Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sunrise at Calaveras Reservoir

I hope this blog post finds you safe, warm, and dry during this storm!

We thought you might like to take your mind of the rains and wind outside. 

So, for your viewing pleasure, we are happy to present, Calaveras Reservoir at Sunrise, November 2014, courtesy of watershed keeper Pat Jones.




Our Watershed Keepers patrol the 36,000 acres of land the SFPUC owns in the Southern Alameda Creek Watershed in every kind of weather.

They also fight fires, respond to all sorts of calls, help maintain the watershed, and when we are lucky, share the photos they take while going about their duties. We will be posting more of Pat's photos, so keep an eye out!

See you around Sunol Valley!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Open House in Sunol this Thursday!

Please join us to celebrate the holiday season and hear updates the SFPUC projects in the Sunol Valley. 

WHEN: Thursday December 4, 2014
             4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Elliston Vineyards
               463 Kilkare Road
               Sunol CA 94586

We have been busy this year. Come learn more about:

  The Alameda Creek Watershed Center at the Sunol Water Temple
  Construction Activities at Calaveras Dam 
  New Irvington Tunnel is Nearing Completion

** Light refreshments and activities for kids will be provided. Wine will also be available for purchase (no host bar). **

We hope to see you there! 

- Sunol Regional Team

Monday, November 24, 2014

Update on the Town of Sunol Fire Suppression Project for the weeks of November 24 and December 1, 2014

The majority of the work within the Town has been completed. However, there is some work left to be done.

Construction Currently Underway or Planned for the Next 2 weeks

Pipeline connections at Sunol Glen School

Pipeline connections will be made between the new and old systems at the Sunol Glen School Parking lot the week of December 1st.  We will minimize any impacts to the school. The water supply to the town and school will not be affected. 

Service Connection Upgrades

As part of this project, SFPUC crews, together with our contractor, will inspect selected service connections of SFPUC customers. The service connection consists of the section of pipe between the water meter box and the street main which is maintained by the SFPUC. Should the inspection show the connection needing an upgrade, we will schedule a replacement and notify the property owner.

The connections on Main Street will be first, with inspections starting the week of Thanksgiving. 

Installation of bollards around fire hydrants

In order to protect some of the newly installed hydrants from accidental damage from vehicles, we will install bollards around the more exposed hydrants after the week of December 8th.  These bollards will conform with Alameda County Fire Specifications.

Installation of one of the two replacement tanks on tank hill continues. Work on the tanks on the hill will continue through next summer.

Pavement Restoration 

Once all the construction work within town is complete, we will work with Alameda County inspectors, repair street structural damage caused by the construction, and slurry seal Main Street.



The Jack and Bore work to lay pipe underneath the Union Pacific Railroad on Main Street was
recently completed.


What has been completed to date:

  • Installation of approximately 2 miles of transmission mains on Main St, Bond St, Foothill East and West and Kilkare Road.
  • Placement of all of the 26 planned fire hydrants.
  • Placing pipe across three bridges: Bond, Foothill, and Kilkare
  • Removal of two water tanks on Tank Hill.
  • Pipeline tie in work at Kilkare Road
  • Jack and Bore Crossing of Alameda County Railroad at the intersection of Main Street, Kilkare Road, and West Foothill Road.
  • Jack and Bore crossing under the Union Pacific Railroad on Main Street.
  • Pipeline Tie in work on Main Street near Bond


What is coming:

  • The new hydrants will be charged and ready for use.
  • The new water storage tank on Tank Hill will be placed in service during the next 3 months.
  • Thereafter, a pair of older water storage tanks will be demolished
  • and construction will start on the second water storage tank.


As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns.

24-hour Answering Line: 
(866) 973-1476

epowell@sfwater.org
blauppe@sfwater.org

Thank you for your patience!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SFPUC at the Cowboy Hootenany

The SFPUC Sunol Public Outreach team had a fabulous time at the East Bay Regional Park District’s Cowboy Hootenanny Folk Festival this past weekend. 

The cowboys and cowgirls who sidled up to our booth learned ways to be a water saving superhero. They tested their water knowledge and won prizes.  And they geared up appropriately with wonderfully colored super hero masks they made at the booth.

If you did not get the chance to attend, or would like to know more about what we’ve dug up at Calaveras Dam, the future Watershed Center at the Sunol Water Temple, or about any of the important water system improvements underway, please click on the project links to the right.

We will see you around Sunol! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cowboy Hootenanny Folk Festival This Saturday!!

