Friday, May 29, 2015

National Dam Safety Awareness Day

As construction continues at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, we take a moment to recognize May 31st as National Dam Safety Awareness Day. Each year on May 31st, the nation remembers teh devastation that occurred on May 31, 1889 in Johnston, Pennyslvania when the South Fork Dam failed. This tragic event resulted in thousands of deaths and left many homeless. The Johnston disaster was the worst dam failure in the history of the U.S.
National Dam Safety Awareness Day reminds us of the importance of dam safety and preventing future failures. Dams provide many befefits such as water supply and storage, hydropower, recreation, flood prevention and improve wildflife habitats.
This also reminds us how critical and important our work is here in Sunol Valley to rebuild the Calaveras Dam. We are currently 66% complete and anticipate final completion of the dam in end of 2018.

The Calaveras Replacement Dam when complete will provide us:
·         The largest drinking water reservoir in the local Bay Area storing 31 billion gallons (96,850 acre ft) of water, providing more than half of the storage capacity for 2.6 million customers

·         A new seismically upgraded dam with a structural height of 220 feet, a crest length of 1210 feet and width of 80 feet at the crest and 1180 feet at the base

·         A new 1550 ft spillway and a new intake/outlet shaft tower which will convey water to and from the reservoir through a pipeline downstream and to our Bay Area customers
Aerial Photo of the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project
taken on May 21, 2015

Friday, May 8, 2015

It’s National Safety Week!

Every year, more than 80,000 workers suffer an injury on construction job sites across the U.S.  Any one incident is one too many. Life is too precious to not make safety the number one focus in the U.S. construction industry. This week from May 3rd through May 9th, construction firms nationwide have joined forces to inspire everyone in the industry to be leaders in safety.

Here at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, the project team had a lot to celebrate. Over 150,000 work hours have been reached with zero safety recordable incidents since October 2014. Given the size of the machinery we are using on the site, the complexity of the work, and the sheer number of activities on site each day, this is truly remarkable. Safety is important to our teams as we build the replacement Calaveras Dam. Every morning this week, the teams had a special safety topic to remind workers the importance of construction safety. The workers got together for a celebratory barbecue to pat ourselves on the back for being vigilant, reminding us to take care of ourselves and each other as we continue with construction.

We are proud of our team and they are on to their next goal to reach another safety milestone!

Calaveras Dam workers listen to the safety milestones reached at the project
at a celebratory lunch provided by the contractor
Dragados/Flatiron/Sukut Construction Manager Mike Mullich
congratulates heavy equipment Operator Gary Gatehouse on our safety milestone


Friday, May 1, 2015

What do water pipes, water conservation, fossils and dams have in common?

They were all part of the cool topics shared with the Sunol Glen School students last week at their annual Earth/Science Day festivities.  We at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission were honored to be a guest again this year to share information about the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System.

We are always surprised and amazed at the enthusiasm and smarts of these first through eighth graders. Did you know that the California State Flower is the Golden Poppy? They did. Did you know that you could save your shower water in a bucket and water your plants with it? They did. Did you know the Sunol Valley was once a coastline? Many of them knew that, too. They enjoyed looking at the 20 million year old fossils unearthed during the construction of the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, including a prehistoric shark tooth, seashells and rocks from the site.
We had a blast at Sunol Glen School and can’t wait to be back!

Now, for bonus points, what is the California State Fish? (Sunol Glen students, no telling!)