District Overview

Goleta West Sanitary District’s mission is to protect the environment and the public’s health and safety while providing efficient, responsible service.

The Goleta West Sanitary District was formed in 1954 under the Sanitary District Act of 1923. It derives its authority in the California Health and Safety Code (Sections 6400-6830). For decades Goleta West Sanitary District has provided award-winning service in wastewater collection and treatment for our customers – the citizens and businesses of Western Goleta Valley and Isla Vista.

We are very proud of our longstanding street-sweeping program, which helps prevent polluted storm water run off. GWSD is also proud of its fiscal management, Goleta West customers see some of the lowest rates in the area and the District has won several local and state awards for operation and maintenance of its wastewater collection system.


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Our Wastewater System

Formed in 1954, the Goleta West Sanitary District provides wastewater collection for residents and businesses in the Western Goleta Valley and Isla Vista. Governed by an elected board of directors, the District serves approximately 6,100 connections to over 35,000 people. Our customer’s wastewater is pumped through the system to the regional treatment plant that is owned by Goleta Sanitary District (GSD). Several public agencies are contractual users of the GSD treatment plant. Each public agency owns a specific amount of capacity rights in the plant as follows:

Goleta Sanitary District – 47.87%
Goleta West Sanitary District – 40.78%
University of California Santa Barbara – 7.09%
City of Santa Barbara (airport) – 2.84%
County of Santa Barbara – 1.42%

Each entity is obligated to pay its pro rata share of all capital improvements and purchases for the treatment facilities. Each agency is entitled to its pro rata share of the capacity at the treatment plant. Permitted plant capacity is currently 7.64 million gallons per day (MGD); therefore, GWSD’s 40.78% equates to 3.11 MGD.

Environmental Programs

The Goleta West Sanitary District has been a leader in wastewater management and environmental protection for decades. The District was the first South Coast agency to implement a street sweeping program that removes trash and toxins from storm water runoff that flows into our creeks, wetlands, ocean and beaches. This program has been in successful operation since 1963.

Since 1983, GWSD has maintained an Industrial Waste Pretreatment Program to monitor and control the discharged wastes of industrial users to the public sewer system. This program is a requirement of the Federal Clean Water Act and the Regional Water Quality Control Board. The program ensures the continued effective operation of the collection system, treatment plant, and the protection of collection system workers.

District Operations and Staff

Goleta West Sanitary District is operated by a total staff of six who are responsible for daily operations, ongoing maintenance, and upgrades to the system as well as the implementation of various environmental programs such as street sweeping and waste water quality testing. GWSD is committed to having a highly trained and knowledgeable staff. The entire staff holds Collection System Maintenance Certification through the California Water Environment Association in addition to other professional wastewater related certifications and credentials. Additionally, the District is proud of its award-winning safety record.


Our Services

  • Operate and maintain the wastewater collection system including approximately 62 miles of sewer lines and 2 pump stations.
  • Provide wastewater treatment through a contractual agreement with the Goleta Sanitary District.
  • Permit businesses and industries to ensure compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act and the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
  • Issue permits to allow connection to the District’s system.
  • Inspect new construction for compliance with GWSD standards.
  • Regular street sweeping to help prevent stormwater pollution.

Collection & Treatment

Wastewater is transported from your house or place of business through a system of pipes that either flow “downhill” or are pumped to the District’s main pump station located at the District’s headquarters. The wastewater is then pumped to the Goleta Sanitary District treatment plant, treated, and disposed of through an ocean outfall in the Santa Barbara Channel approximately one mile offshore east of the Goleta pier. Through a service contract Goleta West Sanitary District also services one area outside its service boundary – the Embarcadero Municipal Improvement District (EMID) – located northwest of the District.

The wastewater collection system is in good condition with few major repairs required. This assessment is based primarily on the ongoing closed circuit television inspection, maintenance crew observations and the District’s hydraulic modeling software. GWSD has a minimal number of sewer lines with high operation and maintenance (O&M) requirements. The District has an excellent record of near zero sewer spills per miles of pipe per year. The District maintains a comprehensive maintenance program to combat root intrusion, grease build-up, infiltration and to project system rehabilitation needs.

GWSD’s two pump stations are in good condition and well maintained. The pump stations have adequate capacity to meet the District’s present and projected needs for the next ten years.


GWSD System Map

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