Come see us at the Cowboy Hootenanny Folk Festival at the East Bay Regional Park District’s Sunol Ohlone Regional Wilderness this Saturday November 15, 2014 from 11 am to 4 pm. Old timey music, square dancing, a petting zoo, pony rides, and your SFPUC Sunol Valley public outreach team!

Drop by our booth to test your water trivia, win prizes, and enjoy crafts for the whole family. We will also have loads of information about the future Watershed Center at the Sunol Water Temple, recent upgrades to the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System, and water-saving tips.

For more information visit the District's website: Cowboy Hootenanny Folk Festival 

Hope to see you there!
Join us and water-saving Mikey at the Cowboy Hootenanny Folk Festival!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Construction Advisory: New Irvington Tunnel Project

Dear Neighbor:
We wanted to inform you of some very important construction activity affecting your neighborhood at the Irvington Portal site off Mission Boulveard.

 

Irvington Portal work starting November 2, 2014: As part of the process of preparing the tunnel to be brought into service, we will need to provide additional tunnel ventilation to our construction crews at the Irvington Portal site. The equipment will begin mobilizing in the area on November 2, 2014, and work should be complete in approximately one week. The ventilation equipment, which includes a fan and generator, will operate 24 hours a day. Cooling air is needed for crews who are lining the tunnel with a cement mortar to prepare it for being put into service. The sound barrier walls will keep the noise to a minimum and the contractor will install additional noise reduction measure.

Project Background: The New Irvington Tunnel Project is part of the $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) to repair, replace, and upgrade our system’s aging pipelines, tunnels, and dams. The new 3.5 mile long tunnel will provide a seismically-designed connection between water supplies from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Alameda Watershed to Bay Area water distribution systems.  Final construction is expected to be complete in 2015.

Questions / Concerns? We greatly appreciate your patience. Please call our 24-Hour Answer Line at 866-973-1476 or email mle@sfwater.org or blauppe@sfwater.org if you have any questions. Follow us online at sfwater.org/sunolvalley.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Calaveras Dam: Grouting in Numbers

What is grout? 
Most folks are likely familiar with using household grout for bathroom tiling work. Grout is a construction material commonly used to connect sections of concrete, fill voids, and seal joints. Grout is generally a mixture of water, cement, sand, and sometimes fine gravel.


How does it work for the dam?
The grouting operations are extremely important for the construction of the new replacement Calaveras Dam. Underneath the dam, we have designed a “grout curtain”. A grout curtain is a barrier that protects the foundation of a dam from water seepage and is used to strengthen the foundation of the dam. Essentially, the grout curtain fills cracks and fissures in the rock and works to control seepage and water flow. Our crews mix the grout onsite and inject the grout holes of the dam foundation. Holes are three inches in diameter and can reach up to a depth of 164 feet. Depending on the rock formation, the amount of injected grout used may differ.

Grouting Numbers Today
Over 589 holes have been grouted in the foundation. We have drilled almost 13 miles of grout holes. We have injected over 2.9 million pounds of cement grout into the foundation of the new dam.. How much grout is that? It is equivalent to approximately the same weight as 1,600 1967 model Volkswagen Beetles!


Grouting Operation taking place on the left abutment of the dam



Diagram of Grout Curtain – Calaveras Dam Replacement Project


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sunol Valley: Getting Prepared – Seismic Upgrade Work Continues

Much has already been done as mentioned in our last post, but more important work lies ahead in Sunol Valley.  Our teams continue critical work to seismically upgrade our infrastructure. As we remember the Loma Prieta earthquake this week, here are some highlights on our ongoing projects:

New Irvington Tunnel Project
The new tunnel will provide a seismically upgraded connection between water supplies from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Alameda Watershed to Bay Area customers. It will extend 3.5 miles and have an internal diameter of approximately 8.5 feet. Final completion is expected in mid-2015.



Calaveras Dam Replacement Project
Work continues to build a replacement dam that will be seismically safe and restore the Calaveras reservoir to its historic capacity. The reservoir provides half of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System’s local Bay Area water storage. To date, over 5 million cubic yards of materials have been excavated and major work is being done on the new spillway. 
Final completion is expected end of 2018. 



San Antonio Backup Pipeline Project
The San Antonio Backup Pipeline (SABPL) project will include several new facilities and improvements in the Sunol Valley to help provide for the reliable movement of Hetch Hetchy water for planned and emergency discharges under future conditions. Completion is expected in March 2015.


