May 1, 2020
From the Manager
By Teresa Herrera
Similar to how many of you are probably operating, coronavirus currently informs everything we do here at SVCW and will continue to inform everything we do. As I write this, the San Mateo County Shelter-In-Place Order amending the March 31, 2020 Order was just issued. I’m reading it in detail and am beginning to strategize our response.

I want to note how appreciative I am of our state Governor and our Bay Area County Managers and Health Officers. I can well imagine how challenging it is to balance all the interests of our society. The fact that these folks are putting science, data, and public health and safety at the forefront of decision-making gives me great peace of mind.

We at SVCW are following all guidelines provided to us by our state and county leaders. As I’ve noted in past articles, we put safety first and always. Given that the nature of our business is rife with bacteria and viruses contained in wastewater, we’re accustomed to stringent cleaning regimens. The latest protocols to stem the spread of coronavirus cause us to step up our practices. We limited the number of staff working onsite at the treatment plant, and those reporting for onsite duty are now always wearing face coverings, even whilst walking through hallways, office spaces, and other common areas. We’re performing verbal symptom checks with staff coming onsite, and we’re protecting our operators’ workspaces by limiting those who enter. The majority of our staff are working remotely; it has been quite the adjustment. We’ve just passed the 6-week mark and I will say that life here at SVCW is starting to settle.

I am so proud and appreciative of our staff. I have heard nothing but support and agreement with the rigorous steps we’re taking to protect our health and safety. If staff had concerns or disagreements, I would address them with an open mind; however, I have not needed to have these discussions due to our staff’s incredible support of new safety procedures and expectations. Instead, I am able to focus all my energies on making decisions, strategizing our responses, and ensuring that our mission to protect public health and the environment remains solidly met.
Safety and Public Service Recognition
World Safety Day!
April 28 was World Day for Safety and Health at Work. SVCW lives that mission 24/7/365. Our emphasis on building a strong and enduring culture of safety shows -- we have gone 467 days without a lost time accident!

Safety is also important in the midst of the global pandemic we are currently experiencing. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 while SVCW staff continue essential work, the pandemic emergency response plan was implemented mid-March. Routine practices are followed to prevent exposure to wastewater, including using engineering controls, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment. Additionally, non-essential travel is restricted, meetings are being held via teleconference when possible, and we increased the disinfection processes and provide staff with disinfecting agents.

We continue to put safety as a top priority always. Our staff takes their own safety and the safety of everyone at our facility to heart. For more information on SVCW's safety program, go here.
Public Service Recognition Week
This May, we honor the people who serve our nation as agency, federal, state, county, and local government employees. They keep our cities clean and running, our infrastructure working, and they continue to treat the regions wastewater. While Public Service Recognition Week is only May 3-9, we are always appreciative of our staff, and their continued dedication to public service especially through these trying times.

To help show appreciation for our staff and public servants in the area, we challenge you to share a photo on social media. The photo can be anything that you appreciate about people in public service, how public servants have helped improve your life, or a simple 'Thank You'. Don't forget to tag us on Facebook and Twitter , and use the hashtags #PSRW and #SVCW. If you work as a civil servant, we'd love to see photos of you with #WhyIServe.

On behalf of Silicon Valley Clean Water, we'd like to say thank you to our staff, as well as city and county staff working tirelessly to protect and serve the Bay Area. We're in this together.
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 in the Retrieval Shaft
A bright note during an otherwise gloomy time, Salus, the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), completed her first tunnel drive and broke through into the 40-foot deep retrieval shaft at Inner Bair Island in March! Salus came in on time and on target to the "Tunnel Eye." Barnard-Bessac Joint Venture (BBJV) installed a grout plug against the north wall of the retrieval shaft, which is the wall with the Tunnel Eye as Salus’ target. The grout plug sealed the inside of the vertical shaft from the soil and groundwater that surrounds the shaft walls. Prior to Salus’ arrival, the shaft was filled with water to allow for a controlled and safe entry. Salus entered the bottom of the shaft onto a BBJV custom-built receiving cradle.

Salus’ breakthrough marks a major milestone for the RESCU Program.

Read more about the gravity pipeline project here.
Front of Plant
Receiving Lift Station Vertical Shaft
In May, construction at the Front of Plant includes building the interior shaft walls for the receiving lift station (RLS) with rebar paneling. Shea-Parsons Joint Venture constructed the vertical shaft by installing support of excavation (SoE) as a method to support the surrounding soil, facilitating a safe and efficient work space for construction of the shaft. Second pass wall is an interior wall constructed immediately inside the SoE wall and is a part of the structural support for the shaft. The second pass wall will be the visible wall surface within the RLS shaft.

In the photo below, near the fence, is form work that will be placed within the receiving lift station (RLS) in advance of concrete pour. The forms will be moved in and out between the RLS concrete pours; this area is used as the staging area and storage only. It is not a permanent feature of the project; however, the forms will be visible in that location over the next 3-4 months until the entire second pass wall is placed. 
Pump Station Improvements
All SVCW pump stations require replacement or rehabilitation. The Menlo Park pump station will be rehabilitated. The Redwood City pump station will be replaced. The Belmont pump station will be rehabilitated. The San Carlos pump station is no longer needed due to the new gravity pipeline; flows from San Carlos and Belmont will enter into the gravity pipeline via a drop structure at the current San Carlos pump station site. Flows from the Menlo Park pump station and Redwood City pump station will flow through the new 48-inch force main to a drop structure at Inner Bair Island.

Menlo Park Pump Station
At its March meeting, the SVCW Commission authorized the first part of construction on the Menlo Park Pump Station. The pump station will be rehabilitated in coordination with Shea-Parsons Joint Venture (SPJV) as an amendment to the existing design-build agreement.

Planned work includes replacing the existing pumps, the emergency generator and electrical equipment. The new equipment will improve the performance, durability, and control of the rehabilitated pump station.

Belmont Gravity Pipeline
The project team continues to work on design with the expectation that authorization to complete the design and start construction will be given at the April SVCW Commission meeting.

Redwood City Pump Station
The design for the Redwood City Pump Station replacement is being developed with expectations that it will reach 60% design in June 2020. At that point, it is expected to be authorized to move forward to complete design, and then start construction.

To read more about the pump station improvement projects, go here.