Friday, September 23, 2016

Sunol Glen School Walk-a-Thon

Well, now it is officially fall. Sure, the Autumnal Equinox was yesterday, but today, more importantly, is Sunol Glen School’s Annual Walk-a-thon!

It is the Sunol Glen Community Club’s largest fundraiser.

We at the SFPUC are pleased and proud to be out there again this year to provide drinking water and moral support to the amazing student participants.

How can you show your support, you ask? 

Visit to learn more!

 Go Eagles!!

Wendie and Carlos (at right) and Maria and Dylan (below) show their true blue Eagles Spirit! 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Work on the Drainage System for Calaveras Dam

This week our crews started installation of two drainage pipes which are 100 feet long and 18 inches in diameter. Why are these important?

A major component of earthen fill dams is to control water seepage. Seepage occurs with the continuous movement of water around and through the dam. Earthen fill dams are designed with filter drain materials. The new Calaveras Dam will have filter drains composed of sands and gravel materials, which are being imported to the project site. The filter drains collect the seepage. The water goes into the drainage pipes shown below and flows to a weir building, where it is measured continuously to ensure water is passing safely. Eventually the water will flow downstream to the nearby creeks. The completion of the Calaveras Dam is critical to restore the Calaveras Reservoir to its historic storage capacity of 31 billion gallons of water storage for the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System.

Perforated Pipes being installed adjacent to the inspection well for the new Calaveras Dam

Installation of drainage pipes below the new spillway for the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project

Friday, September 2, 2016

Successful Celebration of Sunol Ag Park’s 10th Anniversary at the Sunol Water Temple

On Saturday August 13th, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE) celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Sunol Agricultural Park (AgPark) in the East Bay. Located on approximately 18 acres owned by the SFPUC, the Sunol AgPark is a collaborative farm that promotes sustainable agricultural practices, supports beginning and diverse farmers, fosters public education and protects natural resources in the Alameda Creek Watershed.
“Ten years ago, SAGE approached the SFPUC with a novel idea,” said Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. General Manager of the SFPUC. “Create an urban farm on our land between the Sunol Water Temple and our corporation yard. The farm would promote sustainable farming and educate the public about watershed stewardship. This was an entirely new concept to us years ago, and now we support urban agricultural programs throughout the Bay Area.”
The event took place on a very warm summer afternoon in the Sunol Valley, but that didn’t stop attendees from enjoying themselves with the Sunol Water Temple as the back drop. Guests included Norma Camacho the interim GM for Santa Clara Valley Water District, Sunol CAC members, SAGE Board members and staff, farmers from the Ag Park, Sunol neighbors and SFPUC staff who all came together to celebrate this milestone.
During the event, guests had the unique opportunity to tour the working Ag Park discovering the many vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers grown on the property. All guests enjoyed delicious dishes prepared by local chefs using fruit and vegetables grown at and gathered from the Ag Park. These chefs all come from prominent eateries in the Bay Area including Bar Agricole and Standard Fare among others and donated their time for the event.  The event also received some media coverage from The Independent, a local newspaper serving Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton and Sunol.
The SFPUC and SAGE commemorated this occasion by unveiling a bronze plaque that will be installed near the Sunol Water Temple to acknowledge SAGE’s hard work and Sibella Kraus’ integral role in the creation and long-term success of the AgPark. The SFPUC’s Commission recognized Sibella Krauss, for her hard work and dedication to this project, with a heartfelt acknowledgement and resolution at their Aug. 9 meeting. In 2017, SAGE will move on to other opportunities and the management of the AgPark will be taken over by the Alameda County Resource Conservation District. However, the farm will continue as it has- providing land for sustainable farming and education.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Safety Milestone for the Fish Passage Facilities Project

Since construction began in April 2016, the Fish Passage Facilities Project within the Alameda Creek Watershed celebrated an important safety milestone this month.  As of August 6th, the construction crews have worked a total of 24,447 hours with no recordable injuries, modified duty or days away from work and the injury rate is well below the national average. 

Major work has included concrete demolition, excavation and drilling work at the site. The Alameda Creek Diversion Dam is located on SFPUC lands adjacent to the Sunol Regional Wilderness Park in Sunol. The project will allow the SFPUC to improve the current facility and to develop fish passage facilities within the Alameda Creek Watershed. This important work will support restoration of steelhead trout to the Alameda Creek watershed. As we continue work to complete the project in late 2018, we applaud Shimmick Construction for making safety a priority every day.