We are extremely proud of our hard working teams in Sunol Valley, helping all of us become better prepared for the next earthquake. For more info, please contact us at our 24 hour answer line 866-973-1476.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sunol Valley: Getting Prepared


This week we acknowledge the 25th Anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. On October 17, 1989 at 5:04 p.m, the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake, also known as the “World Series Quake,” lasted 15 seconds causing an estimated $6-10 billion in property loss in the Bay Area. The anniversary is a reminder to all of us to make efforts to be prepared for the next major earthquake.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s been done in the Sunol Valley to better prepare us:

San Antonio Pump Station – Completed
The San Antonio Pump Station is one of the key facilities in the Sunol Valley which pumps Hetch Hetchy water through a transmission pipeline to the San Antonio Reservoir to the Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant. It serves as a critical seismic upgrade project which provides a reliable water supply to our Bay Area customers after a major earthquake.


Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant – Completed
If the Hetch Hetchy water supplies become unavailable for any reason, this plant enables us to supply the minimum demand of water to our customers, especially those in the East Bay and South Bay. The plant can now provide 160 million gallons of water per day for up to two months in case of an emergency. Previously, that level of service would run out after only a matter of days.

Alameda Siphon No. 4 – Completed
This project will ensure the water system performs properly, and water can be delivered to customers after an earthquake. The Alameda Siphon No. 4 Project extends approximately 3,000 feet from the Alameda East Portal across both the Calaveras Fault and Alameda Creek to the Alameda West Portal. It consists of a seismically-designed thicker-walled pipe in the fault rupture zone, and a tunnel crossing under Alameda Creek. 


Friday, October 10, 2014

Water Conservation Top of Mind at Sunol Glen Walk-a-Thon

For many years the Sunol Glen School Walk-a-Thon has been a source of wet, outdoor fun for hundreds of students during the school’s annual fundraising event.  The staff at Sunol Glen School have already performed water efficiency audits at school to reduce their water use.  But during one of the driest years on record, school staff and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) kept water conservation top of mind at last week’s walk-a-thon.

The SFPUC provided water coolers to hydrate the students ranging from pre-school to eighth grade as they circled the track to raise money for the school.  Sunol Glen staff, volunteers, and even the students were well aware of the drought and were mindful to take only as much water as needed to fuel their efforts, even as temperatures soared above 90 degrees that day.

The school even held off on watering their field, so they could water the grass while spraying the sweaty students with a well-earned shower of water from the hose. This is one innovative way that the school is conserving water while preserving the school tradition that kids look forward to!!

It was a fun-filled day in Sunol as the students supported their school!  Go Eagles!

To help us beat the drought, please visit www.sfwater.org/conservation for resources and information about how you can conserve.

Sunol Glen Spirit Squad kicked off the walk-a-thon festivities.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Town of Sunol Fire Suppression System Project

Construction Update

Railroad Crossings:
On Monday, October 6, 2014 crews will start the jack and bore work to cross under the Alameda County Rail Road at the intersection of Main Street, Kilkare Road, and West Foothill Road. If work proceeds as planned, the contractor will begin the jack and bore work underneath the Union Pacific Railroad on Main Street the week of October 20, 2014. This means construction at both railroad crossings will occur at the same time.

What to Expect:
* Crews will insert a steel casing from the driving pit at the intersection of West Foothill and Kilkare Road to a receiving pit (next to the Depot Parking lot).

* Kilkare Road will be reduced to one-lane traffic during daytime at the railroad crossing. We appreciate your patience with the expected traffic delays in the area.

* Access through the area will be allowed at all times, but please prepare for delays.

* Crews might need to hand drill under the railroads to remove rocks. The equipment will generate some noise.

Bridge Crossings:
Next week, crews will complete all work related to the bridge crossings at Sinbad Creek on Bond Street as well as on Foothill Road.

Hydrant Installation:
The majority of the hydrants will have been installed at their marked locations by the end of October. There is one hydrant on Main Street that will not be installed until after the jack and bore work is completed. The hydrants should be available for use in November.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns. The 24-hour Answering Line: (866) 973-1476 or epowell@sfwater.org or blauppe@sfwater.org.

Thank you for your patience!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Town of Sunol Fire Suppression System Project

Construction Update

Railroad Crossings:
Our crews have encountered difficult ground conditions at the railroad crossings that have affected our schedule.  We will likely have to use a larger drill rig to break through the rocky ground.

