The San Diego County Sanitation District (District) serves the unincorporated communities of Alpine, Campo, East Otay Mesa, Julian, Lakeside, Pine Valley, Spring Valley, and Winter Gardens. The sanitary sewer system is comprised of approximately 432 miles of sewer lines, 8,200 manholes, 8 pump stations, several pressurized force mains, and 3 wastewater treatment plants. District facilities are highly regulated by the State Water Resources Control Board and proper operation and maintenance of the system is essential to safeguarding public health and safety and reducing potential environmental impacts.
Staff perform routine cleaning and inspection of the sewer system, but new technologies that can improve operation and monitoring of the system are also available. One such technology is called the “SmartCover”. The SmartCover system is a web-based smart technology that provides real-time remote sewer overflow monitoring via a reliable satellite communications system. SmartCover Units are installed on the underside of existing manhole covers and can be moved to various locations as monitoring needs change. The SmartCover system provides real-time security intrusion detection and monitoring of sewage levels in manholes.
The District currently has thirty-two (32) SmartCover units strategically placed throughout the sewer conveyance system at locations where the need for continuous monitoring is greatest. Alarms transmitted to District personnel can warn of potential Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) events, and allow staff to immediately dispatch to locations of concern to reduce the likelihood of spills. The SmartCover system will likely prove to be a valuable and beneficial asset to the District by reducing SSOs, improving response times, and enhancing service to our customers.