San Francisco, CA, United States
San Francisco, CA, United States

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is a public agency of the City and County of San Francisco that provides water, wastewater, and electric power services to the city and an additional 1.6 million customers within three San Francisco Bay Area counties. Since its creation in February 2005, the SFPUC Power Enterprise Division has supplied power to many city facilities including Muni, San Francisco International Airport as well as the Modesto and Turlock Irrigation districts.The SFPUC is also the water, electricity and wastewater utility for occupants of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island. The SFPUC manages a complex water supply system consisting of reservoirs, tunnels, pipelines and treatment facilities and is the third largest municipal utility agency in California. The SFPUC protects its watershed properties with security utility trucks and fire apparatus painted white over green. The SFPUC provides fresh water from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to 2.4 million customers for residential, commercial and industrial uses. Near one-third of its delivered water is sent to customers within San Francisco, while the remaining two-thirds is sent to Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. Aside from delivering water, the agency is also responsible for treating wastewater before discharging it into the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Wikipedia.

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News Article | October 5, 2016

ATLANTA, Oct. 05, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When Water & Wastes Digest recognized its top projects for 2016, Mueller Co. was well represented among the winners.  The Company’s Mueller® and Pratt® flow control products were used in at least two of the 10 projects recognized: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Peninsula Pipelines Seismic Upgrade Project and North Dakota State Water Commission’s Dickinson Finished Water Pump Station. The program honors water or wastewater projects that were in the design or construction phase over the past 18 months. The 10 winning projects were chosen by the W&WD editorial team and presented to the projects’ owners, designers and contractors during the annual WEFTEC conference in New Orleans, LA on September 26, 2016. Mueller Co. supplied a number of resilient wedge gate valves for the Peninsula Pipelines Seismic Upgrade Project, which reinforced three transmission lines to help them withstand a seismic event along the San Andreas Fault.  Included in this project was the first-ever 54-inch flanged resilient wedge gate valve shipped in the Company’s history. North Dakota State Water Commission employed outside lever and weight swing check valves from Henry Pratt Company, a subsidiary of Mueller Co., for a new finished water pump station in Dickinson, North Dakota.  The new pump station is needed to accommodate the growing water needs from an increased population in Dickinson and the Southwest Pipeline Project area. “We congratulate both the San Francisco Public Utility Commission and the North Dakota State Water Commission on being recognized for improving their water infrastructure,” said Gregory S. Rogowski, president of Mueller Co. “They are proactively investing in their systems to ensure that their customers continue to have access to safe, clean drinking water.  We are proud to have partnered with them on these projects.” Mueller Co. is a subsidiary of Mueller Water Products, Inc. (NYSE:MWA). Since 1857, the Mueller name has been known for innovative water distribution products of superior quality. Our products, which are used throughout the water distribution system from source to customer, are specified in the 100 largest municipalities in the United States. For more information about Mueller Co., visit Mueller Water Products, Inc. (NYSE:MWA) is a leading manufacturer and marketer of products and services used in the transmission, distribution and measurement of water in North America. Our broad product and service portfolio includes engineered valves, fire hydrants, metering products and systems, leak detection and pipe condition assessment. We help municipalities increase operational efficiencies, improve customer service and prioritize capital spending, demonstrating why Mueller Water Products is Where Intelligence Meets Infrastructure®. The piping component systems produced by Anvil help build connections that last in commercial, industrial, mechanical, fire protection and oil & gas applications. Visit us at

Sayama T.,Public Works Research Institute | Mcdonnell J.J.,Oregon State University | Mcdonnell J.J.,University of Aberdeen | Dhakal A.,San Francisco Public Utilities Commission | Sullivan K.,Humboldt Redwood Company
Hydrological Processes | Year: 2011

Subsurface runoff dominates the hydrology of many steep humid regions, and yet the basic elements of water collection, storage, and discharge are still poorly understood at the watershed scale. Here, we use exceptionally dense rainfall and runoff records from two Northern California watersheds (~100km2) with distinct wet and dry seasons to ask the simple question: how much water can a watershed store? Stream hydrographs from 17 sub-watersheds through the wet season are used to answer this question where we use a simple water balance analysis to estimate watershed storage changes during a rainy season (dV). Our findings suggest a pronounced storage limit and then 'storage excess' pattern; i.e. the watersheds store significant amounts of rainfall with little corresponding runoff in the beginning of the wet season and then release considerably more water to the streams after they reach and exceed their storage capacities. The amount of rainfall required to fill the storages at our study watersheds is the order of a few hundred millimeters (200-500mm). For each sub-watershed, we calculated a variety of topographic indices and regressed these against maximum dV. Among various indices, median gradient showed the strongest control on dV where watershed median slope angle was positively related to the maximum volume of storage change. We explain this using a hydrologically active bedrock hypothesis whereby the amount of water a watershed can store is influenced by filling of unrequited storage in bedrock. The amount of water required to activate rapid rainfall-runoff response is larger for steeper watersheds where the more restricted expansion of seepage from bedrock to the soil limits the connectivity between stored water and stream runoff. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Dhakal A.S.,Humboldt Redwood Company Formerly Scotia Pacific Company | Dhakal A.S.,San Francisco Public Utilities Commission | Sullivan K.,Humboldt Redwood Company Formerly Scotia Pacific Company | Sullivan K.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Hydrological Processes | Year: 2014

