The Scotts Valley Water District’s new groundwater recharge system at the Scotts Valley Transit Center is operational and has been percolating runoff from recent storms into the ground.

Funded by a “low impact development” retrofit grant from the State, the project allows the capture and treatment of stormwater from the Scotts Valley Transit Center parking lot. The District has received more than 51.62 inches of rain this water year, as of Monday, Feb. 6. The water year began Oct. 1, 2016.

The aim of this project is to help recharge the aquifer. Once captured and treated, the water seeps through the soil into the aquifer that Scotts Valley Water District draws on to provide water to customers. It takes years for water to travel through layers of soil and sandstone into the aquifer.

“Finding creative ways to put water back into the aquifer will help us maintain a healthy water system for years to come,” Scotts Valley Water District General Manager Piret Harmon said. “Timing the project to coincide with winter rains was just good fortune.”

The groundwater recharge project broke ground in the fall with excavation for the infiltration gallery and construction of a retaining wall and bio swale. The system is fully functioning while final touches, such as landscaping and paving, are being completed.

The new features in the parking lot will reduce stormwater volumes, improve water quality and increase groundwater recharge through the capture and treatment of stormwater from the north end of the parking lot at the property.

The City of Scotts Valley and the Santa Cruz METRO supported the project.


Scotts Valley Water District is a public agency providing water service over six square miles including most of the City of Scotts Valley and a portion of the unincorporated areas north of the city limits. The community of Scotts Valley places a high value on livability, innovation and planning for the future. Scotts Valley Water District is proud to play a vital role in supporting those efforts by providing a reliable, sustainable, high-quality water supply. Through partnership with our community, strategic investment in resources and pursuit of new ideas, Scotts Valley Water District is redefining its historic role in order to meet future challenges and turn them into opportunities. Learn more at or