Morro Bay sewage facility may move to site of power plant

November 12, 2013

morro bay stacksThe Morro Bay Public Works Department has issued a report recommending moving the city’s sewage treatment facility to the location of the closing Morro Bay Power Plant.

The report examines seven possible locations for the new sewage plant ranging in cost from $90 million to $160 million. Morro Bay jointly operates the sewage plant with the Cayucos Sanitation District.

The plant is currently located near the beach at the end of Atascadero Road. In 2003, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board ordered Morro Bay and Cayucos to upgrade the plant. Last year, the California Coastal Commission said it wanted to move the plant one mile from the coastline.

The location proposed by public works staff is a 12-acre site at the south end of Morro Bay Power Plant by Highway 1. The power plant will close in February after 50 years of operation.

Building the sewage facility at the power plant will cost an estimated $90 million, which is the cheapest of the seven options considered.

The previous Morro Bay City Council did not support moving the plant due to the cost and suggested doing so might double sewer rates. It would have cost an estimated $60 million to upgrade the plant at its current location.

Following the November 2012 election, the board majority flipped from one that opposed moving the sewage plant to one that supported the move.

After the election, the majority also swung in opposition to City Attorney Rob Scultz and City Manager Andrea Lueker. The council is currently in the process of firing Schultz and considering firing Lueker.

A review of the employment status of both Schultz and Lueker is on the closed session agenda for Tuesday’s council meeting. A discussion of the sewage plant location will follow during the regularly scheduled meeting.



I think a lot of people here are confusing separate issues. The plant property that the report suggests using for the new sewage plant is not currently being used for the power plant. The city would need to negotiate with Dynegy to purchase just that portion of the property.

No demo of the existing plant would be necessary, that is a separate issue.


It is clear that some people still do not accept the fact that the new plant cannot and will not be built next to the old one. It is going to be built elsewhere, whether it is on power plant property or somewhere else.

I believe that points made by Jack McCurdy, who appeared yesterday on the Congalton show, probably explain why at least some of the old boy/old girl network, largely made up of Embarcadero business owners and their buddies, are having such a hard time accepting reality.

After the new plant is built, the older one will be razed and that property will be converted to visitor serving uses. This will cause many tourists coming into Morro Bay via Hwy 41 to spend a lot more time and money in the north end of town. It will still mean lots of money coming into City coffers, and the City only stands to gain through the development of more tourist attractions.

What I think bugs the old boy/old girl network is that not so much of the tourists’ money will end up in the pockets of the Embarcadero crowd. Some of it will go to the businesses in the north end of town instead.


You really grasp at straws don’t you, what would ever make you think that would/could be turned into a visitor center,the city corp yard and parts of the water treatment plant are there,there is a leased transit mix yard next door,the high school is across the street,just what do you people have in mind for a visitor center there,there will never be a motel or any such thing put there you people don’t want any building so about all that could be put there would be a park for the homeless to camp in. And if the existing area is in a”tsunami” zone so is the area of the PG&E plant right along with the rest of the water front,the PG&E area is not right for the sewer plant either,with all the visitors and business on the water front and the residents that live next to it I really don’t think the serer plant will go there either.


I don’t like this idea one bit…I stand in line for lunch at Little Hut several times a month. lol


At least no one is focused on the ~$150M clean-up the City of Morro Bay faces when Dynegy turns over the keys to the plant and disappears…


Is conceding defeat the best you can do? It’s almost like you want the worst case scenario to play out so you can yell “I told you so!”

$150 million clean up? And how would you like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge?

Jorge Estrada

Good point, it woundn’t be the first time that a company with deep pockets shed their liabilites to a company with no pockets. Then what, a homeless shelter?


Chances are that the former owner, PG&E has the environmental clean up liability and responsibility.


We can run the power plant on sewage water into the boiler and most will go out the smokestacks as steam. No discharge into the bay! The solid waste that accumulates in the boiler bottom can be shoveled out and fed to the California Water Board. Free electricity for Morro Bay residents!