Starting this week, we hope to begin crossing under the Alameda County Rail Road at the intersection of Main Street, Kilkare Road, and West Foothill Road. The driving pit will be at the intersection of West Foothill Road and Kilkare.  If all proceeds well, the contractor will begin driving underneath the Union Pacific Railroad on Main Street in early to mid-October.

What to Expect:
* Crews will dig a deep pit on both sides of the railroad, and they will insert pipe from the driving pit at the intersection of West Foothill and Kilkare Road. The receiving pit will be near the Depot Parking lot.

* Kilkare Road will be reduced to one-lane traffic during daytime at the railroad crossing.  We appreciate your patience with the expected traffic delays in the area.

* Access through the area will be allowed at all times, but please prepare for delays.

* Crews might have to hand drill under the railroads to remove rocks - the equipment will generate some noise.

Bridge Crossings:
Crews will lay pipe across the bridges at Sinbad Creek on Bond Street towards the week of September 29th, and on Foothill Road the week of October 6, 2014.  Crews will bore through the abutments and hang pipe on the bridges.

Hydrant Installation:
The majority of the hydrants will have been installed at their marked locations by the end of September. There are a few hydrants on Main Street that will not be installed until after the jack and bore work is completed.  The hydrants should be available in November.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns. The 24-hour Answering Line: (866) 973-1476 or epowell@sfwater.org or blauppe@sfwater.org.

Thank you for your patience!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Town of Sunol Fire Suppression System Project

Construction Update- Sept. 4, 2014
Pipe main installation has been completed on Main St., Bond St., Foothill, and Kilkare Roads.  Additional digging will take place when the fire hydrants are installed.  What is next for this project?

Railroad Crossings
*During the week of September 8, we anticipate starting the jack and bore work underneath the Union Pacific Railroad on Main Street.  This crossing should be complete in approximately three weeks.
* The crossing underneath the Alameda County Railway at the intersection of Foothill Road, Kilkare Road and Main Street should begin at the end of September or early October.

What to Expect during Jack and Bore Work
* Crews will dig a deep pit on both sides of the railroad, and they will insert pipe from the driving pit near the Antique Store to the receiving pit in front of the Post Office Driveway.
* Main Street will be reduced to one-lane traffic at the railroad crossing. We appreciate your patience with the expected traffic delays in the area.
* Access to the Sunol Post Office will be open at all times.

Pleasanton Sunol Road
* Work on Tank Hill will continue as crews construct the foundations for the new tanks and construct new pipe connections up the hill.
* We will lay pipe cross Pleasanton Sunol Road during the evening of Thursday, September 5, starting at approximately 8:00 p.m. through 5:00 a.m. on Friday, September 6.  Traffic will be one-lane through this area during this time.

Bridge Crossings
Crews will lay pipe across the bridges at Sinbad Creek on Bond Street towards the end of September followed by the bridge on Foothill Road and Kilkare Road.

Hydrant Installation
Hydrants will be installed at the marked locations as the contractor’s schedule allows.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Construction Advisory: New Irvington Tunnel Irvington Portal

We wanted to inform you of some very important construction activity affecting the neighborhood at the Irvington Portal site off Mission Boulevard. 


Irvington Portal work August 27 – September 15: 
As part of the process of preparing the tunnel to be brought into service, we will need to provide additional tunnel ventilation to our construction crews at the Irvington Portal site. The equipment will begin mobilizing in the area on August 27, 2014, and work should be complete by September 15, 2014. The ventilation equipment, which includes a fan and generator, will operate 24 hours a day. Cooling air is needed for crews who are lining the tunnel with a cement mortar to prepare it for being put into service. The sound barrier walls will keep the noise to a minimum and the contractor will install additional noise reduction measures.

Disinfection Process starting October 2014: 
Starting the first week of October, we will begin the disinfection process to bring the New Irvington Tunnel into service. In order to disinfect the tunnel, crews will need to stage generators and lights for the 24 hour a day filling/disinfection. The set up will occur during day light hours. The filling/disinfection process will take 2-4 days to complete once it begins. The expected night time activities should be limited to three nights.

What Happens Next?
The New Irvington Tunnel is anticipated to be in service delivering water sometime in November. The above ground work and restoration will continue into early 2015. These include final installations and burial of the new portal facilities, construction of a new security bunker at the existing tunnel portal (on top of the hill), and site restoration work, planting and fencing. The remaining sound walls will be removed after the entire site is restored.

