SAN MARCOS, Calif. — Have you heard of the term “Super Flush”? It’s the idea that everyone in America uses the bathroom during the Super Bowl’s halftime since they don’t want to miss the game or the commercials.

So while everyone is gearing up for the big game on Sunday, getting their snacks and drinks ready, there are engineers at the Vallecitos Water District getting ready for a local impact of the game.

All those Super Bowl snacks and drinks have to go somewhere, and that’s when the wastewater experts come in.

“In the past at this plant, we were seeing bumps in the flow during the Super Bowl,” said Jason Hubbard, a district engineer with the Vallecitos Water District. “Because it’s an urban legend or not, it’s still always in the back of our head.”

The Vallecitos Water District in North County isn’t just thinking about it, but they are prepared and their system is designed to withstand peak events, such as large rain and storm events, and also a “Super Flush.”

“Last Super Bowl at one of our monitoring stations, we were actually getting about 4,500 gallons per minute, so imagine that in 60 seconds, 4,500 gallons is passing by that point. Now in contrast the Sunday after the Super Bowl it’s about 20% less,” Hubbard said.

The Vallecitos Water District’s game plan is a three-step process to score their version of a touchdown, which is making recycled water.

“This treatment plant handles about 3.5 million gallons a day of raw sewer,” Hubbard said.

The raw wastewater goes into the facility at the Headworks building and the initial process begins by taking all of the “big stuff” out of the water.

“We see stickers from vegetables. We see kids’ toys that have been flushed down,” said Matthew Wiese, supervisor of the Meadowlark Water Reclamation Facility. “We can tell when the majority of the people in the city and the surrounding area when they’re waking up and when they’re getting ready. We’ll see a big influx of flow coming through.”

If the Vallecitos Water District sees a peak during Super Bowl, it won’t be right away.

“When you flush your toilet on Super Bowl Sunday, preferably before Rihanna goes on stage, it’s going to take about five hours to get here,” Hubbard said. “And that’s usually the peak, so it’s not instantaneous.”

The experts at the Vallecitos Water District prepare for peak events by doing preventative maintenance, cleaning the sewer pipes, clearing out any debris and they are prepared to open up more basins if needed.

“If anything should fall out of the norm. Something that the plant can’t handle. Something that might cause an upset or cause a divergence from where we want to be. It will send out an alarm out to the operator,” Wiese said. “He will be able to make that adjustment, he can be watching the Super Bowl, get that alarm and as he’s watching, make that adjustment right there.”

Wiese said just like a team in the Super Bowl, it takes a team at the Vallecitos Water District to make sure everything works smoothly.

Whether your team ends up number one or two at Super Bowl LVII, at least you know the folks at the Vallecitos Water District have your back.