California drought taking serious toll on aging sewer system in San Francisco (June 29, 2015)
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — California’s severe drought is taking a serious toll on San Francisco’s aging sewer system.
Some of the city’s 1,000 miles of sewer pipes are more than 100 years old, among the first installed after the Gold Rush.
The waste was getting dumped into the streets, the streets were getting all muddy, and they thought, let’s do something about that. So, they built these pipes, SFPUC Assistant General Manager Tommy Moala said.
Few things in America have lasted 150 years. San Francisco’s sewer system is a working relic but one that works
You might think that the drought would give the sewer system a break, with not as much water going through it. But, while San Franciscans are sending less water down the drain because of conservation, the same, or more sewage is being sent through the system that isn’t being drained as well as before.
It’s an organic material. It breaks down. It creates hydrogen sulfide. That eats up the concrete in the pipes if it sits there long enough, Moala said.
With thousands of people moving into San Francisco, the city’s infrastructure continues to be taxed, no more so than the sewer system. But, sewer workers say they’ll do their best. It’s their duty.
Files related to sewer and wastewater treatment
- 201008 VVWRA Sewer Master Plan
- 20110228 Low-flow toilets cause a stink in SF
- 20150629 California drought taking serious toll on aging sewer system in San Francisco
- 20150831 VVWRA percolation ponds
- 20150901 Unintended consequences of conserving water: leaky pipes, less revenue, bad odors
- 20160120 Grants received by VVWRA save Victor Valley millions
See also files related to retail water rights.