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History of Salsipuedes Sanitary District

Prior to the formation of the Salsipuedes Sanitary District (SSD), the Interlaken County Sanitation District (ICSD) provided limited sanitary sewer service to the unincorporated area in southern Santa Cruz County, northeast of the City of Watsonville. 

The District operates under the Sanitary District Act of 1923, the applicable general state and federal laws and the District's rules, regulations and ordinances. The SSD was formed in 1965 pursuant to the Sanitary District Act of 1923. (Commencing with Section 6400 of the Health and Safety Code of the State of California) to provide a means of financing public sewer facilities, after the residents in the area began experiencing septic system problems. The original financing for the sewer system was the formation of an assessment district. A year after SSD was formed, ICSD dissolved and most of the territory included in ICSD was within the boundaries of SSD. 

The service area of SSD encompasses about 800 acres. About one-half of the land is developed with single family homes and residential subdivisions. A few commercial uses are located at the southwestern corner of East Lake Avenue and Holohan Road.  The remainder of the land area is zoned agricultural and open space. The area within SSD's boundary also includes four lakes. Kelly and Drew Lakes lie in the northeastern portion of SSD. Tynan Lake is located east of Lakevew Drive and College Lake is southwest of the 14th District Agricultural Association's fairgrounds. 

SSD has had three major annexations since its formation. In 1970, the area north of Holohan Road and College Road was annexed to provide service to the Saint Francis School property. In 1971, an 85 acre parcel east of Lakeview Road was annexed to provide service to a mobilehome park and in 1992 the fairgrounds was annexed along with the detachment off an equal amount of acreage. Several years ago, about 150 acres were also detached and annexed by the City of Watsonville.

SSD has about five miles of 6-inch and 8-inch sewer mains which connect to a 12-inch and 15-inch trunkline which connects to a 24-inch trunkline in the City of Watsonville. All sewer mains of the District are gravity flow except for two sewer lift stations located in the vicinity of the 15-inch trunkline. Most of the sewer mains are about 55 years old and are constructed primarily of vitrified clay pipe (VCP). Eventually replacing the infrastructure of the sanitary sewer collection system is inevitable. The operating expenses, keeping in compliance with changing regulatory requirements necessitate rate increases. The District anticipates these costs in the yearly fiscal budget.

SSD has a contract with the City of Watsonville for sewage treatment at the Watsonville Wastewater Treatment Plant. SSD has purchased treatment capacity of not to exceed 0.281 MGD, based upon average daily flows determined over a 7 day period. The Treatment Plant operates as primary treatment and is discharged into Monterey Bay by way of an ocean outfall which extends approximately 4,000 feet from shore at a depth of 40 feet. The Treatment Plant was financed in part with state and federal grant funds.

Currently, SSD provides sanitary sewer collection service to 457 parcels with 512 residential connections and nine commercial connections. The primary source of revenues of the District is from user service charges.

Five members of an elected Sanitary Board govern the District. As of September 2023 they are as follows:

David Ferracane  - Board President              Dan Dewig           - Director

Robert Roberts    - Director                             Allen Rusler         - Director

Jenet DeCosta     - Director

The staff consists of one part-time Secretary/Manager, Delia N. Brambila and one as-needed Maintenance employee. The District also retains an Engineer and an Attorney, on an as-needed basis. A maintenance contract is on an as-needed basis with GreenLine, Inc. The Sanitary Board holds regular monthly meetings on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the District office located at:

739 East Lake Avenue, Ste.#2, Watsonville,  CA  95076  (831) 722-7760 Voice/text messages