There’s little in life that’s more elemental than water. And yet, in most developed countries, it’s easy to take access to safe water and sanitation for granted.
Prior to the creation of the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (CCCSD) in 1946, however, Contra Costa County—located east of San Francisco, CA—was in crisis. A post-war building boom had brought an influx of new residents, most of them relying on septic systems that didn’t take well to the area’s heavy adobe clay soil. With septic tanks overflowing and waterborne diseases such as typhoid becoming a potential threat, health authorities considered the polluted conditions in the county to be among the worst in California.
As a result, the CCCSD was formed as a special district, a sewer system and treatment plants were put in place, and the public received much-needed access to safe water and sanitation.