Pocatello Water Pollution Control Department
The Water Pollution Control (WPC) Department has the primary responsibility of ensuring the water we receive from our community’s homes and businesses (the water that goes down your drain or toilet) is renewed into safe and clean water before it is returned to the environment.
WPC is dedicated to protecting the health of the public and the environment by ensuring our advanced Class 4 collection and treatment systems meet and exceed the strict standards set forth by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The scope of our work at WPC starts in the community. When water is sent down the drain from sinks, basins, washing machines, dishwashers, floor drains or toilets, it begins its journey to a bright, clean future. This water is renewable and can be cleaned to become a safe, valuable resource.
Once renewable water exits the service line of a property, it enters into an underground network of mainlines and lift stations and flows to the WPC treatment facility. Our collection system staff cleans and maintains nearly 300 miles of sanitary sewer mainlines and 24 lift stations, which are designed to pump and transport the water that comes from Pocatello homes and businesses to the treatment facility.
The WPC treatment facility is one of the largest in Idaho. It has a design capacity of 12 million gallons per day and provides secondary treatment and nitrification. This is where the magic happens and renewable water becomes beneficial again.
Our operations staff runs the WPC facility that currently cleans an average of 7.5 million gallons of renewable water from the communities of Pocatello and Chubbuck every day. The facility removes over 99% of the organic matter (measured as Biochemical Oxygen Demand or BOD), over 99% of suspended solids (measured as Total Suspended Solids or TSS), 95% of ammonia, and 90% of incoming phosphorus.
In addition to transforming renewable water into clean water, WPC extracts nutrients, known as biosolids, for soil amendment and produces energy from the methane gas generated during the cleaning process.
WPC has a robust Pretreatment Program designed to ensure the water that enters our system is free of contaminant levels that will interfere with our processes and compromise the quality of water we return to the environment.
Our pretreatment staff monitors and inspects commercial and industrial facilities that discharge into the City’s systems. The wastewaters produced by these facilities are often contaminated by a variety of toxic and otherwise harmful pollutants that our facility is not designed to accept or treat. Industrial and commercial facilities are required to remove pollutants from their wastewater prior to discharging into the City's sanitary sewer system. This practice is known as pretreatment and is mandated by City, State and Federal Regulations.
In addition to protecting water through pretreatment practices, our staff samples, tests and analyzes water at various stages of the cleaning process for quality assurance.
Public Outreach and Education
WPC staff participates in various outreach events to increase awareness of the importance of clean water and our role in protecting one of the world’s most precious resources. Our staff regularly provides water renewal presentations at Water Week, hosted by the Water Department, and the Portneuf Valley Environmental Fair. We also visit local schools and Idaho State University to inform students on the topic of water renewal.
Facility tours are a popular way for civic groups, schools and universities to see water renewal processes first-hand and learn more about our goal to conserve and keep water clean and our dedication to protecting the health of the public and the environment.
For more information about education outreach or to make arrangements for a guided tour, access our Facility Tours and Educational Outreach page.
WPC is staffed with 29 full-time highly trained professionals who monitor, maintain and operate the complex systems designed to collect and clean renewable water. Water renewal is a unique and specialized field that requires most of our employees to be licensed by the State of Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses. Many of our employees are also trained in areas such as biology, instrumentation, mechanics, general trades and welding.
We have positions that range from entry-level to advanced, with on-the-job training and continuing education available to all employees. We offer career paths that create opportunities and greater earning potential. Our jobs are ideal for individuals who like working on a variety of projects and tasks, have analytical and mechanical skills (or are inclined to learn), and are seeking to be stewards of the environment while serving the community.
Careers @Water Pollution Control
- WPC Superintendent
- Management Assistant
- WPC Collection System Supervisor
- WPC Collection System Operator I, II, III
- Utilities System Technician
- WPC Pretreatment/Laboratory Supervisor
- WPC Laboratory Technician I, II, III
- WPC Maintenance Supervisor
- WPC Electrician
- WPC Electrical and Instrumentation Assistant
- Facilities Maintenance Worker
- WPC Instrumentation Programming Specialist
- WPC Maintenance Technician
- WPC Mechanic/Welder
- WPC Pump and Generator Specialist
- WPC Operations Supervisor
- WPC Wastewater Treatment Specialist I, II, III
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