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Protecting the Bay for a Sustainable Future

 

Have you ever wondered where used water (“wastewater”) goes after it leaves your home? Did you know that it eventually reaches the San Francisco Bay? It first travels through a series of sewer pipes and pumps called a sewer collection system and then gets treated at the Wastewater Treatment Plant before it is safe to flow into the Bay.

The Clean Water Program is a comprehensive plan to upgrade the aging wastewater collection and treatment system with advanced infrastructure that will provide reliable services for years to come. The Wastewater Treatment Plant components of the Clean Water Program are a joint effort between the City of San Mateo and City of Foster City/Estero Municipal Improvement District (EMID). The City of Foster City is a partial owner of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Goals of the Clean Water Program are to:

 

Replace aging infrastructure and facilities

Build wet weather sewer system capacity assurance to prevent overflows

Meet current and future regulatory requirements

Align with the City of San Mateo and Foster City's sustainability goals

Read Wastewater: The Basics to learn all about San Mateo’s sewer collection system and Wastewater Treatment Plant!

Please visit the Underground Flow Equalization System page for important information on this phase of the Clean Water Program.

 

 

Latest Info

 

UPDATE! Additional UFES Final Environmental Impact Report Documents Released

In addition to the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Underground Flow Equalization System Project, two other project documents were released on September 10, 2019: (1) Errata No. 1, which includes 40 additional comments and responses, and (2) the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program, which summarizes the mitigation measures discussed in the EIR and implementation responsibilities. Both can be found on the Final EIR page.

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Final UFES Environmental Impact Report Released

The Final Environmental Impact Report for the Underground Flow Equalization System Project is now available. This final version of the document includes responses to written and verbal comments and questions received during the public comment period, which ran from March 6 through May 31, 2019.

The Final EIR is available for download at the Clean Water Program website on our Final Environmental Impact Report page. Hard copies are available at City Hall and the San Mateo Main Library.

The Planning Commission will vote on a recommendation for Final EIR certification, and concurrent Special Use Permit approval, to City Council at its upcoming meeting on September 24, 2019. City Council will vote on certification of the Final EIR, and approval of the concurrent Special Use Permit, at their October 21, 2019 meeting. (Please note – this topic has been moved from the October 7 City Council meeting.)

Planning Commission meetings and City Council meetings are all held at 7:00 pm at City Hall Council Chambers, 330 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403.

Please visit our Underground Flow Equalization System page for additional project details and updates.

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San Mateo Breaks Ground on New Wastewater Treatment Plant

On Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, the City of San Mateo welcomed Representatives Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo, along with Foster City Mayor Sam Hindi to celebrate the groundbreaking of our new wastewater treatment plant.

The plant is the largest component of the Clean Water Program, a $1 billion initiative launched in 2015 to modernize the San Mateo sewer system, a response to a Cease and Desist Order from the State of California mandating a sewer system upgrade to eliminate sewer overflows from entering the San Francisco Bay.

“These infrastructure improvements are vital to the sustainability and future of San Mateo,” said Mayor Diane Papan. “We greatly appreciate the advocacy of our council and the support of our Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, as well as congressional representatives Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo, the encouragement from the EPA and our partners in Foster City, who worked on our behalf to support low-cost funding alternatives for the program.”

The new plant will replace an aging plant that saw its last major upgrade in the 1970s. Construction on Phase I of the new plant begins this month.

“We are five successful years into the largest upgrade to our sewer facilities,” said Public Works Director Brad Underwood. “The Clean Water Program is a necessary and timely endeavor that we must deliver on for the sustainability of our City and the health of the San Francisco Bay.”

The new plant will feature a modernized treatment process meeting the program goals to replace the City’s aging infrastructure and comply with regulatory requirements to prevent sewer overflows and fully treat flows at the plant. The new plant also aligns with the City’s sustainability goals; the administration building will be LEED Silver certified and the plant will produce high-quality effluent that is ready for potential water re-use opportunities. The new plant is set to open in 2024.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Groundbreaking Ceremony

Officials Unite for Sept. 4 San Mateo Groundbreaking – Left to Right, Foster City’s City Manager Jeff Moneda, San Mateo’s Public Works Director Brad Underwood, Hillsborough Vice Mayor Alan Royce, Hillsborough Mayor Shawn Christianson, Foster City Mayor Sam Hindi, San Mateo Mayor Diane Papan, Representatives Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier, San Mateo Councilmembers Maureen Freschet, Joe Goethals, Eric Rodriguez and Rick Bonilla, and Jim McGrath, Vice Chair, California State Water Resources Control Board.

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Underground Flow Equalization System Update to Planning Commission

At the August 27, 2019 Planning Commission meeting, Clean Water Program staff provided an update on the UFES. The UFES project will help to reduce the risk of sewer overflows during heavy storms. The purpose of this UFES Informational Presentation was to familiarize Commission members with important information about the project that has been updated since publication of the Draft Environmental Impact Report in March 2019.   