Project Background
The New Irvington Tunnel Project is part of the $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) to repair, replace, and upgrade our system’s aging pipelines, tunnels, and dams. The new 3.5 mile long tunnel will provide a seismically-designed connection between water supplies from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Alameda Watershed to Bay Area water distribution systems. Final construction is expected to be complete in 2015. 

Questions / Concerns?
We greatly appreciate your patience. Please call our 24-Hour Answer Line at 866-973-1476 or email mle@sfwater.org or blauppe@sfwater.org if you have any questions.
Follow us online at sfwater.org/sunolvalley
 .

Friday, August 15, 2014

Why we should all be excited about Cement Mortar Lining


The really big news from the team constructing the New Irvington Tunnel – a seismically designed crucial tunnel between Sunol Valley and Fremont and our 2.6 million Bay Area customers – is that installation of the cement mortar lining has begun!  Although this may seem like a good time to yawn, this is actually really exciting news! Here’s why.

It is one of the final stages of constructing a water tunnel before we bring it into service.  The New Irvington Tunnel is 95% complete, and we hope to bring the new tunnel into service this fall.  Now are you more excited?

First we excavated the tunnel from four different locations using road headers and drill and blast methods. Then we inserted steel pipe final liners into the 3.5 mile long tunnel. We welded the pipe together and injected grout in the space between the pipe and the tunnel to seal it off from groundwater intrusion along the entire 3.5 mile length. 

There is still work left to be done before water delivery can begin, but cement mortar lining application is a key step to prevent corrosion of the steel pipe and prepare it for water conveyance.  Our workers will use specialized equipment that sprays cement on the pipe’s interior and creates a very smooth surface.   



Mortar Lining being applied in the New Irvington Tunnel

Installation of the mortar lining should take about two months. After that we will complete the pipeline connections on both ends of the tunnel and install rounded dishhead caps on the end of the pipe. Then SFPUC Operation crews will disinfect the entire pipe, flush it and bring it into service by the end of October 2015.  Surface work and restoration will then take up the remaining months of the project. We anticipate being done in summer 2015.

So although the words “mortar lining installation” might not stop traffic, it is music to our ears! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Town of Sunol Fire Suppression Project Update

Kilkare Road, here we come!

Construction has begun to improve the water distribution system and fire hydrants in the Town of Sunol. The project includes constructing two miles of new pipelines on County roads, installation of approximately 26 new fire hydrants, and replacing the existing water tanks that serve the Town of Sunol.

Here’s an update, hot off the presses as of August 8, 2014
  • What we’ve completed to date: Construction Crews have installed new pipeline on Main Street, Bond Street, Foothill Road West and East of Kilkare Road, and at Sunol Glen School. Hydrant locations have also been staked in these areas as well.
  • What’s nextStarting the week of August 11, 2014, our crews will next start pipeline installation on Kilkare Road, starting at the intersection with Foothill Road, and moving all the way up to the ‘600 block’ of Kilkare Road. Pipeline installation on Kilkare should be completed by Labor Day.
  • Hydrant Installation: Hydrants will be installed at marked locations   during this time period as the contractor’s schedule allows. 


What will come after that? Construction Look-ahead for September 2014:
  • Jack and Bore Crossing underneath Alameda County Railway at the intersection of Main Street, Kilkare Road, and Foothill Road.
  • Jack and Bore Crossing underneath Union Pacific Railroad on Main Street is scheduled to start at the end of September.


What to Expect during Construction:
- One-lane traffic through construction zones during work hours. This will  cause some delays, so please plan ahead.
- Work Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Limited Work on Saturdays for a small crew to install hydrants.
- Night work will be necessary during pipeline/tank shutdowns. We will minimize noise. 
- Access to private driveways and around streets will be available at all times.



Stay in Touch:
24-hour Answering Line:
(866) 973-1476

Visit our blog sfwater.org/sunolvalley
Thank you so much for your patience and kind consideration during construction!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Construction Update: Town of Sunol Fire Suppression System Project

Construction has begun to improve the water distribution system and fire hydrants in the Town of Sunol. The project includes constructing two miles of new pipelines on County roads, installation of approximately 26 new fire hydrants, and replacing the existing water tanks that serve the Town of Sunol.

Two Important Construction Updates:  

1) There has been a shift in the project schedule. The pipeline installation on West Foothill Boulevard (west of Kilkare Road) has been moved up to the week of August 4th, and should be completed by August 13th. Please expect delays in the area (see map).

Upcoming work: Construction on Lower Kilkare Road from this intersection will begin shortly thereafter in mid-August. Finally, the jack and bore crossing underneath the Alameda County Railroad at the intersection of Main Street and Kilkare Road is expected to begin in mid-August as well.


