Annual snail removal at Hayward’s Wastewater Treatment Facility

A species of air-breathing, freshwater snail thrives in some of the treatment facilities at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.


The snails clog pumps and disrupt the air flow needed to promote the growth of beneficial wastewater organisms. The men and woman who work at the Wastewater Treatment Facility are responsible for removing hundreds of thousands of these tiny snails annually to maintain process quality.

In the photo below, employees Roy Bosbach, Epheriam Taylor, and Marshall Harvey are in a solids contact tank that has been drained for cleaning. These 400,000 gallon tanks are approximately 16 feet deep. After sweeping the snails into a pile, staff coordinates with the Collections Department to suck them out of the tank using a vacuum truck.

Snail removal of is one of the many tasks required to keep Hayward’s wastewater treatment process flowing smoothly.

Wastewater Treatment employees work as a team daily to keep dozens of pumps running, rebuild equipment in house, clean pumps that contain dangerous items like needles and raw sewage, troubleshoot state of the art computerized electrical equipment, and sample and monitor water at one of the highest frequencies in the area.

Workers removing snails