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Newsletter – September 2018

Oct. 2: Public Meeting on the Underground Flow Equalization System Project

The Clean Water Program is hosting a public meeting on October 2 to provide information about and receive public input on potential impacts to the environment related to the Underground Flow Equalization System project (formerly called the In-System Storage Facility).

This project is part of the city’s 10-year program to improve and repair the aging sewer collection and treatment system. During storms, rainwater enters the sewer system through cracks and other defects. The amount of rainwater can overwhelm the sewer system capacity, resulting in overflows at the wastewater treatment plant and at locations around the city, such as manholes. These overflows contain a mixture of rainwater and untreated sewage. They are a danger to human health and the environment because they contaminate streets, creeks, lagoons, beaches and the San Francisco Bay.

The approximately 5-million-gallon underground holding structure is proposed to be located in the eastern portion of the San Mateo County Event Center parking lot.

This location was selected by the City Council in 2017, after a lengthy series of public meetings and hearings. When the sewer system becomes overwhelmed during heavy rains, it will serve as a temporary holding area for the mixture of rainwater and sewage. This temporary storage will generally be for 24 hours or less, until the storm passes. This will allow the wastewater treatment plant to “catch up” with the high flows. Once the wastewater is released to the treatment plant, mechanisms to flush and clean the structure will activate. The structure will also include advanced odor control features, such as air-tight vaults and carbon filters. The design of the project is sixty percent complete, and more details about construction schedule and cost will be released when they are available.

To comply with the California Environmental Quality Act, the city is preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The city is seeking public input on how the proposed project may affect the environment. The meeting is one way for the public to learn more about the Underground Flow Equalization System project and provide input that the city will consider during preparation of the EIR.

Please click here for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

Public Scoping Meeting: October 2, 2018, 6:00 p.m. City Hall, Council Chambers, 330 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo, CA

Comments must be submitted by October 22, 2018. Comments also can be submitted via email to:

New Sewer Service Charges and Administrative Regulations Published

Want to learn more about your sewer rates and how they are calculated? New sewer rates effective 2018 – 2019 have been posted on the City’s website. 

The City’s sewer charge administrative regulations, which detail how sewer rates are charged for different user classes are also accessible at the link above.

Glendora/Shasta Sewer and Pavement Project Update

As part of the Clean Water Program, approximately 2,000 feet of existing sewer pipes along Shasta and Glendora drives are being replaced and upgraded. This project will replace portions of the sewer pipes in City easements in Shasta Drive residents’ backyards or side yards with a new, larger pipe in the street. Improvements on Glendora Drive will occur in the street.

Most of the construction work will take place in the public right-of-way, but the construction contractor will need to access the pipes in easements on affected properties as part of this work. Any disturbances to surface features and landscaping on private parcels will be replaced in kind. In addition, the contractor performing the work will ensure that safety hazards and odors will be mitigated during the work. After work is completed, Shasta Drive will be repaved.

Construction is expected to continue through November 2018. Residents will be receiving additional notices about upcoming work, as well as vehicle access and parking during re-paving.

This work is crucial for improving the City’s overall infrastructure, and for preventing sewer overflows that occur during heavy rains. The Clean Water Program and the City of San Mateo want to thank all residents for their continued cooperation!

Private Sewer Lateral Cost-Sharing Program

Did you know that City of San Mateo provides grants to property owners for 50% of the cost of a full sewer lateral replacement (from where it exits the structure to the main line connection) with a maximum grant of $5,000?

All types of properties (residential, commercial, multi-family, etc.) in the city of San Mateo are eligible for the lateral replacement cost sharing as part of the Private Sewer Lateral Cost-Sharing Program. Spot repairs and partial repairs are not included in the cost-sharing program.

Applications for fiscal year 2018-19 are now available. This program is very popular, and funding is limited. We encourage you to apply early.

For additional information, please see the Cost Sharing Program homepage.