How the SFPUC is Preparing for the Next Big Quake

Being ready for the next big earthquake is something all San Francisco residents, businesses and government agencies have to plan for, which is one reason why the SFPUC launched the Sewer System Improvement Program.

“Investing in the entire system, top to bottom, in order to withstand the inevitable earthquake is one of the most important actions we can take,” said Stephen Robinson, SFPUC Wastewater Enterprise Capitol Program Director. “No matter where in San Francisco you live or work, the Southeast Treatment Plant improvements matter because a failure in one area could impact the entire system.”

Over the past year, crews have been demolishing old, inefficient, and seismically unsafe buildings, and will replace them with safer, more modern facilities. The SFPUC is also investing to ensure that existing buildings at the Southeast Treatment Plant are seismically safe. Crews recently installed new handrails at the Primary Sedimentation Facility, and placed new coating inside the Effluent Control Structure, which will reinforce the interior, and make the building more earthquake resilient.

“Not only do these investments protect our infrastructure, they also protect our most important asset, our workforce,” said Robinson. “The people who make the Southeast Treatment Plant run successfully every day deserve to work in the safest environment possible.”

From major capital investments, to routine repairs, the SFPUC is preparing for the worst. Residents should also prepare for a major earthquake. Residents can visit to learn about how to properly store and treat water, as well as how to shut down the home water supply for when the next major earthquake hits.

The San Andreas Fault is located approximately 10 miles away from the Southeast Treatment Plant.