2) Water Tank Shutdown. In order to begin work on tank hill, crews will be taking the water tanks that service the town out of service from 11 p.m. Monday, August 4, 2014 until 5:00 am. Tuesday August 5, 2014. SFPUC customers should not experience a loss in water service, however some residences might experience lower water pressure during this nighttime period. Water service should return to normal the morning of August 5, 2014. The shutdown has been scheduled at night to minimize inconvenience.

If you should have any questions at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us at our 24-hour hotline (866) 973-1476 or epowell@sfwater.org; blauppe@sfwater.org.

Thank you for your patience during construction!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

California red-legged frog: Our Newly Famous Sunol Valley Resident


Just a few weeks ago, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation designating one of our local Sunol Valley animals -- the California red-legged frog -- as the official State Amphibian! Since getting an autograph is out of the question, we thought we’d offer you a reintroduction to our famous resident instead.

The California red-legged frog is the largest native frog in the state and was first made famous in Mark Twain’s The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. According to the National Wildlife Federation, true to its name, they have reddish coloring on the underside of their legs and belly. They dine on anything they can catch and fit into their mouths. Mostly insects, but the occasional amphibian or small mammal might also become dinner. Speaking of dinner, California red-legged frogs were once a popular dinner cuisine during the Gold Rush era.

Contra Costa and Alameda Counties contain the majority of known observations of California red-legged frogs in the San Francisco Bay Area (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2002). Today, their existence is threatened due to loss of habitat, particularly near urban communities and development. Thankfully, the 36,000 acres of Southern Alameda Creek Watershed lands owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has been protected and is a haven for our famous residents.

Our primary goal as watershed stewards is to protect existing populations, control non-native predators, and protect habitat for the red-legged frogs. As we make progress on our Water System Improvement Program in Sunol Valley, our Environmental Compliance teams work side by side with construction contractors to ensure our newly-designated Official State Amphibian is safe from harm.

Photos courtesy of Bill Stagnaro, Environmental Inspector
with the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project


Friday, July 25, 2014

We are halfway there!

The Calaveras Dam Replacement Project team reached an important milestone for the project this week. Crews have excavated more than 5.4 million cubic yards of earth and rock material at the project site. This material would fill approximately 1,656 Olympic-sized swimming pools. A total of 10 million cubic yards of material is required to be moved for the entire project--- 6.5 million cubic yards to be excavated and 3.5 million cubic yards which will go into the construction of the new dam.  In addition, 10,000 cubic yards of concrete to date has been poured and placed in the new intake tower and the new spillway structure. Much work still lies ahead, but definitely something to celebrate for our hard working crews from Dragados USA /Flatiron/Sukut Construction Joint Venture.

Crews gather to celebrate reaching over 5 million cubic yards of earthen materials excavated

Concete work at the new spillway underway

Monday, July 21, 2014

Important Public Safety Project Breaks Ground in the Town of Sunol

With two fire engines as the backdrop, Alameda County elected officials, the Alameda County Fire Marshal, CAL FIRE Chief and community members gathered to celebrate the start of construction for Town of Sunol Fire Suppression System Project a little over a week ago. This is an important public safety project that will enhance fire protection capabilities and add 26 additional fire hydrants in Sunol.  The event focused on highlighting the partnerships and collaboration among the various stakeholders and local community to move this project into construction.  Alameda County Supervisor Valle also highlighted this project’s importance to ensure that the residents and businesses in the Town of Sunol are better protected during an emergency. Construction for this project is anticipated to be completed in summer 2015.

Key stakeholders and elected officials gathered to celebrate the start of construction for this important project. From left to right: Steve Ritchie (Assistant General Manager of Water Enterprise, SFPUC); Dawn Argula (Chief of Staff, Operations, Alameda County Supervisor District 1); Henry Baum (President, Niles Canyon Railway); Ario Ysit (Commissioner, Alameda County Fire Department); Alameda County Supervisor Valle (District 2); Rosemary Chang (Chair, Sunol Citizens Advisory Committee); and Barry Kaminsky (member, Sunol Citizens Advisory Committee)].

At the end of the ceremony, all the speakers waved orange construction flags to signal the backhoe to dig, officially breaking ground on the project.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Calaveras Dam in the News


Just last week, we were able to share our story about recent fossil finds here at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project.  As our crews are busy working on major spillway work and grouting operations for the new replacement dam, we were able to take a moment to highlight the interesting fossil finds out here.