The pore water pressure head that builds in the soil during storms is a critical factor for the prediction of potential slope instability. We report findings from a 3-year study of pressure head in 83 piezometers distributed within a 13-ha forested catchment on the northern coast of California. The study's primary objective was to observe the seasonal and storm-based dynamics of pressure head at a catchment scale in relation to observed rainfall characteristics and in situ topography to better understand landscape patterns of pressure head. An additional goal was to determine the influence of the interaction between rainfall and forest canopy in altering delivery of water and pressure head during the large storms necessary to induce landsliding. We found that pressure head was highly variable in space and time at the catchment scale. Pore pressures peaked close to maximum rainfall intensity during the largest storms measured. The difference between rainfall and throughfall delivered through the canopy was negligible during the critical landslide-producing peak rainfall periods. Pore pressure was spatially variable within the catchment and did not strongly correlate with surficial topographic features. Only 23% of the piezometers located in a variety of slope positions were found to be highly responsive to rainfall. Topographic index statistically explained peak pressure head at responsive locations during common storms, but not during the larger storms with potential to produce landslides. Drainage efficiency throughout the catchment increased significantly in storms exceeding 2 to 7months peak pressure head return period indicated by slowing or cessation of the rate of increase of pressure head with increasing storm magnitude. This asymptotic piezometric pattern persisted through the largest storm measured during the study. Faster soil drainage suppressed pressure head response in larger storms with important process implications for pore pressure development and landslide hazard modelling. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Downs P.W.,University of Plymouth | Dusterhoff S.R.,Stillwater science | Sears W.A.,Stillwater science | Sears W.A.,San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Geomorphology | Year: 2013

Understanding the cumulative impact of natural and human influences on the sensitivity of channel morphodynamics, a relative measure between the drivers for change and the magnitude of channel response, requires an approach that accommodates spatial and temporal variability in the suite of primary stressors. Multiple historical data sources were assembled to provide a reach-scale analysis of the lower Santa Clara River (LSCR) in Ventura County, California, USA. Sediment supply is naturally high due to tectonic activity, earthquake-generated landslides, wildfires, and high magnitude flow events during El Niño years. Somewhat typically for the region, the catchment has been subject to four reasonably distinct land use and resource management combinations since European-American settlement. When combined with analysis of channel morphological response (quantifiable since ca. 1930), reach-scale and temporal differences in channel sensitivity become apparent. Downstream reaches have incised on average 2.4. m and become narrower by almost 50% with changes focused in a period of highly sensitive response after about 1950 followed by forced insensitivity caused by structural flood embankments and a significant grade control structure. In contrast, the middle reaches have been responsive but are morphologically resilient, and the upstream reaches show a mildly sensitive aggradational trend. Superimposing the natural and human drivers for change reveals that large scale stressors (related to ranching and irrigation) have been replaced over time by a suite of stressors operating at multiple spatial scales. Lower reaches have been sensitive primarily to 'local' scale impacts (urban growth, flood control, and aggregate mining) whereas, upstream, catchment-scale influences still prevail (including flow regulation and climate-driven sediment supply factors). These factors illustrate the complexity inherent to cumulative impact assessment in fluvial systems, provide evidence for a distinct Anthropocene fluvial response, and underpin the enormity of the challenge faced in trying to sustainably manage and restore rivers. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Labonte J.L.,San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Journal - American Water Works Association | Year: 2013

The article describes how the San Francisco Bay Area has embarked on a monumental upgrade to regional water system to prevent severe water infrastructure damage from an earth quake of magnitude 6.7 or greater. With the level of funding involved in large infrastructure projects, politics as well as social and economic factors in a community can often influence how projects are delivered. In 2008, the US Geologic Survey estimated the overall probability of magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake in the greater San Francisco Bay Area to be 63%. Although no seismic expert can predict exactly when the next big one will strike the Bay Area, everyone agrees that it is only a matter of time. For many, compliance with newly promulgated and anticipated federal and state mandates for higher environmental and water quality standards will not be possible without some infrastructure improvements.

