The Southern Water Pollution Control Facility (SWPCF) is a secondary wastewater treatment facility located in Stafford Township, Ocean County, NJ. The plant is designed to treat domestic and light industrial waste at a rate of 20 million gallons a day. After receiving treatment, the plant's effluent is disinfected and discharged to the Atlantic Ocean via an outfall pipe, which extends out into the ocean 5,000 feet. In a news article published by the Asbury Park Press in January 1996, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) stated that the department reopened 490 acres of ocean bottom for surf clam harvests due to improved water quality and "The biggest improved area was around the outfall pipe for the treated water from the Ocean County Utilities Authority treatment plant in Stafford Township." Since going on-line 1977 the facility has repeatedly met or exceeded NJDEP effluent discharge permit requirements and has been the recipient of numerous awards (see awards page). The management and staff of the Southern Water Pollution Control Facility are dedicated to the continued improvement of the state's tidewaters and coastal water quality.