Friday, January 28, 2011

Conduit Work on Polhemus Road - Possible Traffic Delays in late January/early February

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is nearing completion on the New Crystal Springs Bypass Tunnel & Pipeline near Polhemus Road in San Mateo. We expect to be substantially finished with construction by Spring 2011 with full project completion by Fall 2011.

Pipeline Shutdown Finishes Ahead of Schedule!!
Great news! The critical shutdown of the Crystal Springs Bypass Pipeline and connection of the new, seismically upgraded pipeline are complete ahead of schedule! THANK YOU to neighbors for your support during the three 24 hour work days/nights at the South Shaft site.

Conduit Work on Polhemus Rd - Possible Traffic Delays
Neighbors may experience some minor traffic delays on Polhemus Road between Bunker Hill and Crystal Springs Road beginning as early as the week of January 31st due to conduit work in the roadway. As required, traffic will be reduced to one-lane and a flag person will be on site to direct traffic.

Demobilization Begins – Please Watch for Trucks
With the tunnel and pipeline complete, the contractor and staff will begin removing equipment and hauling it away. Please watch for additional truck traffic in the area. Please observe posted speed limits and watch for trucks entering the roadway.

Water Treatment “Swimming Pool” to be Removed
The Water Treatment Facility at the South Shaft site, known by neighbors as the “Swimming Pool”, will be demolished starting in late January/early February and materials will be hauled off site.

Crews will continue to use dust control measures to control dust.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pipeline Connection Work in San Mateo Nearing Completion Ahead of Schedule


The New Crystal Springs Bypass Tunnel & Pipeline team are making excellent progress on the critical pipeline connection work near Polhemus Road in San Mateo.

If all goes well, they hope to complete the work ahead of schedule this week. We originally anticipated up to three weeks of work but our skilled crews and excellent team worked quickly and efficiently.

Neighbors, thank you again for your continued support and patience.

A reporter from a Bay Area news channel is working on an exclusive story about this shutdown project! Watch this blog for more info, channel and air dates! We will also post a link to the story on this blog.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Take Back the Tap: The Peninsula’s tap water is some of the purest in the world.

Here is a great article by Alexis Petru of the Foster City Patch. It has been posted with permission of Alexis.

Every spring, snowpack in the central Sierra Nevada mountain range melts and feeds the Tuolumne River. A portion of the river’s water is diverted and stored in Yosemite National Park‘s Hetch Hetchy Valley, which became a reservoir when the O’Shaughnessy Dam was built and flooded the valley in the early 1900s. Carried by gravity, the water travels 160 miles down to the Bay Area and into the homes of people like you and me who live on the San Francisco Peninsula.

The water from the Tuolumne River is “some of the purest, safest and best-tasting water in the world,” says the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which operates the Hetch Hetchy water system. The SFPUC tests water throughout their system nearly 90,000 times a year and reports that their water consistently meets or exceeds all federal and state standards for drinking water.

Nearly every resident of San Mateo County receives their water through the SFPUC’s water system. Ninety-three percent of this water supply comes from the Tuolumne River, stored at the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and locally, along with rainwater, in the San Andreas, Crystal Springs and Pilarcitos reservoirs. The rest of the water supply comes from a variety of local sources—5 percent from groundwater and fewer than 2 percent from recycled water and locally operated reservoirs such as Bear Gulch.

Store-bought bottled water just can’t compete with the Peninsula’s excellent-quality tap water.

The National Resources Defense Council carried out a four-year study of bottled water and found that bottled water is not necessarily safer or cleaner than water from the tap. In fact, the environmental action group discovered that 25 percent of bottled water is just tap water in a bottle. After testing 1,000 bottles of 103 brands of bottled water, the group found that about 22 percent of the tested brands contained, in at least one sample, chemicals or bacteria in amounts above state health standards.

Bottled water also takes a heavy toll on the environment. Plastic bottles are made from oil, and the amount of oil and energy used to produce the plastic water bottles consumed annually in the U.S. would fuel a million cars for one year, according to Food and Water Watch. By contrast, the energy used to transport tap water from Hetch Hetchy to your home is minimal, as gravity moves water through the system. Because the water is so pure to begin with, there is also little energy expended to treat the water.

Bottled water creates 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year, according to the National Resources Defense Council. While recycling your old water bottle is certainly environmentally preferable to tossing it in the garbage, it still takes energy and resources to re-manufacture the water bottle into a new product. Purchasing a reusable bottle and re-filling it with tap water eliminates the need for all those plastic bottles. Remember, it’s always better to reduce and reuse before you recycle.

