The District is committed to conducting business in an environmentally conscious and sustainable manner. Our environmental stewardship goal is to protect the rich and diverse environmental resources within our boundary and to minimize the environmental impact of our existing and planned facilities.

Otay Water District Environmental Program

The District has a comprehensive environmental program that is proactive in response to environmental compliance and the protection of natural resources.  Our facilities are subject to rigorous environmental scrutiny from the planning stage all the way through to their operation and maintenance.

Contact Environmental

Environmental Compliance Specialist
Juliana Luengas
Phone Number
(619) 670-2219



The District works to minimize any effects on the environment and utilizes sustainable practices whenever possible. Some examples of this include the use of solar panels at reservoir and pump station sites for supplemental power, replacement of older engines, pumps, and blowers with more energy efficient equipment, replacing older fleet vehicles with smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles, and the production and distribution of recycled water to the maximum extent possible.

Protection of Natural Resources

The District’s service area covers 125 miles and our varied topography, soils, and microclimates support diverse biological habitats and plant and animal species. The District’s service area is located primarily within the Otay River and Sweetwater River watersheds, but also has a small portion within the San Diego River watershed to the north and the Tijuana River watershed to the south.  The District works closely with many regulatory agencies, including the CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that plant and animal species are protected and water quality is maintained throughout the District.

San Miguel Habitat Management Area

The San Miguel Habitat Management Area (HMA) is a 240-acre biological reserve owned and maintained by the Otay Water District. It is located in the City of Chula Vista, surrounding the vacant Salt Creek Golf Course. The HMA is comprised of high-quality habitats, including wetlands, coastal sage scrub, and native grasslands, and is occupied by sensitive plants and wildlife including the Otay Tarplant, Coastal California Gnatcatcher, Least Bell’s Vireo, and Burrowing Owl. The HMA was established as a mitigation bank to offset the impacts associated with the District’s Capital Improvement Program projects. Learn more about the HMA.

Air Quality & Hazardous Material

The District maintains compliance with the requirements of the California Air Resources Board and the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District for all of its diesel and natural gas engines as well as for its on-road diesel engines. All engines are permitted and modified as necessary to maintain compliance with continually changing regulations.

Hazardous materials used throughout the District are safely managed for compliance with California Environmental Protection Agency regulations as administered by San Diego County Hazardous Materials Division, which is the Certified Unified Program Agency for San Diego County. The District maintains compliance with the six state-regulated environmental programs under the unified program which are the Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) Program, the California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program, the Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) Program, the Hazardous Materials Management and Inventory Program, the Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Waste Treatment Program, and the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program.

Public Notices