Update: Sewer Capital Improvement Projects and 2017 Sewer Rate Increase Proposal

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 8.51.33 AMOn March 28 and 30, the San Mateo Public Works Department held two community meetings to update San Mateo residents about the City’s major, multi-year sewer capital improvement program, also known as the Clean Water Pro- gram. This program will upgrade our sanitary sewer system and the wastewater treatment plant, with the intent of eliminating sanitary sewer overflows (also known as SSOs) and improving the treatment process.

Rehabilitating, upgrading, and constructing strategically located segments of pipes, pump stations, underground temporary sewage storage facility, and the wastewater treatment plant will improve service reliability, align with the City’s sustainability goals, and comply with regulatory requirements to protect the environment and public health for years to come. Construction has already begun on several critical projects, with more to come.

The meetings also covered the necessary sewer rate increases being proposed to help fund these much-needed improvements, along with ongoing sewer operations and maintenance, in our city’s vital infrastructure. The first of the two meetings was held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.

The proposed rate adjustments will enable the City to:

Fund capital investments and debt service for high- priority capital needs in Fiscal Year 2017-18. These high-priority capital projects include improvements to the sewer collection system and the wastewater treatment plant, including annual sewer rehabilitation, capacity, and reliability improvements and projects at the wastewater treatment plant to ensure responsive and functional facilities.

Respond to increased regulatory requirements and is- sues associated with sanitary sewer overflow prevention, including construction of relief sewer lines and facilities necessary to prevent overflows during significant rain events as well as increased cleaning, inspection, and rehabilitation of the existing collection system.

Pay for the increases in annual operating and maintenance expense required to meet the City’s regulatory permit requirements, fund increasing annual debt service requirements, and keep revenues aligned with the costs of providing wastewater service.

The rate proposal will be presented to the City Council on June 5 and 19. Notices are planned to be mailed to all city parcel owners in late April, allowing for a 45-day public review period

In the North Central neighborhood, the Clean Water Program is proposing to rehabilitate and replace approximately 4,000 feet of critical sewer mains, along with repairs to correct existing pipe defects. These projects are part of the overall strategy to reduce and eliminate sewer overflows during rainstorms, which have occurred in the neighborhood.

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The Public Works Department will continue to reach out to the community with updates about the Clean Water Pro- gram. We encourage members of the public to visit the Pro- gram website at: www.CleanWaterProgramSanMateo.org to view answers to frequently asked questions about the program and the rate increases. The site also includes a calendar of upcoming events, latest information, and citizens can sign up for email notifications.

Deryk Daquigan, Senior Engineer
Public Works Department

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