August 10, 2020
From the Manager
By Teresa Herrera
Everyone at SVCW continues to be diligent about keeping safe and healthy.

We follow strict protocols for keeping COVID-19 at bay, while continuing to operate, maintain, monitor and analyze, and administer all necessary functions to ensure our community’s wastewater is conveyed and treated to the highest standards of excellence.

In this edition of the newsletter, you’ll read about an exciting milestone that was recently reached. It’s been a long time coming, but we have attained our goal to fully utilize our onsite generation capabilities. This has taken four years and much dedication from our staff and partner consultants. I encourage everyone to read about it!

Worth mentioning in every newsletter is SVCW’s safety record. We are well past 520 days without a recordable incident and I give a huge shout-out in appreciation to our staff who have taken our safety culture to heart. The fact that we can each go home to our loved ones whole and healthy brings a smile to my face, day in and day out.

On a separate note, there's a big milestone coming up on August 26 that I'd like to recognize--the 100th anniversary of passing the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gives women the right to vote. Since women play a large role in our company's leadership, I'd like to celebrate how far we've come in the last century. To all the women--and men--who fought for equal rights and who continue the fight for full equality, I bow in honor and gratitude. I am proud that our team celebrates a culture that supports not only women, but diversity in all forms.

I hope you all stay safe and well, and I look forward to the days when the pandemic ends. In the meantime, we are here to support the community.
SVCW Reaches New
Green Energy Milestone
Silicon Valley Clean Water just reached an important milestone in its history that will benefit our entire community and the environment. We received the green light from PG&E to export energy generated at the treatment plant back into the power grid. This milestone, which was years in the making, advances green energy capabilities at SVCW.

This milestone allows our onsite cogeneration engines to operate at full capacity (1,250 kW). In addition to allowing us to export energy to the power grid, the plant’s 1,040 kW Energy Storage System using Tesla batteries will now store energy at night when demand for energy is low and cost of energy is much cheaper. During the day, the batteries will discharge energy as needed when the demand increases. After being installed a year and a half ago, SVCW staff is excited to finally put the batteries to use for expanding their energy resiliency and efficiency program, and reduce the utility power cost.

The Energy Storage System is expected to save up to $150,000 in utility bills every year and takes us closer to becoming more energy independent.

This development reinforces our commitment to being an environmental steward for protecting the San Francisco Bay and being an innovative leader in utilizing clean and cost-effective energy. Learn about our other innovative programs here. Read the full press release here.
We're on track and continuing to make progress on the Regional Environmental Sewer Conveyance Upgrade (RESCU), the rehabilitation and replacement of SVCW's conveyance system. When complete, it will ensure that for many decades to come, SVCW can efficiently, reliably, and safely convey and treat wastewater from its four member agencies. Those include Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, and the West Bay Sanitary District (which serves the cities of Menlo Park, Portola Valley, and portions of Atherton, Woodside, East Palo Alto, and unincorporated areas of San Mateo County).
Salus' first drive created the ring built tunnel at Inner Bair Island .
Gravity Pipeline
Salus, the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), safely began her second and final drive from the launch shaft to SVCW’s wastewater treatment facility late June. As of late July, Salus advanced 270 feet from the launch shaft, with 48 rings built.

Contractor Barnard-Bessac Joint Venture (BBJV) connected all of Salus’ electrical components to power the drive, and transported the final segments of fiberglass reinforced polymer (FRP) pipes from the Port of Stockton to the storage yard in Sunol. This month, they will also lower down six more equipment support platforms, known as gantries, into the tunnel behind Salus. Once the gantries are lowered into the tunnel, Salus will continue the mining process.

Read more about the gravity pipeline project here.
Front of Plant
The latest progress in building the second wall pass includes placing Lift 4 panels on the outside shaft.
Receiving Lift Station
This month, construction of the second pass walls continues within the Receiving Lift Station (RLS) vertical shaft. With four vertical sections needed to complete the construction of the second pass walls, SVCW's contractor partner, Shea Parsons Joint Venture (SPJV), is constructing the panels of the fourth and last lift. Once the concrete for the last lift is placed and cured, the interior walls of the RLS shaft will be ready for detailing, with conduit, piping, walking platforms, etc.

Headworks Facility
Structural work is complete for the Headworks Facility, which is where the initial stage of the treatment process takes place. This preliminary process removes inorganic, obstructive material such as rags and grit that might interfere with the treatment process. SPJV will install mechanical equipment, including flow control gates, grit removal equipment, and bar screens, that will help remove these materials in the wastewater flow before it reaches the plant.

Read more about the Front of Plant project here.
Rendering of the Redwood City pump station
Pump Station Improvements
This month, work will progress to 100% on the design elements for three parts of the Pump Station Improvements (PSI) project:

  • Redwood City Pump Station
  • Menlo Park Pump Station
  • Belmont Gravity Pipeline

Since the pump stations are designed to take in wastewater flows from the four SVCW member agencies, the hydraulic conditions in each pump station have been studied through computer and physical models constructed at the Clemson University lab, an industry leading research facility. Findings will inform the design of the PSI project.

This month, SVCW's design-build partner, Shea Parsons Joint Venture (SPJV), is starting preliminary work on the Belmont Gravity Pipeline in preparation for construction starting in September.

In addition, we're finally at the stage where preliminary work began on the San Carlos Pump Station, which kicks off general construction for the Pump Stations Improvement projects. The rehabilitation of the pump stations will provide much needed upgrades to the current, aging infrastructure in a cost-effective manner. Rehabilitating and replacing the pump stations is one piece of the whole RESCU program to ensure that SVCW continues to safely convey and treat wastewater for our customers.

To read more about the Pump Station Improvement projects, go here.
19th Amendment Centennial
August marks a special and important date in U.S. history, the 100 Year Anniversary of Women's Suffrage. On August 26, 1920 the U.S. ratified the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote. After nearly 100 years of fighting for equal rights, activists, reformers and women won - declaring that women, like men, deserve the rights to and responsibilities of citizenship.

Legalizing women's right to vote was not the end of the fight for equal gender rights, however. In 1923, Alice Paul introduced the Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA, which is designed to constitutionally protect and guarantee equal rights regardless of sex. To date, 38 states ratified the amendment; yet, the fight continues.

Learn more about women's suffrage and history of activism for equal rights by following the resources below. Many national resources like these have been converted for continued consumption with online exhibitions, social media tools, webinars, and more!

If you haven't yet registered to vote, there's still time. Check out these resources:

Let your voice be heard and vote!