Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Water Pollution Control Plant Renovation Project
A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for October 28, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. at the Millbrae Water Pollution Control Plant. The renovation project will be the first refurbishment of the City’s 50-year-old treatment plant’s equipment, facilities and machinery as many of these systems are so old that repairs are sometimes impossible because spare parts are unavailable.
In September the City awarded a $20,465,000 construction contract to West Bay Builders. The long awaited renovation will begin around November with a target completion date of December 2011. This renovation will help ensure the City can meet its obligations under its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit over the next 50 years.
The project will help improve treatment capabilities and minimize sanitary sewer overflows that can occur during stormy weather. During heavy storms, rain water can cause the collection system to overflow at the lowest elevations because the collection system has little storage capacity. This project will add a 1.2 million gallon flow equalization tank below ground which will add some storage capacity to retain the extra water that flows into the treatment plant during storms. The Federal and State governments are stepping up the amount and frequency of fines for any overflows and many cities have been challenged by lawsuits from environmental groups.
A third pillar of this project will be the addition of a two-story operations center needed to house public works staff. The current offices and laboratory must be moved to provide access for treatment equipment replacements and the current facilities are substandard, seismically unsafe, and do not meet codes or American Disability Act requirements.
The City secured up to $34,000,000 in financing from the State Water Resources Control Board. This loan will be backed by federal stimulus money which means the City’s interest will be only 1%. This will save Millbrae’s ratepayers at least $10,000,000 over the initial projections for the life of this 20-year loan.