The City of Arcata's unique wastewater treatment facility, marsh, and wildlife sanctuary attracts approximately 150,000 visitors per year (The Ashford Borough Council, 2008). Arcata's wastewater treatment plant is an example of a community’s involvement in environmental politics, innovative uses of land, and applications of appropriate technology in a small urban community. The Arcata Wastewater Treatment Plant combined with the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary has multiple uses, including wastewater treatment, recreation, wildlife habitat, education, and research.

Recreational area of the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Figure 1. An Oxidation Pond at the Arcata Wastewater Treatment Plant

Service Learning Project

This page is the result of an ongoing service learning project in the Environmental Resources Engineering 115 class (Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science) at Humboldt State University. Future classes will expand topics that are not fully covered.

The students worked hard and diligently to produce an accurate and clear description of how the Arcata Wastewater Treatment Plant, combined with the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, provides a unique service to the City of Arcata. However, as with any major project, there may be errors that missed our review. If you like to contribute any corrections, please email Assistant Professor Dustin Poppendieck. We hope you enjoy learning about the City of Arcata's unique wastewater treatment facility.