 

 


 

Upcoming Events

 

Jan
10
Wed
Public Works Commission Meeting @ City Hall - City Council Chambers
Jan 10 @ 7:00 pm

The first City of San Mateo Public Works Commission meeting of 2018 will be held on January 10. CWP staff will present information about the proposed rate restructuring and increase plan to fund capital improvements of the wastewater treatment plant and associated infrastructure.

The proposed rate increases and restructuring will allow the City to generate a reliable source of revenue needed to meet increased regulatory requirements; increase system capacity to prevent system overflows and protect human and environmental health; rehabilitate, upgrade, and replace aging infrastructure; and keep revenues aligned with the costs of providing reliable wastewater service.

Following the presentation, CWP staff will ask the Public Works Commissioners to recommend adoption of the rate increases and restructuring plan to City Council. The public is invited to attend to gain additional insight into the rate proposal; however, a formal public question and answer session is not planned. Residents will have opportunities to ask questions and provide comments at an additional community meeting to be held on February 1, 2018.

Feb
1
Thu
Third Community Meeting about Proposed Sewer Rate Increases and Restructuring @ City Hall - City Council Chambers
Feb 1 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

San Mateo residents are invited to attend an upcoming community meeting to learn about the Clean Water Program being implemented by the City of San Mateo Public Works Department. The meeting will provide information about the multi-year capital improvement program that will upgrade our sanitary sewer system and improve the wastewater treatment plant to prevent pollution, comply with regulations, improve service, and protect public health and the environment. The meeting will also provide information about proposed sewer rate restructuring and increases that are necessary to help fund these vital improvements.

The same information was presented at community meetings on November 29 and 30, 2017.

 

Feb
20
Tue
Sewer Rate Ordinance Introduction at City Council Meeting @ City Hall - City Council Chambers
Feb 20 @ 7:00 pm

 

As part of the proposed rate increase and restructuring this year, the ordinance pertaining to the proposal will be introduced at the City Council meeting on February 20. The ordinance is on the consent calendar, meaning that no presentation will be given. Time will be available for public comments for items on the consent calendar.

The public review and comment period is open until March 5. At its March 5 meeting, the City Council will conduct a Public Hearing to vote on the proposed rate increases and restructuring. There will be an opportunity for public comments. Additionally, the meeting is the last opportunity to submit written protests.

If approved, the rate increases will become effective on July 1 for fiscal years 2018-2018 through 2022-2023.

The proposed rate increases and restructuring will allow the City to generate a reliable source of revenue needed to meet increased regulatory requirements; increase system capacity to prevent system overflows and protect human and environmental health; rehabilitate, upgrade, and replace aging infrastructure; and keep revenues aligned with the costs of providing reliable wastewater service.

Property owners can submit a written protest to the proposed increase to the sewer rates. However, only one protest will be counted per parcel. Each protest must (1) be in writing; (2) state that the identified property owner opposes the proposed increases to the sewer rates; (3) identify the parcel for which the protest is made (by assessor’s parcel number or street address); and (4) include the signature of the property owner. Protests submitted by e-mail, facsimile, or other electronic means will not be counted. Written protests may be submitted by mail to the City Clerk at 330 W. 20th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403 or at the public hearing, so long as the protests are received before the public hearing ends. Please identify on the envelope for any written protest, whether mailed or submitted in person to the City Clerk, that the enclosed written protest is for the Public Hearing on the Proposed Sewer Rate Increase.

During the March 5 hearing, the City Council will hear all public testimony and consider all written protests. At the end of the  hearing, the City Council will decide whether to adopt the proposed sewer rates. Oral comments at the hearing will not qualify as formal protests unless accompanied by a written protest, but the City welcomes your input. If, at the end of the  hearing, written protests against the proposed increases to the sewer rates are not presented by a majority of affected property owners of the identified parcels, the City Council will be authorized to adopt the rates.

 

Mar
5
Mon
CMAR Presentation at City Council Study Session @ City Hall - City Council Chambers
Mar 5 @ 5:30 pm

 

The upcoming wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) upgrade and expansion project includes construction of new treatment facilities including primary clarifiers, headworks, and secondary treatment facilities. Due to the complexity of the project, the high volume of construction work expected in the Bay Area, and to ensure collaboration and partnership among all parties during construction, in May 2016 the City Council endorsed the use of a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) delivery approach.

Sundt Construction, Inc. was selected as the CMAR and awarded a pre-construction services contract in January 2017. These services include items such as cost estimating, constructability reviews, value engineering recommendations, construction scheduling, and development of the Guaranteed Maximum Price for construction.

At the study session, the Clean Water Program staff will provide an update on the status of the CMAR contract and progress toward the WWTP upgrade and expansion project.

