Important Capital Improvement Project Now Complete!

The Scotts Valley Water District (SVWD) announced upgrades to the Orchard Run Water Treatment Plant that will improve water quality and plant efficiency are complete.

Groundwater is the only source of drinking water for Scotts Valley Water District customers. Although the District’s water meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards, customers have expressed desire for improved taste and odor of their water for many years.

The $3.5-million-dollar project is part of the District’s Capital Improvement Plan. It was funded by District water rates including the basic service charge paid monthly by all customers.

“We’re dedicated to providing water that is both safe and refreshing to drink,” SVWD Manager Piret Harmon said. “As part of that commitment, we invested in the Orchard Run Water Treatment Plant, supported by input and funding from our customers.”

The project, which broke ground in November 2020, included:

  • Installation of two new 10‐foot diameter granular activated carbon (GAC) filters, each with a capacity to filter up to 800 gallons per minute (GPM). The GACs, a new technology for the District, help to improve the taste and odor of the water.
  • Replacement of old infrastructure with new equipment included a 40,000-gallon capacity welded steel water storage tank and odor scrubber with a treatment capacity of 3,000 cubic feet per minute.
  • Demolition of existing tanks, reinforced concrete foundations, decommissioned low‐voltage electrical components and removal of old equipment.
  • Modifications of existing process piping, electrical upgrades, new control and chemical feed systems.

The Orchard Run Water Treatment Plant first went online in 1993 and treats water pumped from the Orchard Run and 3B wells on the north side of Scotts Valley. It’s the largest of the District’s three water treatment plants with a capacity to produce more than 1 million gallons of water daily.

Photo: Scotts Valley Water District Operations Manager David McNair explains upgrades to the Orchard Run Water Treatment Plant while District Board Chair Ruth Stiles, District General Manager Piret Harmon and Scotts Valley Fire District staff look on.  (Credit: Donna Lind)

Scotts Valley Water District is a community-owned public agency that delivers a sustainable, reliable high-quality water service in an environmentally responsible and financially sound manner. The District provides water service to approximately 4,000 connections over six square miles including most of the City of Scotts Valley and a portion of the unincorporated area north of the city limits. Like the community it serves, Scotts Valley Water District places a high value on livability, innovation and adaptability. Through partnership with the 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 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.