Please note that tours are temporarily suspended due to construction. If interested in being placed on a wait list, email us or call (408) 730-7717.
Come along with us on a tour of our wastewater treatment facility. During the tour, you'll see the various stages of treatment as you follow the wastewater through physical, chemical and biological treatment. Learn how the plant uses alternative fuel sources to conserve energy. See how Sunnyvale uses recycled water for landscaping at corporate business parks and city facilities. Tours can be adapted to meet specific curriculum needs and are conducted Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Call (408) 730-7717 or email the WPCP to book a tour. One week advance notice is required. Please allow approximately 90 minutes for the tour.
Cost - Free of charge
Adults - Minimum of 6 individuals per tour. Large groups will be divided into smaller groups.
Youth - In observance of safety conditions, only children in grades 5 and above will be allowed to tour the facility. Minimum of 6 students per tour, with at least one adult chaperone for every 6 students.
Cancellations - In case of rain, tours will be rescheduled. Please call on the day of the tour to confirm attendance or cancellation.
Clothing - The plant is located adjacent to the Bay where it can be windy and cool. Tours are conducted outdoors, so appropriate clothing and sun protection are recommended. Shoes with flat or low, broad heels and non-skid soles are also recommended. No open toed shoes or sandals are allowed.
Safety - This is an industrial area. For the safety and benefit of all, participants must adhere to the guidelines and safety procedures presented by the staff tour guide. Bulky backpacks and briefcases should not be brought on the tour. Handrails should be used wherever provided.
Parking - Limited. If there is a bus, please ask receptionist at check-in where it should be parked.
Check-in - The leader of the tour should come inside the reception area and sign in at the front desk. Other tour participants should remain outside of the Administration Building.
Special needs - When scheduling a tour, please notify Plant staff if there are any people in the group with a fear of heights or small spaces. We have no facilities for strollers or infants and younger children.
Disabled facilities - Limited (numerous stairs, no elevators). Modified tours can be arranged.
Refreshments - There is no guest eating area at the Plant, but Sunnyvale Baylands Park is close by and has picnic facilities. There is a charge for car or bus parking (May through Oct). The balance of year is free.
Additional information - Brochures and/or materials about the treatment processes, pollution prevention, water recycling, water conservation, and watershed protection are available upon request. Videos, books and other educational resources are also available for loan.
Extend the value of your visit by touring the Sunnyvale Materials Recovery and Transfer (SMaRT) Station -- it's just a short walk away from the Water Pollution Control Plant. To arrange a tour, please call the SMaRT Station operator, at (408) 752-8530.
Plant Tour Study Guide
To assist teachers in measuring the retention of information learned on the tour, a study guide is available. Students may work on completing the study guide before, during or after the tour.
The study guide asks students to recall facts and figures about the tour, and also asks them to comment on the environmental benefit of the wastewater treatment process.
Much of the information given on the tour is technical and comprehensive but it is presented in an age-appropriate manner for grades 5 through 12.
Download the study guide (requires Adobe Acrobat): WPCP Tour Study Guide
Download the study guide answers (requires Adobe Acrobat): Tour Study Guide Answers
Virtual Plant Tours
In addition to actual plant tours, Outreach staff can give a “virtual tour” in two different forms.
1. A powerpoint presentation is available for groups who are unable or do not wish to come to the plant.
2. A video entitled "Wastewater Treatment" which explains the water cycle, the human element in that cycle, the treatment process, and the effect of increasing population on water resources is availble for loan.
The Water Pollution Control Plant Brochure that describes the wastewater treatment process is available in both hard copy and through the above link.