Roseville’s surface water treatment plant turns 50

Updated October 14, 2021
Roseville’s surface water treatment plant turns 50
In August 1971, the Barton Road Water Treatment Plant was officially dedicated to the Roseville community. It started treating, filtering and pumping clean drinking water to a community that historically relied on groundwater wells and ditched water for drinking water.

“You can’t do anything within your daily life without clean water,” said Mayor Krista Bernasconi. “Our leaders in the mid-1900s had the foresight to understand that to thrive as a community, we needed a reliable drinking water source, like Folsom Lake.”

The impetus for the treatment plant came when in 1967, Roseville established a 40-year agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to obtain surface water supplies from Folsom Lake. As plans were underway to obtain the new water supply, the community coined “Going to Folsom.”

The project cost was $6.5 million, which was paid for using a combination of bond financing, water rate increases, and assistance from the federal government. The Barton Road Water Treatment Plant initially operated with an average capacity of treating 12 million gallons of water per day. As water demands in Roseville grew, so did the water treatment plant, something officials anticipated when it was built. Since its initial build, the treatment plant was expanded in 1989, 2000, and 2007 to accommodate additional water supply demands.

Barton Road Water Treatment Plant processes up to 100 million gallons per day – over 800 percent more than its initial capacity. This plant treats and supplies drinking water supplies to the ever-growing region with a network of many miles of pipes, thousands of fire hydrants, and tanks to hold millions upon millions of gallons of clean water.

“Significant milestones throughout Roseville’s history tie back to smart planning and forward-thinking,” said Environmental Utilities Director, Richard Plecker. “From purchasing a private water company in the 1900s to inking a long-term contract with the federal government, we are realizing the benefits today as we can grow our community based on this bold vision and commitment.”

As we celebrate 50 years of supplying reliable, high-quality surface water from Barton Road, we continue to secure our water future through diversity of water resources so that when Roseville turns the tap, we can deliver fresh water every day.

“What we know based on the actions then is that our work to create a reliable water supply future didn’t end with this plant,” said Sean Bigley, Environmental Utilities Assistant Director. “We have high aspirations to be resilient and deliver water regardless of water supply conditions to our thriving community.”

Roseville is investing millions in additional groundwater infrastructure, looking at ways to bring in more surface water supplies outside of Folsom Lake, and continues delivering more than a billion gallons of recycled water annually.

For more information about Roseville water planning efforts, visit