewater Trunk Line Through San Martin


Wastewater from the City of Morgan Hill travels in a wastewater trunk line through San Martin to the Wastewater Treatment Plant located in the City of Gilroy, where it is treated and discharged. This plant is owned and operated by the South County Regional Wastewater Authority (SCRWA), under a Joint Powers Agreement with the Cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy. 

The trunk line travels north to south through the San Martin area between Monterey Road and Santa Teresa Blvd.  Specifically, the alignment of the trunk line as it goes south out of Morgan Hill is south in Monterey Road, then west in California Ave, then south in Harding Ave, then continuing south across private property roughly in the Harding Ave corridor, then continuing south to the Gilroy city limits.

History of Sewer Trunk Line



On July 1, 1967, the City of Morgan Hill and the City of Gilroy entered into a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement to efficiently dispose of sewage produced in each City for the benefit of both Cities.  This agreement was written in response to the City of Morgan Hill receiving notification from the Central Coastal Regional Water Pollution Control Board of the State of California to expand its existing capacity to treat and dispose of its sewage.  Rather than expand or construct a new facility, a decision was made to share the expense and operating costs of Gilroy’s existing treatment plant and that the City of Morgan Hill would construct a sewer trunk line to convey its sewage to the Gilroy treatment. 
 
Since the first Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement was executed, various amendments followed.  Most recently in June 1992, a revised Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement created the South County Regional Wastewater Authority (SCRWA). SCRWA now oversees the wastewater treatment facility functions, such as improvements, operations, and maintenance. The Cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy share in the costs to maintain and improve the facility.

In 1993, a Sewer Master Plan was developed for the City of Morgan Hill.  In 2002, a revised Sewer Master Plan was developed by Carollo Engineers. The revised Master Plan recommended that a parallel (or relief) sewer trunk to Gilroy be installed to increase capacity and for redundancy and reliability.  Starting in 2003, City staff began designing the first segment for the sewer relief trunk line.  An Initial Study was prepared for this segment. This new dual trunk line was installed in Monterey Road, between Tennant Avenue and California Avenue in 2006/07. Since then, two more segments have been installed, thus the trunk line currently extends to Highland Avenue in San Martin.  The City has worked closely with Santa Clara County officials to coordinate the construction of the new trunk line.

Continuation of New Relief Line

Most recently, HydroScience Engineers is now under contract to complete the design for the remaining segments to Gilroy.  An Initial Study is under way and should be completed by the end of 2017. The final sewer pipeline segment is anticipated to be functioning in December 2019.  The relief line south of Highland Avenue will follow a different alignment than the existing trunk line.  The new line will be constructed entirely in public right of way in the following alignment: Exhibit
East in Highland Ave to Monterey Road, then south in Monterey Road to Gilroy city limits.

Highland Sewer Upgrade Project

The City is currently preparing plans and specifications to upsize a segment of existing sewer trunk pipe along Highland Avenue in San Martin.  The Plans will be available shortly.


Permit to Operate Sewer Trunk Line


 
To provide a consistent, statewide regulatory approach to address Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO), the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted Statewide General Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) for Sanitary Sewer Systems, Water Quality Order No. 2006-0003 (Sanitary Sewer Systems WDR) on May 2, 2006. The Sanitary Sewer Systems WDR requires public agencies that own or operate sanitary sewer systems to develop and implement sewer system management plans and report all SSOs to the State Water Board’s online SSO database. The City of Morgan Hill complied with these regulations by first submitting the required Notice of Intent and fee on July 28, 2006. The City then prepared the prepared the required sanitary sewer management plan which was adopted by City Council on July 22, 2009. The City has operated its sanitary sewer collection system Waste Discharge Identification Number: 3SSO10332 since 2006.



Prior to the State’s Water Quality Order No. 2006-0003 there was no requirement for the City have its own permit to operate its collection system. Instead, the Cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill who each own and maintain wastewater collection systems operated them under the pollution control NPDES Permit No. CA0049964. The NPDES permit is issued to the South County Regional Wastewater Agency (SCRWA) Reclamation Plant which is co-owned by the two Cities. Consequently the City of Morgan Hill has always operated its wastewater collection system as required by State and Federal water quality protection laws.



Environmental Sampling


After the recent sewer spills, the City contacted private water well owners in the San Martin area whose wells were either in the path of the spill or adjacent to the path.  To date the City has completed water sampling at 10 wells in the San Martin area. Only 1 came back with fecal contamination. According to the owner the flooding did not reach this well and therefore wastewater from the spill was not likely the cause of contamination. Staff observed that the well was not constructed properly which may have allowed contamination from another source. The City hired a licensed contractor to decontaminate the well which tested clean after re-sampling. One resident also requested the City to collect soil samples from their property near the spill. The soil samples did not show contamination.


Ownership of Wastewater Trunk Line

The wastewater trunk line that travels from Morgan Hill through San Martin to Gilroy is owned jointly by the City of Morgan Hill and the City of Gilroy.  The new relief trunk line will be owned entirely by the City of Morgan Hill.

For more information about the wastewater trunk line call 408-776-7333.

Significant Rain Storm Events


During significant rain events the wastewater trunk line running through San Martin can become overwhelmed due to infiltration of the wastewater system.  This can cause the trunk line to overspill in the area on Harding Avenue between Cox and Highland.  This can cause sewage to spill on to properties adjacent to this area and further downstream.  When the new relief line is completed, this problem will be eliminated.

The City of Morgan Hill Wastewater Team closely monitors the entire City wastewater system, including the trunk line running through San Martin,  leading up to and during significant rain storms.  Crews are made ready to respond, if necessary, and bypass pumping equipment is ready to deploy and sometimes staged on site in preparation.  

In the event of a spill the City of Morgan Hill Wastewater Team works diligently to first contain and sewage released and then to clean any area impacted.  Notification is made to the appropriate agencies as required.

If you suspect a wastewater spill please call the City of Morgan Hill Non Emergency Police Dispatch Number at 408-779-2101.
 
Communication plan in the event of a wastewater spill in San Martin
 
   

Communication


The best way to stay informed about information related to the wastewater trunk line which runs through San Martin is to sign-up to receive email updates from the City of Morgan Hill. Email is the fastest way for the City of Morgan Hill to communicate directly with San Martin neighbors at any time of day or night.
Sign up to receive emails from the City of Morgan Hill regarding the status of the wastewater trunk line.
  
 


 
Plans for the Future


Plans for a future relief trunk line, which will increase the current capacity for the future are in the City of Morgan Hill's current Capital Improvement Plan.  For more information about the new relief trunk line, contact Scott Creer at (408) 778-6480.
View current Capital Improvement Project

March 7, 2017 Meeting with San Martin Neighbors


 Agenda
 Notes 
 

March 15, 2017 City of Morgan Hill City Council Meeting, Agenda Item:  Recent Sewage Spill in San Martin


 Staff report
 Video from meeting