The work of the SFPUC helps protect our communities and environment by ensuring our sewer system is well-functioning and ready for the next earthquake. After years of planning for major upgrades, the Southeast Treatment Plant (SEP) is undergoing an extreme makeover that will utilize state-of-the-industry technology and innovations to protect against earthquakes and sea-level rise.
Major construction activities on multiple projects at the SEP kicked into high gear in 2018. Odor control, critical redundancies, modern equipment, and facilities – these and other key elements of the upgrades are at various levels of completion. The largest part of the work will completely replace and relocate the solids handling facilities, and when complete, we will be producing the highest quality biosolids for beneficial use. In addition, major odor control equipment will significantly reduce the odors in the neighboring community.
We’re excited to celebrate a major milestone to start 2022. The Primary Sedimentation Building (Building 042 if you’re a Stationary Engineer) Seismic Retrofit and Rehabilitation Project is complete, marking a major milestone for the treatment plant upgrades.
“We had a great working relationship between Western Water [the contractor] and the PUC,” said SFPUC Construction Manager Ryan Cayabyab. “They [Western Water] went above and beyond—performing work and coordinating with plant operations.” This created a successful team to deliver the work.
In the early part of the wastewater treatment process, the liquids and solids are separated before undergoing different treatments. Solid matter such as trash, grit, food and human waste will mostly float (fats, oils, grease) or sink and is then skimmed from the top and bottom of the sedimentation tanks. In addition to the seismic upgrade, the project added guardrails and handrails and repaired and upgraded the structure and mechanical and electrical components.
In December, the project team held a small partnering celebration to commemorate the work and appreciate the team.
“Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to project success. We achieved this success because every project team member, from construction contractors to engineers, consultants to wastewater plant operators, all worked together in collaboration and harmony,” said Project Manager Murat Bozkurt.
We are preparing for the future by upgrading and modernizing these critical facilities to withstand a 7.8 earthquake on the San Andres Fault. The completion of this project and the other project upgrades will ensure a reliable and sustainable system to protect public health and the environment while addressing the needs of the system and the concerns of the community.