Infrastructure Tours 

Santa Margarita Water District offers public tours as part of its ongoing effort to educate the community about water infrastructure and its investments to secure local, reliable, and sustainable water for generations to come. Tours offer a wonderful opportunity for customers to go “behind the scenes” and meet the smiling faces of SMWD.   

Upcoming Tours 

Registration is required. All ages are welcome. Tours leave from Santa Margarita Water District headquarters unless otherwise noted. 

  • Oso Creek Water Reclamation Plant Tour & Community Meeting 
    (construction site)

    • Tuesday, October 17 at 4 - 5 PM - RSVP here

    • Community meeting for neighbors impacted by the construction
    • The nearly 50-year-old Oso Water Reclamation Plant is being upgraded to meet increasingly stringent water quality standards, improve the water quality in nearby Oso Creek, and increase its supply of sustainable, local water.  Learn more about the upgrade
  • San Juan Capistrano Treatment Plant

    • Friday, October 27 at 10:30 AM - RSVP here! 

    • Leaving from Hennessey's in San Juan Capistrano 
      This event will include a ribbon cutting for the newly built Clearwell
  • Ranch Water Treatment Plant 

    • Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 4 PM - RSVP here! 

      The District is building its first water treatment plant from the ground up. Visit the site to see the progress. 
  • Water Festival - Save the Date! 

    • Saturday, May 4, 2024

Other Popular Locations - Tours Coming Soon

  • California's Largest Recycled Water Reservoir - Trampas Canyon 

    • 1.6 billion gallons of recycled water for watering common areas
    • National award-winning project
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant - Chiquita Water Reclamation Plant  
    • The treatment plant recently received over $30 million in upgrades to reduce odors and improve operations. 
    • The plant has the capacity to treat 10 million gallons of wastewater per day. 
    • Raw wastewater is treated to recycled water standards and used throughout the community for irrigation purposes. 
    • The plant treats wastewater from homes in the area and prepares it to be reused to irrigate parks, common areas, and golf courses. 
    • The tour is a great opportunity to learn first-hand about:
      • What happens to the water after it goes down the drain
      • How wastewater travels from homes to the treatment plant
      • How water is treated to be used as recycled water
      • How to conserve water every day

Tour Guidelines 

The following guidelines must be adhered to if you want to participate in an SMWD tour:

  • Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Participants must register online to secure a seat for the desired tour date. 
  • Closed-toe shoes are required. 
  • Tours require a moderate level of exertion including walking on unpaved and uneven terrain, ascending and descending stairs, boarding and exiting a bus with an 18-inch step, and standing/walking outdoors. 
  • Access to restroom facilities will be limited at some sites, so please plan accordingly.


All tour participants are required to agree to and sign SMWD's Hold Harmless during the registration process. A signed hold harmless is required prior to boarding the tour bus. 

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