Friday, June 28, 2013

Series #2 Do you Know Your Tap Water? – Local Waters

Second in our series of ‘Do you know your tap water’, begs the question, OK, 85% from Hetch Hetchy, straight through the Sunol Valley to our customers… but what about the rest?


The rest of the water supply comes from local reservoirs. In the Sunol Valley that includes two: Calaveras and San Antonio Reservoirs. Calaveras, when full, is our system’s second largest drinking water reservoir, second only to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. It also stores only local watershed waters from the Arroyo Hondo and Alameda Creek. San Antonio Reservoir, on the other hand, stores water from San Antonio Creek, and we can also store Hetch Hetchy water there as well.

Calaveras Reservoir, shown here prior to the start of construction of the Replacement Calaveras Dam, stores local water only.

 San Antonio Reservoir Stores both Local Watershed Waters and Hetch Hetch Hetchy Water

We must filter the water from these local reservoirs at our Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant before we send it to our customers.

Some facts about local dams and reservoirs that you may not know:

• The dam at San Antonio Reservoir is called Turner Dam, after former SFPUC General Manager, James H. Turner.

Turner Dam

• When originally constructed in 1925, Calaveras Dam was the largest earth-fill dam in the world.

Existing Calaveras Dam. The New dam is being constructed directly downstream of the existing one. The site looks very different today!

• Both reservoirs support habitat for many rare and endangered species. Each reservoir also has a nesting pair of bald eagles. Learn more about them here.

Catch up on the Do you know your Tap Water series.

See you around Sunol Valley!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Join Us at the Summer Open House!

Summer Open House at the Sunol Water Temple

We would love to show you our progress on projects in and around the Sunol Valley, including water system upgrades, watershed environmental improvements, plans for the fire system upgrades and the latest plans for the Watershed Center to name a few. We hope to see you there!

When: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Sunol Water Temple (505 Paloma Way Sunol, CA 94586)
What: Enjoy light refreshments, see photos and updates of ongoing SFPUC work in the Sunol Valley and talk with team members
Info: For more information, please call (866) 973-1476 or email

Friday, June 7, 2013

Our Resident Bald Eagles

The land that we own in the Southern Alameda Creek Watershed has been protected for over a century.  By controlling the activities on our watershed lands, we ensure top water quality for our customers and preserve prime habitat for rare and endangered species. The 36,000 acres the SFPUC owns have become an oasis.

These lands are home to all sorts of plants, insects, and critters, including the Most Beautiful Jewel Flower, Callippe Silverspot Butterfly, California Tiger Salamander, California Red-Legged Frog, Alameda Whipsnake, Golden Eagles, and not one, but two nesting pairs of Bald Eagles.

Interestingly, both eagle pairs nest not far from our ongoing construction projects at Calaveras Dam and at the habitat restoration project at San Antonio Reservoir.

Our environmental teams monitor the eagles’ success annually and establish a wide “No Disturbance” boundary around the eagle nests, in coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife, to avoid aggravating nesting bald eagles. During nesting season, teams closely monitor the eagles’ activity around both reservoirs to ensure our construction work does not affect nesting birds. We go to great lengths to ensure that these special animals continue to thrive.
We are proud to announce that the eaglets (two at Calaveras and two at San Antonio) of both eagle pairs are very close to fledging!  The young eagles will continue to receive care from the parents for a while before exploring new territories on their own.  The parents – soon to be “empty nesters”  – will likely stay in the neighborhood to take advantage of the plentiful food source and relative isolation and protection the southern Alameda Creek watershed provides.

Calaveras Reservoir Bald Eagles
Photo permission courtesy of Tam Phan

Calaveras Reservoir Eaglet takes flight
Photo courtesy of Bill Stagnaro, Environmental Inspector

Environmental Compliance Manager Cullen Wilkerson and Specialty Environmental  Monitor Aaron Sunshine survey our Bald Eagles

Calaveras Reservoir Eaglet soars through Sunol Valley
Photo courtesy of Bill Stagnaro, Environmental Inspector

For more project information, contact us at our 24 hour answer line at (866) 973-1476 or email