You may not have noticed it, but the rain water that falls on your roof ends up in our city’s sewer system, contributing to overflows in the Bay and Ocean and flooding in our neighborhoods. A simple solution is to disconnect your downspouts and harvest the rainwater for later use. The SFPUC has embraced this simple idea and has established this webpage to help you get started. Check it out for yourself!
Welcome to the newly updated website for the Sustainable Watersheds Alliance – known to many of you simply as SWAle.
As we head into the homestretch for 2011 there are a lot of exciting things on the horizon in our effort to reform and transform San Francisco’s sewer and stormwater system. A few weeks ago the SF Public Utilities Commission approved a $150 million program management contract with AECOM to manage the massive (about $6B) Sewer System Improvement Program and we are waiting anxiously for the SFPUC to issue Requests for Proposals for two major projects on the east side of town.
The first is the Central Bayside Improvements Project which will put together a plan for the collection and treatment system in the Islais Creek, Channel, and North Shore watersheds. The second is the long awaited (understatement!) project to move forward with rebuilding the Solids Handling (digesters) in the Bayview’s Southeast Plant. The digesters are decrepit and failing and have needed to be replaced for years. This project is long overdue and we can’t wait to see that RFP.
What’s perhaps most notable about both projects is that they will be the first ones to use the PUC’s new Urban Watershed Framework and Triple Bottom Line analysis tools that are integral to fully evaluating the multiple benefits of the green infrastructure that San Franciscans have been clammoring for. From what we’ve seen both tools need more work but we applaud the PUC for taking these steps.