Rainbow over LOWRF facility with mountains in background
The Los Osos Water Recycling Facility was recently named 2023 Small Plant of the Year

Los Osos Water Recycling Facility Earns Statewide Honor with 2023 Small Plant of the Year Award

Author: Public Works
Date: 5/16/2024 1:48 PM

LOS OSOS - The Los Osos Water Recycling Facility (LOWRF) was recently named 2023 Small Plant of the Year by the California Water Environment Association (CWEA) for the facility’s accomplishments in compliance, innovative practices, cost effectiveness, and superior plant performance. The County of San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors will recognize the achievement at its meeting on Tuesday, May 21.

LOWRF was recognized in the small category, which includes facilities with a capacity of less than 5 million gallons per day (mgd).

Sean Loveridge, Chief Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator, credited the honor to the blend of diversity in skill and level of experience staff brings to the table.

“The facility offers staff exposure to every aspect of maintenance, water quality compliance, engineering, safety, finance, and environmental restoration needed for the wastewater collection, treatment, disposal, and recycled water distribution systems that support the Los Osos community. It makes for a well-rounded team,” he said.

In January, CWEA awarded the LOWRF the 2023 Tri-Counties Plant of the Year award, making it eligible for the statewide competition. Previously the facility also won the Tri-Counties title in 2021. Judges visited the facility in February as part of the statewide judging to evaluate the wastewater facility in the areas of safety, pre-treatment, laboratory, operations, maintenance, and management. CWEA notified Public Works staff in April of the statewide win.

“The plant is in the hands of a very talented team, who took a new facility and continuously improved, to the point where they are being recognized as the best run facility in California,” John Diodati, Director of Public Works, said.

The County built the Los Osos Water Recycling Facility with a capacity of 1.2 mgd and has operated the system since 2016 to collect, treat, dispose, and recycle wastewater for residents and businesses in Los Osos. The facility supports the sustainability of the Los Osos Groundwater Basin through recharge and recycled water systems that are used to mitigate nitrate and seawater intrusion issues.

CWEA is a statewide not-for-profit technical and educational organization, founded in 1928, that trains, empowers, and advocates for wastewater professionals and agencies.