 

City Council Public Hearing on Sewer Rate Increases and Restructuring @ City Hall - City Council Chambers
Mar 5 @ 7:00 pm

 

As part of the proposed rate increase and restructuring this year, the ordinance pertaining to the proposal will be introduced at the City Council meeting on February 20. The ordinance is on the consent calendar, meaning that no presentation will be given. Time will be available for public comments for items on the consent calendar.

The public review and comment period is open until March 5. At its March 5 meeting, the City Council will conduct a Public Hearing to vote on the proposed rate increases and restructuring. There will be an opportunity for public comments. Additionally, the meeting is the last opportunity to submit written protests.

If approved, the rate increases will become effective on July 1 for fiscal years 2018-2018 through 2022-2023.

The proposed rate increases and restructuring will allow the City to generate a reliable source of revenue needed to meet increased regulatory requirements; increase system capacity to prevent system overflows and protect human and environmental health; rehabilitate, upgrade, and replace aging infrastructure; and keep revenues aligned with the costs of providing reliable wastewater service.

Property owners can submit a written protest to the proposed increase to the sewer rates. However, only one protest will be counted per parcel. Each protest must (1) be in writing; (2) state that the identified property owner opposes the proposed increases to the sewer rates; (3) identify the parcel for which the protest is made (by assessor’s parcel number or street address); and (4) include the signature of the property owner. Protests submitted by e-mail, facsimile, or other electronic means will not be counted. Written protests may be submitted by mail to the City Clerk at 330 W. 20th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403 or at the public hearing, so long as the protests are received before the public hearing ends. Please identify on the envelope for any written protest, whether mailed or submitted in person to the City Clerk, that the enclosed written protest is for the Public Hearing on the Proposed Sewer Rate Increase.

During the March 5 hearing, the City Council will hear all public testimony and consider all written protests. At the end of the  hearing, the City Council will decide whether to adopt the proposed sewer rates. Oral comments at the hearing will not qualify as formal protests unless accompanied by a written protest, but the City welcomes your input. If, at the end of the  hearing, written protests against the proposed increases to the sewer rates are not presented by a majority of affected property owners of the identified parcels, the City Council will be authorized to adopt the rates.

 

Jun
6
Wed
Park and Recreation Commission Meeting @ City Hall - Conference Room C
Jun 6 @ 7:00 pm

Clean Water Program staff will be presenting to the Park and Recreation Commission about the proposed use of three parcels managed by the San Mateo Parks and Recreation Department. These parcels would be used for offsite construction staging and parking areas to support upcoming construction activities related to the upgrade and expansion of the City’s wastewater treatment plant. The three parcels proposed for use are the Dale Avenue undeveloped open space, the Anchor Road passive open space, and a portion of the Anchor Road parking lot. The public will be able to comment at this meeting.

Jun
12
Tue
Planning Commission Hearing on Special Use Permit @ City Hall - City Council Chambers
Jun 12 @ 7:30 pm

The Planning Commission meeting will include a public hearing about the application for a Special Use Permit for the planned wastewater treatment plant upgrade and expansion project. The Commission will then vote on its recommendation to the City Council. The wastewater treatment plant project includes changes to the existing facility, and construction of new facilities adjacent to the existing site. Some of the older facilities at the existing treatment plant will be removed or re-purposed. The project includes a pedestrian path around the treatment plant from Dale Avenue to John Lee Dog Park, modifications to the existing landscaping along East 3rd Avenue, and closure of a portion of Detroit Drive.

Jul
16
Mon
City Council Hearing on Special Use Permit @ City Hall - City Council Chambers
Jul 16 @ 7:00 pm

The City Council meeting will include a public hearing on the Special Use Permit discussed earlier at the June 12 Planning Commission meeting. The City Council will vote on the approval of the Special Use Permit at this meeting. The City Council will also vote on the approval of an addendum to the Program Environmental Impact Report.

Aug
8
Wed
Construction Symposium/Upcoming Opportunities @ City Hall - City Council Chambers
Aug 8 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

The City of San Mateo Clean Water Program invites potential construction bidders, construction management consultants, labor compliance firms, safety management consultants, specialty inspection firms, and companies specializing in materials testing and laboratory services that may be interested in responding to upcoming opportunities under the City of San Mateo’s Clean Water Program.

Symposium topics will include the following: 

  • Overview of the Clean Water Program
  • Discussion of upcoming Requests for Proposals for professional services
  • Overview of Construction Contract Bid Packages for the wastewater collection system and treatment plant
  • Procurement schedule for professional services and construction bid advertisements

Please RSVP to Chris Bessa at chris.bessa@jacobs.com.

For more information, please email or call Chris Bessa at chris.bessa@jacobs.com, 510-387-5498.

Aug
21
Tue
Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade and Expansion Informational Meeting @ Parkside Elementary, LGI Room
Aug 21 @ 6:00 pm

The Clean Water Program will be hosting a neighborhood meeting to update residents about upcoming work to upgrade and expand the wastewater treatment plant. You can download a meeting flyer for more information.