Check out the story here from the San Jose Mercury News: Fossils Found at Calaveras Dam

The Calaveras Dam Replacement Project is the largest project of the Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) to repair, replace and seismically upgrade key components of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System.

For more information, please contact us at mle@sfwater.org

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Construction for the Town of Sunol Fire Suppression Project is Starting

We are getting started on construction to improve the water distribution system and construct approximately 26 fire hydrants in the Town of Sunol. 

Please join us for a project groundbreaking on Friday, July 11, at 10:30 a.m. at the parking lot (intersection of Main Street, Kilkare Road, and Foothill Road) in Sunol, California.
We will enjoy light refreshments at the park afterwards.

Where is construction right now?
During the Weeks of July 7—July 21, 2014

Pipeline installation will occur at:
  • Sunol Glen School
  • Main Street up to the Railroad Crossing
  • Bond Street
In August, we plan:
  • Pipeline Installation on East Foothill Road to  the Kilkare Road intersection
  • Jack and Bore crossing underneath Alameda County Railway at the intersection of Main Street, Kilkare Road, and Foothill Road.
o   We will cross under the railroads using a jack and bore method. The contractor will dig two large pits on each side of the crossing, insert pipeline casing into the pits and move the pipe beneath the railroad crossings. Each jack and bore crossing will take approximately 30 days.

What to Expect during Construction:
  • One-lane traffic through construction zones during work hours. This will cause some delays, so please plan ahead.
  • Possible Work Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Weekend work might be necessary, but we will provide advanced notice.
  • Night work will be necessary during pipeline/tank shutdowns. We will minimize noise.  Some residents will have nighttime water outages with advance notice.
  • Access to private driveways and around streets will be available at all times.


Stay in touch
Visit us  online here

Call us 24/7 at (866) 973-1476.
blauppe@sfwater.org
epowell@sfwater.org

See you around the Sunol Valley!

Friday, June 20, 2014

The WSIP Turns 10!


This year the Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) turns 10! One of the largest infrastructure projects in the nation, the WSIP is repairing, replacing and upgrading our aging water infrastructure to ensure we can deliver water to customers following an earthquake. We’ve gotten a little nostalgic about how far we’ve come in the last 10 years, and we would like to share this video with you.



Now 80 percent complete, the WSIP has already provided increased reliability to the water supply for customers as a result of the completion of some of the program’s major projects. The program has created over 6 million construction craft hours to date, employing more than 11,000 workers since 2007. Nearly half of those workers live in our four-county service area.

An Ode to the Calaveras Spillways, old and new

Workers repair original Calaveras Dam spillway in 1939


What is a spillway?
A spillway is an important safety feature on a dam that impounds water behind it to prevent the dam from overtopping and suffering damage during a flood. The spillway is often an open chute or channel that allows water when it reaches a high level in the reservoir to safely bypass the dam and flow downstream without causing any damage to the dam.

History of the Calaveras Dam Spillway

The original spillway on Calaveras Dam was completed in 1925. In 1939, workers had to repair the original spillway after damage was caused by a flood occurred in the Winter of 1937-1938.

Spillway Work Today

Back in March work began on the new spillway. We have made much progress since then to construct the spillway, which will be 1550 feet long. Approximately 40,000 cubic yards of concrete, equivalent to one football field filled six feet deep, is being used to build the structure. All of the concrete is being supplied by our on-site concrete batch plant.
Because of its crucial function in dam safety, it’s important to make sure that the spillway structure stays intact during an earthquake on the nearby Calaveras Fault. So we are drilling anchors, a solid steel rod, about 25 feet into the rock around the spillway to provide support and prevent damage to the structure during any seismic activity.  We are installing 1,825 anchors, that’s a lot of anchors!  The spillway is expected to be completed in mid-2015.



View of the left wall of the new Calaveras Dam spillway. The purple anchor in the foreground will be encased in the concrete slab (foundation) being formed here. The exposed ends of the wall anchors will be encased in a block of concrete as part of the spillway wall.


Aerial view of new spillway taking shape at the left abutment.
Red arrows indicate the top of the spillway.



