CityWorks Interns Get Closeup Inside the City’s Sewer Operations

The SFPUC’s CityWorks interns are having a busy summer.

Last Friday, about 20 CityWorks interns toured the Southeast Treatment Plant (SEP) to get up close and personal with the 60 million gallons of wastewater the facility treats every single day. Many of the interns, who are from San Francisco’s southeast neighborhoods, had the opportunity to see firsthand how wastewater was treated at the SEP and got exposure to the many career opportunities available to them in the wastewater industry.

Operations Superintendent Andy Clark (brown hard hat) led the tour.

“We touch just about every career there is out there,” said SEP Operations Superintendent Andy Clark to the interns. Clark led the group of interns, alums, and chaperones through several stages of the wastewater treatment process after they received an overview from Senior Project Manager Jignesh Desai about the Sewer System Improvement Project (SSIP).

Jignesh Desai, SFPUC Senior Project Manager, presented an overview of San Francisco’s sewer system.

The interns had to the opportunity to witness the current demolition work at the Headworks building and walk through the preliminary, primary, and secondary treatment processes, smelling firsthand the work taking place in the primary sedimentation tanks and secondary clarifiers.

“Our tour at the Southeast Treatment Plant always serves as a way for CityWorks interns to learn more about careers in the wastewater industry,” said Lindsey Lopez-Weaver, program manager at Young Community Developers. “The staff here is always amazing and ready to answer any and all of their questions.”

As part of the SSIP, the SFPUC is making major upgrades to the sewer infrastructure while introducing next generation of leaders to careers in water, power, and sewer.

CityWorks interns walk from building to building to learn about the wastewater treatment process.
CityWorks interns put on protective equipment before starting the tour.