The SFPUC is Upgrading the City Under the City

For the past 100 years, the City of San Francisco has protected public health by operating a sewer system that reliably treats and disposes of sewage and street runoff to the Bay and Pacific Ocean.

The SFPUC maintains 1,900 miles of sewer mains and lateral and 27 pump stations that collect sewage and storm water, moving the wastewater to the three treatment plants for treatment and discharge to the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean. These miles of pipes and facilities create a “city under the City” for the City’s sewage and stormwater to journey through as it is pumped, treated, and discharged 365 days a year.

Many parts of this system are aging and in need of upgrades. After eight years of public input and feedback along with in-depth analysis of long-term sewer capital projects, we are now moving forward with a plan to upgrade, replace, and seismically retrofit this aging system. As part of the SFPUC’s Sewer System Improvement Program, the agency is in the early stages of major investments across (and under) the City to modernize treatment plants, enhance the sewer system’s ability to handle the next earthquake, and improve stormwater management.

Brick sewer, employees, sewer camera monitoring.

Major upgrades are underway at both all-weather treatment plants, the Oceanside facility near the San Francisco Zoo and the Southeast Treatment Plant in the Bayview. The SFPUC is working with the SFMTA to “dig once” by replacing aging water and sewer mains along Van Ness, Geary Boulevard, and Taraval Street where major transportation projects are underway.

New projects will be starting this spring, including upgrades to the sewers under Mission Street and the Embarcadero.

Brick sewer, employees, sewer camera monitoring
SFPUC staff inspect the sewer system.