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In An Emergency:

Water Emergencies: Call MWSD at (650) 728-3545
Sewer Emergencies: Call SAM at (650) 726-0124
Dial 911 for life-threatening and safety


Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Sanitary District do?

The Montara Water & Sanitary District, formed in 1958 as a public agency, is responsible for maintaining approximately twenty-five miles of sewer line and thirteen pump stations. The sewage is pumped through a large intertie pipeline to the sewage treatment plant located in Half Moon Bay.

In addition, the District manages the solid waste franchise with Seacoast Disposal of Pacifica which collects all trash and disposes of it properly in the landfill located near Half Moon Bay, as well as recycles the material placed in the recycling bins by each household.

In 1992, the District, through special State legislation, was granted the powers of a county water district. This was done in an effort to improve the water supply and service provided by the private water company serving the area then known as Citizens Utilities Company of California. August 1, 2003, the district acquired and began operating the water system.

Is the District looking for new water?

Yes. The District is always open to the development of new sources and is actively working on developing new wells. The District also uses wells to monitor the water as part of a groundwater monitoring system.

Does the District Have Water and Sewer Connections Available?

Yes. The District issues connections in conjunction with San Mateo County Planning and Building Department for new and existing projects inside the urban zones. The District repealed its longstanding moratorium and was granted permission to serve new connections in 2013.

Who is on the Board of Directors?

There are five Board members, all of whom are elected at large, and must reside in the Montara or Moss Beach area. For more information about the Board, click here.

What are some water and sewer system characteristics of the District: people served, miles of pipes and pumps, etc.?

Below are some key characteristics and facts about the District’s service, as well as its water and sewer systems.

Population served:
6,012 people are served by the District.
Number of connections:
1,943 sewer connections.
1,658 active water connections. We also serve 151 private fire protection systems, which are connections to sprinkler systems only.
Sewer Facilities
The District maintains 13 major sewer pump stations and a total of 41 pump stations with 54 installed pumps. Note that some pump stations have more than one pump to provide backup. The District has an unusually large number of pumps due to the hilly terrain. This is a costly and high maintenance but necessary feature of our community’s sewer system.
Average dry and wet weather sewer flows treated
250,000 gallons per day average summer sewage flows treated (June – August). Note that this is less water use now than was measured in the 1990’s.
500,000 gallons per day average winter sewer flows treated (December – March).
Water Facilities
The District maintains nine active water wells each with a pump.
The District owns one water booster station with two pumps.
The District owns one surface water treatment plant with three main pumps and a second water treatment plant with five pumps, as well as three groundwater treatment plants.
The District maintains 167 fire hydrants.
The District maintains seven reservoir tanks holding a total of 1.44 million gallons of water for daily, emergency and backup needs.
The District maintains 14 pressure reducing stations to decrease pressure when water flows down steep hills. These stations have 28 pressure control valves. In addition, there are three pressure valves on reservoir tanks.
27 miles of Water Mains.