July 2, 2020
From the Manager
By Teresa Herrera
Resiliency is an ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change. Our country is certainly experiencing adversity and change right now, and resiliency is a word that has taken on a stronger meaning in the midst of our current climate.

In March, Governor Newsom laid out our state’s “Resilience Roadmap” to assist recovery efforts across the state, and counties have been responding to their own communities’ needs. Despite California’s fast development of a strong response to the pandemic and a flattening of the curve, we are again seeing a significant increase in COVID-19 cases.

We at SVCW continue to respond to the ongoing challenges that face us and our local, regional, and national society. We continue to treat our service area’s wastewater safely and efficiently regardless of the pandemic, its resulting economic turmoil or the persistent calls for racial justice. At the same time, we recognize that our Plant’s operation continues because of the hard work and effort put in by the people: our staff, contractors and consultants.

We need to be resilient. Coming from all walks of life and being a part of our society at large, we face significant adversity. Now more than ever, we need to respond calmly, responsibly, and effectively.
Salus to Begin Her Second Tunnel Boring Journey
After a successful first tunnel drive, Salus, the Tunnel Boring Machine, is ready for her next journey – tackling twice the distance of the first drive with ease and precision as part of Silicon Valley Clean Water’s (SVCW) Gravity Pipeline Project. Based on monitoring and data derived from the first drive, you won’t be able to tell that she will be hard at work beneath the surface on her 2.5-mile voyage (approximately 12,500 feet), launching from the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) launch shaft located at Holly Street and Shoreway Road, as she heads to the TBM Receiving Shaft located at the Front of Plant at SVCW’s wastewater treatment site.

As was done for the first drive, to initiate the launch of Salus for her second drive, the Barnard-Bessac Joint Venture team will construct concrete excavation support rings in the starter tunnel immediately behind Salus. Once the first rings are constructed, Salus will begin mining towards the SVCW wastewater treatment plant. First steps of the launching phase require slow progress as the TBM operations team re-familiarizes with the properties of the soil through which Salus will be mining. Operations crews will begin monitoring Salus' performance during the early stages, and will continuously monitor its performance throughout the entire second tunnel drive.

We are wishing Salus a safe and happy journey!

Follow Salus' journey and read more about the second launch here . To view more about SVCW’s Regional Environmental Sewer Conveyance Upgrade Program (RESCU), please visit https://svcw-rescu.org/. Updates on Salus’ drive will be posted every two weeks, and you can also follow us on Facebook at @SiliconValleyCleanWater.
Preparing for a Food Waste Co-Digestion Program
Full article by Arvind Akela, Aniruddha Bhagwat and Chuck Fenton of SVCW and Bhargavi Subramanian and Ganesh Rajagopalan of Kennedy/Jenks Consultants featured in Clean Water Issue #3 2020
SVCW has longstanding interest and commitment to sustainability, community and renewable energy. For over 30 years, we have received Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) into the digester to enhance biogas production and minimize greenhouse gas emissions. The process of adding FOG or other organic waste to the wastewater digester to enhance biogas production is referred to as co-digestion. The three digesters capacity of 1.6 million gallons (MG) is not fully being utilized. A food waste co-digestion program will use the additional capacity and assist in meeting our goals.

Co-digestion provides an excellent opportunity to beneficially reuse organic matter in energy production, recycling nutrients and organic matter into soils, creating a sustainable reuse cycle.

Prior to implementation of a full-scale organics co-digestion program, SVCW and partner Kennedy Jenks, commissioned a full-scale program demonstration. The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded KJ-SVCW a $1.5M Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) grant to better understand various issues associated with co-digestion programs. This included pre-treatment requirements, process effects, operational demands, permitting challenges and cost-benefit scenarios. The objective of EPIC was to demonstrate innovative technologies and operational strategies for lowering co-digestion costs, enhancing alternate energy production and promoting sustainability.

SVCW dedicated one of its three 1.6 MG digesters for the study. A total of seven tests were performed to evaluate the impacts of organic waste added to the wastewater sludge in the digester. During the study, SVCW generated a combined primary sludge and Thickened Waste Activated Sludge (TWAS) flow of about 85,000 gallons per day (gpd). The tests were benchmarked by adding to the digester a specific amount of sludge only, sludge and FOG, or sludge and food waste. In order to understand the overall impact of co-digestion on the treatment process, SVCW developed a holistic performance evaluation plan.

Now that the study is complete, SVCW is conducting an impact study to identify process and infrastructure improvement requirements to implement the full-scale organic co-digestion program by 2022.

Read the full article by going to page 44 here . For more about SVCW’s innovation efforts, go 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).
Gravity Pipeline
Salus, the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), safely began her second drive from the launch shaft to SVCW’s wastewater treatment facility late June. Barnard-Bessac Joint Venture (BBJV), the contractor partner for the Gravity Pipeline project, connected all of Salus’ electrical components. These components included gantries, a frame structure raised on side supports, that house the equipment needed to power and run the TBM throughout its drive. Gantries also serve as an entryway to deliver concrete support rings to the front of Salus for installation.

BBJV transported the final segments of fiberglass reinforced polymer (FRP) pipes from the Port of Stockton to the storage yard in Sunol. They are wrapped in a protective blue tarp and stored in the yard until ready for installation in the new tunnel created by Salus.

Read more about the gravity pipeline project here.
Front of Plant
Progress on building the second wall pass 
Receiving Lift Station
Shea Parson Joint Venture (SPJV) is completing the construction of the second pass walls in the Receiving Lift Station (RLS) vertical shaft. To date, concrete has been placed for three of four panels with setting rebar and placing concrete for the final panel up next. Once the second pass walls are complete, they will extend higher than the existing shaft by 6 feet.

Headworks Facility
Concrete chambers that hold the grit removal systems are being detailed for permanent installation in the Headworks Facility. The grit removal system is designed like a stacked tray, and functions to capture and retain over 90% of the grit that passes through the Headworks Facility with minimal energy loss. Grit is all non-organic material like sand and silt. The stacked tray design provides a large surface area that allows grit to settle at the bottom as the incoming water swirls from the top. There are no electrical components and no moving parts, making the grit removal system an energy efficient mechanism to remove grit from the wastewater. In addition, grit removal protects downstream equipment and processes from abrasion and sedimentation.

Read more about the Front of Plant project here.
Grit Removal System
Pump Station Improvements
Belmont Gravity Pipeline
The Belmont Gravity Pipeline will replace the existing pumps and force main, which carries wastewater from the current Belmont Pump Station. Design will reach 100% this month.

Redwood City Pump Station
The SVCW Commission approved the construction phase of the design-build contract with Shea Parsons Joint Venture (SPJV). The Redwood City Pump Station will be completely replaced and will include a remote screening facility; the new pump station will be adjacent to the existing station on the same site. Once complete, the Redwood City Pump Station will be capable of pumping flows during the wet weather season from both Redwood City and the Menlo Park Pump Station which serves the West Bay Sanitary District. Flow exiting the Redwood City pump station will merge with the Menlo Park Pump Station flow before entering the new gravity pipeline tunnel, which is then carried to the SVCW wastewater treatment facility.

Menlo Park Pump Station
This month, the project will reach 100% design. Investigations into the condition of the pipe downstream of the pump station are currently ongoing.

San Carlos Pump Station
Crews are preparing for construction by coordinating and finalizing work schedules. Both Shea Parson Joint Venture and Barnard-Bessac Joint Venture are collaborating on this project to connect the Redwood City and Belmont flows to the gravity pipeline.

To read more about the Pump Station Improvement projects, go here.