Scrubbing water clean

by Luigi Anzivino

Once a year, the field trip explainers get to go on a field trip! When the Exploratorium hosts its yearly Awards dinners, there are two days in which field trips are canceled. Therefore, we can afford to cover the museum with only half the floor staff. One half of us goes field tripping on day one, and the other on day two. On day two, five of us brave explainers went on a tour of the Wastewater Treatment Plant of San Francisco at Oceanside.

Completed in 1993, the Oceanside Plant is the City’s newest treatment facility. It is located off the Great Highway near the San Francisco Zoo. The Oceanside Plant treats an average dry weather flow of about 17 million gallons a day and has a total capacity of 65 million gallons during wet weather. It treats wastewater from the west side of the City. Cleaned water is discharged from the plant to the Pacific Ocean through the Southwest Ocean Outfall.

This is how they do it. It was a bit smelly, let me tell you, but very interesting. Here are some pictures.