News and Upcoming Events
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Upcoming Public Hearing about the Wastewater Treatment Plant Project

On June 12, the Planning Commission voted to recommend that the City Council approve the application for a Special Use Permit for the wastewater treatment plant upgrade and expansion project. The project includes changes to the existing wastewater treatment plant, and construction of new facilities next to the existing site. Some of the older facilities at the plant will be removed or re-purposed. The project includes a pedestrian path around the plant from Dale Avenue to John Lee Dog Park, modifications to the existing landscaping along East 3rd Avenue, and closure of a portion of Detroit Drive.

On July 16, the City Council meeting will include a public hearing. The City Council will vote on the approval of project permits and an addendum to the Program Environmental Impact Report.

For more information, please visit:
July 16
City Council Hearing on Special Use Permit – 7 p.m. City Hall Council Chambers

Fats, Oils & Grease Are Tough on the Sewer System

The fats, oils, and grease (called "FOG") found in everyday food ingredients--such as meat, cooking oil, sauces, baked goods, and dairy products--are a big concern for San Mateo's sewer system. FOG enters the system from restaurants, households, and light industrial customers. As soon as it enters a drain, it begins to accumulate in the drain lines, where it restricts flow, causing odors and other health issues, and creating a habitat for breeding insects known as drain flies. Severe restrictions can cause sewer backups that release sewage into your home and local waterways (did you know that most sanitary sewer overflows are due to FOG?). It even interferes with treatment processes at the wastewater treatment plant.

Non-food sources of FOG can also cause sewer-related problems in storm drains. This includes soap and oil residue from washing your car or performing routine maintenance at home, and runoff from your sprinkler or rain that carries yard, pet, and wild animal waste and fertilizer. This waste travels to  local waterways and eventually reaches the San Francisco Bay, where it can harm aquatic plants and animals.

You can help reduce FOG by:
  • Putting cooled cooking oil, meat fats, and leftover sauces into a sealed, non-recyclable container and discarding with your regular garbage. Use coffee grounds, kitty litter, or other absorbent materials to help solidify the grease if needed.
  • Wiping residual grease or oil off of dishes, pots, pans, and cooking utensils before washing them, and scraping food residue into the garbage.
  • Putting used motor oil in a sturdy container and taking it to your local collection center, or having it picked up curbside. More information can be found at
  • Reducing sprinkler system overspray onto sidewalks and streets, and not overwatering.
The City of San Mateo also has a FOG control program with detailed FOG source control and disposal guidelines for restaurants, food-service businesses, and residents, available at:
About the San Mateo Clean Water Program
The Clean Water Program is a 10-year comprehensive plan to upgrade the aging wastewater collection and treatment system with advanced infrastructure that will provide reliable services and protect public health and the environment for years to come. 
For more information, visit
Copyright © 2018 City of San Mateo - Clean Water Program, All rights reserved.

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