News Article | June 2, 2011

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is warning its customers that their personal data may have been exposed in a recent breach, an SFPUC spokesman told CNET today. SFPUC noticed a few weeks ago that an unsecured server that was storing customer data also had some viruses on it, according to spokesman Tyrone Jue. It's unclear how the server got infected with the viruses, he said, adding that "it looked like someone had found an open port on the server and dumped a bunch of viruses on it." A file on the server contained customer names, account numbers, addresses, phone numbers and some e-mail addresses for SFPUC's 180,000 customers, but did not contain any financial information, he said. "The server was open (to the Internet) and had an encoded file on there with all of our customer data," Jue said. The file was in plain text but the data was somewhat jumbled, making it difficult to correctly match data to specific customers, he added. "There was no indication that any information was taken, but in the interest of caution we are notifying customers of the fact," Jue said. The agency has been sending notices out in customer bills and sending e-mails to anyone who had an e-mail address that was in the file on the server, he said. "The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) recently discovered that an unauthorized third party gained access to a SFPUC computer system. We want to assure our customers that the SFPUC does not possess or require Social Security numbers, and that no tax identification numbers and banking information were compromised," the agency said in its e-mail, which was obtained by CNET. "While we believe there is limited cause for concern, we want to use this opportunity to remind our customers to always be on alert for any suspicious e-mails or calls requesting personal or sensitive information." SFPUC employees always carry identification and only enter a home when scheduled with prior customer approval, the e-mail said.

News Article | January 26, 2012

A common fixture (literally) of many corporate or public building lobbies is that seemingly ubiquitous cascading waterfall or fountain. Soothing, definitely. But have you stopped to think about whether or not these water fixtures could serve a higher purpose? That's the ulterior motive of Worrell Water Technologies, which designs wastewater treatment systems such as the one pictured above from the Port of Portland headquarters lobby. The system featured in this image is called the Tidal Flow Wetland Living Machine, which imitates the natural processes of a tidal wetland to recycle gray and black water for reuse within a building. Living Machine systems have found success with a number of municipal organizations, including the Port of Portland and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The technology is seen as useful for helping businesses or real estate managers earn points for green building features. The treated water flowing through the San Francisco installation, for example, is being reused for toilet flushing throughout the 13-story, 277,500-square-foot building. The installation was integrated into the lobby and outside, as part of a 1,000-square-foot wetlands area. The system will save an estimated 750,000 gallons of water annually, and will make 900,000 gallons of non-potable water available for other future uses, according to the Worrell Water Technologies.

News Article | January 14, 2016

After 12 years of diligent advocacy, local environmental and community groups today cheered the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's launch of the CleanPowerSF community choice energy program. Shortly after 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, following the Commission's unanimous approval, SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly signed the first power purchase contract to officially launch the program.

News Article | April 25, 2016

A massive sinkhole appeared in the middle of a San Francisco street after a sewer line beneath it suddenly broke, according to city officials. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) spokesman Charles Sheehan said that city crew responded to reports that a portion of Sacramento Street in the Pacific Heights neighborhood had collapsed Thursday afternoon, leaving a 22 feet long and 17 feet wide hole in its wake. He said that after investigating the situation, they discovered that an 18-inch sewer main located beneath the street ruptured and caused large amounts of water to burst out. This gradually eroded the soil that was supporting the road above and made it more vulnerable to collapse. While it is still unsure what exactly caused the break of the sewer line, the city government has already begun to replace hundreds of miles of old pipelines around San Francisco. The project is expected to continue in the next few years and cost about $1.2 billion to finish. Funding for the sewer line replacement will come from water ratepayers. The PUC will be able to accomplish its goal by increasing the length of the pipelines it fixes every year. This means its workers will need to bring the average replaced pipeline length from 6 miles per year to 15 miles. Despite the formation of the giant sinkhole, Sheehan said that there were no damages to any of the private properties along Sacramento Street. There was also no interruption to water or sewer services in the area. City crews had also repaired the damage to the sewer line and poured concrete on the massive depression in the ground. Sacramento Street was reopened to traffic by Saturday afternoon. On Saturday, the state-run news network China Central Television (CCTV) broadcasted footage of an actual sinkhole opening up in a busy road. The video shows an officer trying to divert traffic away from a crack on the street mere minutes before the ground finally collapses. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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