Early morning safety tailgate with the crews 

Work underway at the Fish Passage Facilities Project 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Calaveras Dam Project shows Day Campers how to build their own Dam

It was a hot summer day in the Sunol Regional Wilderness Park. But that did not stop our project teams to meet with a group of energetic kids from the Ridge Runners Nature Day Camp. 

Staff met with the young, curious minds to tell them about the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System along with what is happening just around the corner at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project and the Fish Passage Facilities within the Alameda Creek Watershed.

The youth learned about how their drinking water reaches their tap and asked questions about how fish migrate along the fish ladder. The Fish Passage Facilities Project will support the migration of the steelhead trout in Alameda Creek, around the existing Alameda Creek Diversion Dam, when completed in late 2018.

In addition, the kids were able to become hands-on dam builders, designing and constructing their own dams with clay, gravel and sand materials. The soil samples provided will actually be used in the construction of the Calaveras Dam, an earth and rock filled dam, so the campers got to touch the very center of the dam.

Thank you to the Ridge Runners Nature Day Camp for the opportunity to hear about our important projects in the Sunol Valley!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Photo Friday - Tule Elk

Tule elk are a subspecies of elk that are native to only California. Once abundant, they were hunted to near extinction after the Gold Rush.  A small handful of elk were discovered on a private ranch in San Joaquin County in the mid 1870’s and protected by the rancher.

Flash forward, tule elk were reintroduced to the area in Santa Clara County in 1978. The herd split up, and some of them took up residence near our San Antonio Reservoir.  

The ancestors of that herd are still there today, and apparently making themselves available for photo ops by watershed keeper Pat Jones while on his rounds.

Pat spied this gentleman below Turner Dam last weekend.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sunol Valley Updates: Calaveras Road Closure and Construction Updates

Here are some important updates that may affect you:

Calaveras Road Closure Starts July 5th

To those who drive or ride Calaveras Road between Milpitas and Highway I-680 through the Sunol Valley: Please take note that Calaveras Road will be closed between Geary Road (just south of the entrance to Sunol Regional Wilderness) to Oakridge Road (near the Santa Clara / Alameda County line) starting July 5, 2016 for 18 months for safety reasons. The closure is weekdays only. 

Why Close the Road?
Although the majority of the materials for the new dam will come from on-site, approximately 300,000 cubic yards of sands and gravels and 150,000 cubic yards of hard rock will need to be imported to the site for construction of the dam. These materials will be imported in large hauling trucks on Calaveras Road. At its peak, truck traffic could amount to an average of one haul truck every five minutes on Calaveras Road during heavy hauling activities. It is not safe for this many large trucks to share the narrow portions of Calaveras Road with cyclists and private vehicles. 

Road Closure Details
  • Where: Calaveras Road just south of Geary Road (entrance to Sunol Regional Wilderness) to Oakridge Road – near the Alameda / Santa Clara County line.
  • When: weekdays ONLY
  • The road will be swept of debris before opening at 6 a.m. on Saturday mornings
  • The road will be closed every Sunday evening at 11:00 p.m.
  • Gates: Two gates will close Calaveras Road just south of Geary Road and at Oakridge Road
  • Emergency First Responders will have access through the closure at all times
  • The entrance to East Bay Regional Park District’s Sunol Regional Wilderness will be open at all times from the north
  • The road will be OPEN on weekends, for specific cycling races and for major holidays.
To learn more about the Calaveras Road Closure, please visit for more details

Construction Activity to begin in the South end of the Calaveras Reservoir

Staring July 5, 2016 thru Mid 2018, increased construction activity will begin in the southern end of Calaveras Reservoir which the project refers to as Borrow Area E. In order to construct the replacement dam, we will need to gather clay materials from Borrow Area E.

What to expect
  • Construction vehicles and earth moving machinery working at the southern edge of the reservoir on SFPUC property.
  • Typical work hours are from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • You may hear back up alarms and some noise from the equipment
  • Traffic: the trucks will stay off public roads for construction work. They will utilize specially-constructed roads within SFPUC property instead
  • The project will not use Marsh or Felter Roads to access the construction areas or to haul materials. 

No Construction Work on the 4th of July
Our construction crews in Sunol Valley will not be working.
We hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Independence Day.