SFPUC Launches $320M in Major Seismic and Reliability Upgrades to Peninsula Region Reservoirs, Pipelines, and Treatment Plant

May 03, 2011

Projects will improve ability for water delivery to more than one million Bay Area people after a major earthquake; part of SFPUC's $4.6B Hetch Hetchy Water System Improvement Program

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), San Mateo County Board President Carole Groom, and officials from the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency launched another $320 million in scheduled upgrades for the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System. The four projects beginning construction in the Peninsula region are part of the SFPUC's $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program and include upgrades to a reservoir system, water treatment plant and regional pipelines. Together these improvements will allow the SFPUC to return minimum water service to over 1 million people in San Mateo County and San Francisco within 36-hours of a major seismic event. Construction is slated to begin in March 2011 and be completed within a four year period.
"The devastating earthquake in Japan is a sobering reminder of the need to have a seismically secure and reliable drinking water system," said SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington. "In 2011, the SFPUC will have an estimated $2 billion in active construction throughout the Bay Area to upgrade the water system. All these investments will help ensure that people can continue to count on the daily delivery of water, even after a major earthquake."
The event was held on the water's edge adjacent to the two outlet towers that draw water out of the Crystal Springs Reservoirs. These historic structures built in 1891 and 1936 by Spring Valley Water Company are scheduled to be demolished and submerged under the water line as part the system upgrades. Work at these structures and in the reservoirs represents the most extensive underwater work in the Water System Improvement Program. Additional work in the vicinity includes upgrades to the spillway and parapet wall at the top of the Lower Crystal Springs Dam built in 1890. This concrete, gravity-arch dam was one of the first major water infrastructure projects on the San Francisco Peninsula and would later serve as a model for the Hoover Dam.
"San Mateo County residents and businesses depend on this regional water system. It has taken years of planning and collaboration by many agencies to reach this point," said Carole Groom, President of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. "There will definitely be some inconvenience due to construction, but this inconvenience pales in comparison to not having access to clean drinking water."
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)
Tyrone Jue
- Director of Communications -
(415) 554-3247

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