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;

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

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.

See you around the Sunol Valley!