And need I mention the financial cost of bottled water? Bottled water is expensive, and you’re already paying your city or water provider for high-quality tap water.

If you still feel squeamish about drinking water directly from the tap, use a water filter to further improve the water’s taste and quality.

There is a time and a place for bottled water—in your home’s emergency kit or when traveling in a place with a questionable water supply. But the Peninsula’s water supply is truly exceptional—pristine water from the Sierra Nevada snowpack. Choosing our tap water over bottled water also has a lighter impact on the environment. So grab your reusable water bottle, and get ready to take back the tap.

Alexis Petru is a San Bruno resident who coordinates environmental programs for San Mateo County. Her column appears biweekly on Fridays.

http://fostercity.patch.com/articles/take-back-the-tap-2

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Neighbors near Polhemus Road: Thank You for Your Support

The New Crystal Springs Bypass Tunnel and Pipeline team would like to say a huge THANK YOU to our neighbors near Polhemus Road in San Mateo for your continued support during this important water pipeline connection work.

With 24 hour work taking place near your homes, we realize you may be experiencing some noise and bright lights at night.

The crews and project team are making excellent progress and hope to complete the connection work earlier than anticipated. We have an excellent, highly skilled team of people working hard to finish these critical activities quickly and efficiently.

THANK YOU again for your continued support and patience.



Have you ever seen water pipes so large you can walk through them? Here is a recent photo, taken this week at the South Shaft site off of Polhemus Road, of the crews preparing to connect the pipes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pipeline Shutdown Work in San Mateo Making Excellent Progress


Staff and work crews at the New Crystal Springs Bypass Tunnel site in San Mateo are making excellent progress in the first days of the important pipeline work to connect the New Crystal Springs Bypass Pipeline to our larger water system.

Here is a photo taken on Monday, January 17th of a worker accessing the pipeline.

Work will take place at the South Shaft site near Polhemus Road 24 hours a day, 7 days per week for approximately 3 weeks to complete this critical work as quickly as possible.

Neighbors may experience some noise from the crane and equipment.

We do not anticipate any interruption to your water service. This important work is necessary to connect pipelines for your water supply.

Questions or concerns: Please contact us toll-free, 24 hour, 7 days per week for information, questions or comments about the project: 866-973-1476.
Or call SFPUC Communications: 650-212-0165 (weekdays) Email: newcstunnel@sfwater.org, website: www.sfwater.org/wsip.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pipeline Shutdown Work Begins This Weekend near Polhemus Road in San Mateo

Starting on or around Monday, January 17th, 2011, the contractor will perform critical work to connect the New Crystal Springs Bypass Pipeline to our larger water system. These important pipeline connection activities at the South Shaft site near Polhemus Road will require crews to work up to 24 hours a day, 7 days per week for approximately 3 weeks to complete this critical work as quickly as possible. Neighbors may experience some noise from the crane and equipment.

Tunnel ventilation equipment, including an air compressor, will be in use at the South Shaft during the day on Sunday, January 16th. A small crew will be on site most of the day on Sunday.

Additional environmental training focused on minimizing noise, especially at nighttime, was conducted for all workers on site.

We do not anticipate any interruption to your water service. This important work is necessary to connect pipelines for your water supply.

Questions or Concerns: Please contact us toll-free, 24 hour, 7 days per week for information, questions or comments about the project: 866-973-1476.
Or SFPUC Communications: 650-212-0165 (weekdays) Email: newcstunnel@sfwater.org, website: www.sfwater.org/wsip.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pipeline Activity Starting This Week near Polhemus Road in San Mateo

Happy New Year!

Neighbors near the New Crystal Springs Bypass Tunnel project located on Polhemus Road in San Mateo may start to notice additional activity at the North and South Shaft sites starting this week.

Several workers from the SFPUC/SF Water Department's Water Supply & Treatment Division will be performing 24-hour pipeline de-watering and treatment work at both the North and South Shaft sites starting today through the 9th. Downward-facing lights will be in use at night.

Neighbors may see SFPUC/SF Water Department trucks and cars on site and at various locations along Polhemus Road and Crystal Springs Road.
Be sure to wave 'hello' if you are a neighbor!

Please remember to follow the posted 10 MPH speed limit at our North Shaft site located on Crystal Springs Road near Polhemus. Safety is important and the workers, cyclists and pedestrians really appreciate you driving slowly and safely in the posted speed limit zone.
Watch this blog for updates as the pipeline connection work progresses!