News Briefs: San Francisco Bay Tunnel Open for Business

In this week's municipal news, one of the country's largest water infrastructure projects starts delivering drinking water. And, a pilot project in Detroit could solve stormwater problems.
News Briefs: San Francisco Bay Tunnel Open for Business

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A new seismically resistant tunnel came into service last week, connecting Hetch Hetchy and East Bay water supplies with customers in the San Francisco area. Officials were on hand to celebrate the completion of the project.

The celebration comes on the anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which served as a wakeup call for the region.

“The new Bay Tunnel will ensure that we have reliable access to Hetch Hetchy water at all times, particularly within 24 hours of a major earthquake,” says SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly Jr.

The Bay Tunnel is part of the multibillion-dollar Water System Improvement Program, which was created to strengthen the region’s water and sewer infrastructure in the event of another major earthquake.

“WSIP has been an ambitious and successful undertaking,” says Kelly. “We are nearing completion of the program, with just a few construction projects remaining such as the Calaveras Dam rebuild.”

The Bay Tunnel is one of the largest water infrastructure improvement programs in the United States. Construction began in April 2010 on the $288 million project.

Source: Press release

Los Angeles Mayor Announces Aggressive Water Goals

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced an aggressive campaign to reduce per capita potable water use in the city by 20 percent by 2017. The mayor’s plan is in response to the serious drought affecting the region.

The city’s 4 million residents currently use 130 gallons per capita per day.

“Severe drought and a changing climate call for a bold response,” says Steve Fleischi, the director of the Natural Resources Defense Council Water Program. “The mayor’s investments in 21st Century solutions to improve water conservation, capture rainwater and use treated wastewater make good economic and environmental sense no matter the weather.”

The mayor’s plan will first target outdoor water use including rainwater capture, graywater use and building code changes. The plan also asks city residents to reduce outdoor watering to two days per week, cover swimming pools when not in use and take advantage of rebates for water-efficient landscaping.

Source: Press release

Detroit’s Stormwater Pilot Project Reports Success

The initial results of a stormwater management program on Detroit’s Belle Isle indicate a 63 percent reduction in standing water on the 23-acre test area. The project, which ran from July to September, used stormwater management technology pioneered by Parjana.

Parjana prepared the site by sinking up to 3,000 heavy plastic five-chamber tubes at 5-, 10- and 15-foot depths. The system uses natural movements of the earth to create a siphon action that pumps water back into the ground.

“All indications from the data show that it was a success,” says Gil Pezza, director of water technology for the Michigan Economic Development Corp, in Crain’s Detroit Business. “The engineer says those figures will improve over time as [the devices] settle into the terrain.”

The drainage system could save Detroit thousands of dollars by reducing stormwater sent to the Detroit Water & Sewage Department for treatment.

Source: Crain's Detroit Business

CIPP Solves Winter Water Main Woes

Water main breaks were nearly a daily occurrence in Madison, Wis., last winter, when the region experienced one of the coldest, snowiest winters on record. The city is now working to repair and reinforce some of its water mains with cured-in-place pipe technology. CIPP was a viable alternative for the city because in some locations the water mains are in need of repair even though other utilities and the street surface aren’t.

“It’s a low-conflict project for the neighborhood,” says Adam Wiederhoeft of the Madison Water Utility. “The road is … quite passable.”

Madison is currently looking at using the technique in other neighborhoods in 2015.

Source: NBC 15


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