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Neighbors Catch up on the New Irvington Tunnel

Thank you to all of the community members who dropped by the New Irvington Tunnel Open House at the Mission Coffee House last week!  It was really great to see you.  For those of you who weren’t able to attend, here are the highlights as shared by the project team.
  • The New Irvington Tunnel Project is currently 95% complete.
  • The steel liner of the tunnel has been installed. We are welding and grouting the space between the tunnel lining and the outside of the tunnel to seal the tunnel off from groundwater intrusion.
  • The 3.5 mile New Irvington Tunnel will be brought into service sometime this fall 2014, allowing us to take the old tunnel out of service for inspection and possible repairs.
  •  Overall project completion is anticipated in fall 2015, soon after we complete site restoration of all of the above ground work.
  • The New Irvington Tunnel runs parallel to the existing tunnel (which was built in 1932)  between the Sunol Valley south of Highway I-680 and Fremont, California. It provides a seismically designed connection between Sierra Nevada and Alameda Watershed water supplies and 2.6 million Bay Area customers.
We will be back out with another open house in a about three months, so we hope you can make the next one. 
Neighbors have some tunnel talk at the New Irvington Tunnel Open House

Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Irvington Tunnel Project Open House on June 3rd

Construction on the New Irvington Tunnel is nearing completion! We anticipate commissioning the new tunnel sometime this Fall 2014. The new tunnel will provide a seismically-designed connection between water supplies from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Alameda Watershed, providing water to our 2.6 million customers. Work still lies ahead, with project completion expected in mid-2015. 

Join us on June 3, 2014 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at Mission Coffee House (151 Washington Blvd., Fremont CA). The project team will be present to answer any of your questions and discuss what to expect post-construction for our Groundwater Management Plan participants. 

View from inside a section of the New Irvington Tunnel

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Alameda County Residents Contribute to 10 Years of WSIP Success

It seems like only yesterday the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission launched the Water System Improvement Program (WSIP). However, April marked the 10-year anniversary of WSIP, and, perhaps it seems like time has flown by since we’ve been busy at work!!  Since the start, 11,000 workers have been employed by the program.

Nearly six million craft hours have been completed on the program to date, which includes 725,000 apprenticeship hours.  Plus, San Francisco and service-area residents have worked 50 percent of those craft hours. In fact, Alameda County residents are responsible for the largest percentage of total hours worked on WSIP out of all the participating counties!

Thanks in part to the hard work of Alameda County residents, the WSIP is now 80 percent complete. The WSIP will ensure the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System, which serves 2.6 million customers in the Bay Area, will be able to withstand a major earthquake or drought and continue to deliver water to customers.

                       A crew member upgrades the San Antonio Pump Station, a key WSIP project now complete.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sunol Glen School Students Celebrate Earth Week with Us!

What do ancient shark teeth, wasps nests, and owl pellets have in common? All were on display last week at the Sunol Glen School’s Earth Day Science celebration last week.  We were lucky enough to have been invited to participate, along with other local groups and leaders.  The kids, grades Kindergarten through eighth grade, learned about the importance of building a seismically upgraded replacement dam at the Calaveras Reservoir. Our project Geologist Bradley Erskine showed some fascinating fossils found at the Calaveras site during construction. The biggest hit with the students by far was a prehistoric shark tooth possibly from a Megladon, dating at approximately 20 million years old.  We had a great time answering questions about how water gets to your tap and the importance of the Water System Improvement Program to future generations.

Having met the leaders of tomorrow at Sunol Glen School, we know the future is in good hands! Sunol Glen Schools students proved themselves to be inquisitive and curious scientists at Earth Day on May 2nd

Geologist Bradley Erskine and Natural Resources staffer Amy Dawson share fossil finds from Calaveras Dam to the Sunol Glen School students

Sample fossils of prehistoric shark teeth dating over 20 million years old

Friday, April 25, 2014

Critters, Kids and Parents oh my!! All Tested their WSIP Facts at the Sunol Wildflower Festival

Community members and even an enthusiastic furry friend joined the Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) team to learn about water conservation, local wildlife and the Sunol Valley Watershed at the Sunol Wildflower Festival earlier this month. Visitors to our booth tested their knowledge of WSIP facts by spinning the prize wheel to with fun prizes. In case you missed the Festival, here are a couple of the most challenging questions:
· How many gallons of water does the washing machine use? 55 gallons
· Why would we have injected more than 8 million pounds of cement grout into the New Irvington Tunnel during construction? To seal the tunnel heading off from groundwater intrusion

A special thank you to our partners at the East Bay Regional Park District and Alameda Creek Alliance for hosting this wonderful event.


Our furriest of friends learned about WSIP construction projects in Sunol Valley
















WSIP staff quizzed visitors on water topics with the WSIP prize wheel.