Friday, April 26, 2013

Fascinating Fossil Finds at Calaveras Dam

Every day, our scrapers dig soils and earthen materials to make room to build the replacement Calaveras Dam.  We have special staff who monitor high sensitivity areas during construction searching for paleontological and cultural resources, which are protected by federal and state laws.  Construction crews also attend environmental training about the identification and protection of paleontological and cultural resources. Calaveras Dam project teams have discovered fascinating finds within our construction site. 

What are Paleontological Resources?
Paleontological resources include: remains of prehistoric/extinct plants and animals, petrified wood, fossil leaves, fossil remains of vertebrate and invertebrate organisms, fossil tracks and track ways, and plant fossils, typically of Pleistocene Epoch (> 12,000 years ago) or greater age. 

What have we found?
Fossilized plants such as wood, leaves, and a pine cone have been salvaged from the site.  Invertebrates uncovered include: scallops, clams, snails, barnacles and worms.  We have also found shark teeth that are still being analyzed but may be related to a great white shark although much larger (Think “Jaws” and then some).

Our most fascinating finds are linked to prehistoric marine mammal(s).  This includes an intact portion of a backbone of a whale.  These finds are still being analyzed by experts.

Most of the fossils have been found in the 20 million year old marine sandstone called the Temblor Formation.  The Sunol Valley area was below sea level in the Pacific Ocean about 20 million years ago and has since been uplifted along with the rest of the Coast Ranges. Life along the old coast was similar to today, with abundant clams, mussels, sea worms and other invertebrate organisms living in the sand. But the fossils also document significant differences from today’s relatives and provide important information about the details of evolution and environments of the plants and animals represented by the fossils.  We continue to work to preserve and protect these neat findings every day.

Fossils & Shark Teeth discovered at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project Site

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tweet Us Your Emergency Preparedness Tips!

April 18 Marks the 107th Anniversary of the Great 1906 Earthquake

The April 18, 1906 earthquake ranks as one of the most significant earthquakes of all time. Beginning at 5:12 a.m., with the epicenter located near San Francisco, the shocks were felt as far north as Oregon and as far south as Los Angeles.

As the earthquake anniversary looms, it presents the opportunity to begin a dialogue with your family and community about emergency preparedness in your home or workplace.

This April, we are providing you an incentive to become better prepared as it relates to water. We want you to share a photo of your water-related emergency preparedness tips. Tweet us @WSIPInTheNews or email us at now until April 30, and let us know what you're doing to be a local water hero by demonstrating (via photo) or sharing your own tips.

Bay Area residents, social media influencers and city agencies who participate will receive a pen and certificate.

We will retweet your tips and publicly tweet you this certificate. All partnering city departments, Twitter fans and residents will receive this certificate and pen by tweeting us your tip or showing how your city, home or office is a local hero.

New Irvington Tunnel Team Presents at CA-NV AWWA

Three New Irvington Tunnel project team members recently presented at the American Water Works Association (AWWA) spring CA-NV section conference. They delivered a dynamic presentation on the project’s integrated approach to working with 33 residential well users in the area where excavation would be taking place for the new tunnel. The presentation focused on the development and implementation of the Groundwater Management Plan (GMP) as well as the need for the GMP, extensive public outreach that was conducted prior to construction, how it is being implemented during construction, and some of the lessons learned by the team along the way.

NIT Team Members David Tsztoo (Project Manager), Betsy Lauppe Rhodes (Public Outreach), Bruce Abelli-Amen (Groundwater Consultant), and special guest “Mikey” at the conference.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Alameda Creek Bridge Crossing - Then and Now

While poking around our archives, we stumbled upon some fun photos. Enjoy!

The Bridge Crossing Alameda Creek in 1953.

The new bridge crossing Alameda Creek constructed by the New Irvington Tunnel Team,
shown here in 2011.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Be A Local Water Hero This April!

In the event of an earthquake, will you have enough drinking water?

The 107th anniversary of the devastating 1906 earthquake is coming up on Thursday, April 18th. 

This April, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) encourages all Bay Area residents and business leaders to take the time to discuss plans, supplies and ideas with your family and community to ready your home or office for an emergency or catastrophic event.

Be a Local Hero Contest!

This April, we want to know your tips for emergency preparedness and any precautions you and your family or office have taken to be prepared for an earthquake or natural disaster.

Tweet us @WSIPInTheNews between April 8 and 12, and let us know what you're doing to be a local water hero by demonstrating (via photo) or sharing your own tips. Participants will receive a pen and certificate. 

We'll retweet some of your tips during the week of April 15, but are encouraging your participation all month long. All cities and residents are eligible for a certificate by tweeting us your tip or showing how your city, home or office is a local hero. 

View Our Short Informational Videos on Emergency Preparedness As It Relates To Water: 

Keep a 3-day water supply just in case

View this video to learn more.

If your supply runs out, you can treat your tap water

View this video to learn more.

Locate the water shutoff valve to your building or residence before an emergency

View this video to learn more. 

For more information and to view our videos, visit or