October 25, 2019
From the Manager

By Teresa Herrera
SVCW Manager

Every day I look around and see so much activity occurring here at Silicon Valley Clean Water (SVCW), it just stops me in my tracks in wonder.
Since I started working here more than 11 years ago, efforts to improve our infrastructure and ensure a clean environment for future generations have been non-stop -- and absolutely necessary. I'm proud of our staff, who not only ensure that our plant is in compliance with all regulations, but also greatly assist in our capital and administrative improvement projects. There are many. Not only are we upgrading our physical assets, we're also embarking on wholesale changes to our financial system, our CMMS system, our file repository method, and our SCADA system. These changes will improve our operations and business administration, and propel us forward in our mission to more efficiently protect public health and provide a clean water environment.
Amidst all this activity, we continue to see the results of our emphasis on building a strong and enduring culture of safety. Our goal is zero accidents, and we are on track this year to achieve it. Once we meet that goal for the year, we’ll work towards two years. Ensuring everyone goes home each day uninjured is our top priority.
Finally, I want to give a shout-out to the myriad of consultants and contractors who help us advance our mission and meet our goals day in and day out. Without the support and input from these experts in their respective fields, we could not have accomplished what we have in these past 11 years. I want to give a huge thank you to all of them, and let them know that we at SVCW appreciate them!
The Regional Environmental Sewer Conveyance Upgrade (RESCU) Program includes 11 projects that will constitute full replacement and rehabilitation of SVCW’s sewer conveyance system. It will support the safety and reliability of the community’s wastewater system and protect the San Francisco Bay through rehabilitation and re-purposing of existing infrastructure, and construction of new facilities.  Below are the latest updates for the major projects.  
Front of Plant Update

This month, we finalized the last design elements for the Front of Plant project, which consists of the design and construction of the receiving lift station, headworks facility, odor control facilities, influent connector pipe, civil site work, emergency overflow pipe to storage basin, and related process support systems.

We created this progressive design-build procurement delivery method in partnership with our contractor, Shea-Parsons Joint Venture (SPJV). Some project highlights follow.

Excavation of the 90-foot deep Receiving Lift Station (RLS) shaft has progressed to nearly 60 feet. This shaft will house the new RLS and related support equipment. The new RLS will have the capacity to pump at a maximum flow rate of 80 million gallons per day. That's nearly 56,000 gallons per minute. It will deliver raw wastewater from the discharge end of the new gravity pipeline tunnel to the new SVCW headworks. The headworks is a preliminary treatment facility where inorganic materials such as grit and rags are removed before they enter our wastewater treatment plant, where they cannot be processed. The excavation work involves removing soil from the interior of the circular excavation support walls that form the vertical RLS shaft.  
Concurrent with the vertical shaft excavation, we hit two early milestones in the construction of above-grade portions of the new headworks structure. The first level concrete walls have been poured, supported by the completed headworks structure base slab, which was completed at the end of September.  

The project is on track for completion in 2022. Read more here .
San Francisco Bay Microplastics Project
The San Francisco Estuary Institute and 5 Gyres recently completed a three-year study on microplastics pollution in San Francisco Bay. They found microplastic pollution in every part of the Bay -- at some of the highest levels measured to date. The study was presented on October 2 at a joint symposium in Berkeley called Science & Solutions for Microplastics Pollution. Here’s an infographic to help understand the findings:
Science-informed solutions to the microplastic pollution problem currently in progress include:

  • Advancing federal, state, and local policies that phase out single-use plastics.

  • Reducing runoff containing microplastics using nature-based storm water filtration solutions, such as rain gardens and permeable paving.

  • Using filters on washing machines in the home to prevent fibers from entering wastewater. Clothing and fabric designers are working on reducing the “shed-ability” of fabrics.

Learn more here.
WateReuse Association Launches "Imagine a Day Without Water" Campaign

Executive Director Patricia Sinicropi Shares Her Insights about the Campaign, which Kicked Off October 23
By Patricia Sinicropi, Executive Director, WateReuse Association

Today, we ask Americans to “Imagine a Day Without Water” to raise awareness of the important value clean and safe water has in our daily lives. Americans are quite fortunate compared to many citizens of other countries in that, for the most part, we wake up each morning and turn on our taps with high confidence that safe water will spill out – in communities where this is not the case, it usually makes the evening news. Every day, our business leaders and farmers know that they will have water of sufficient quality necessary to operate their enterprises and pay their workers – in communities where this is not the case, it usually makes the evening news.

What doesn’t make the evening news is the normalcy of having a clean, safe and reliable source of water to live our daily lives and run our economy. Thus, campaigns like “Imagine a Day Without Water” serve to remind us of the essential value of clean and safe water, and remind us that investing in the infrastructure and treatment systems that provide this resource to us is critical.

The “Imagine a Day Without Water” campaign also reminds us that water itself is a precious resource and should not be wasted, which is why across America, communities are increasingly turning to water reuse. Technology exists today that enables us to take any source of water, whether from a river, ocean or wastewater treatment plant, and clean it to any quality necessary for any use required, including for drinking and irrigating food crops. Across the country, communities and businesses investing in water reuse are ensuring that residents have safe drinking water supplies and industry has water to expand and create jobs.

According to Bluefield Research, by 2027, the volume of recycled water produced in the U.S. is projected to increase 37 percent from 4.8 billion gallons per day to 6.6 billion gallons per day. Water reuse is becoming a mainstay feature of our water management systems, and helping to ensure that Americans can avoid living any day without water.

Learn more about the WateReuse Association here .