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San Francisco Public Utilities Commission - Water System Improvement Program

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Water System Improvement Program

San Francisco, California

Program to Improve Water System’s Reliability

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), the third largest municipal utility in California, stretching 167 miles from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the City, serves 2.4 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the Bay Area. The SFPUC manages a complex water supply system of reservoirs, tunnels, pipelines, treatment systems, pump stations, and dams built in the early to mid-1900s. Approximately one-third of delivered water goes to retail customers in San Francisco; two-thirds comprise wholesale deliveries to 28 suburban agencies in Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Mateo counties. In 2001, SFPUC and its wholesale customers launched a $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) to improve the system’s reliability by repairing, replacing, and/or seismically upgrading its 17 pump stations, 14 reservoirs, 9 tanks, and 1,250 miles of transmission lines and water mains. WSIP is one of the largest water infrastructure programs in the nation—and the largest infrastructure program ever undertaken by the City of San Francisco.

In May 2005, SFPUC selected Parsons to provide program, project, and preconstruction management services for its WSIP, which will meet key goals and service levels for water supply, seismic recovery, water quality, drought reliability, and sustainability. Four years later, Parsons was awarded a 5-year contract extension (through 2015). The Parsons team serves as an extension of SFPUC’s staff and is providing program management support services including technical advice and support, implementing a construction management information system (developed by Parsons), and conducting factory source quality assurance (QA) inspections of major equipment and materials.

Parsons’ first task under WSIP was to assess the program’s scope, schedule, and budget against the adopted service level goals. Parsons mobilized 50 key staff members within one week of notice to proceed and completed the assessment within 90 days. As a result of this assessment, Parsons worked closely with SFPUC staff to review and revise the program’s baseline. Parsons also assisted SFPUC in developing alternative contracting methods to support this fast-track program’s aggressive multiyear schedule. Other key tasks performed by Parsons include:

Hetch Hetchy Regional Water Delivery System

  • Providing support to SFPUC to manage and implement the WSIP to meet service level goals for water supply, seismic recovery, water quality, and drought reliability
  • Providing a wide range of program, project, and preconstruction management services, including specialized technical support and staff augmentation
  • Developing construction schedules and system shutdown requirements and sequencing for more than 100 shutdowns to ensure the system’s operational continuity during construction
  • Developing an award-winning construction management program, safety program, and construction information management system
  • Providing strategic and ongoing public outreach and communications support
  • Providing strategic guidance and direction to develop and implement business process requirements and procedures for comprehensive program controls
  • Conducting program and project budget reviews and value engineering reviews resulting in cost reductions of $175 million
  • Developing and implementing a program-wide factory source QA program for 92 items of major equipment
  • Assisting SFPUC in the development and implementation of a project labor agreement
Bay Division pipeline - view down open pipe while workers position a second pipe

Bay Division Pipeline

Major Projects Under WSIP

More than 80 projects are scheduled for completion by the end of 2015. Under WSIP, each facility must be assessed, repaired, renovated, upgraded, or replaced through new design and construction. Major projects under WSIP’s Hetch Hetchy improvement program include:

  • Bay Division Pipeline and Tunnel Reliability Upgrade ($514 million) – The Bay Division Pipelines (four pipelines that were built in 1925, 1936, 1952, and 1973) transport water from the Irvington Tunnel Portal to users in the East Bay, South Bay, and Peninsula systems, as well as replenish the Crystal Springs and San Andreas Reservoirs.
Photo of Calaveras Dam

Calaveras Dam

  • San Joaquin Pipeline System ($204 million) – The San Joaquin Pipeline system is the SFPUC’s water transmission facility that spans nearly 48 miles to link the Foothill Tunnel at Oakdale Portal to the Coast Range Tunnel at Tesla Portal. Its three existing large-diameter pipelines were built in 1932, 1953, and 1968 for a total design flow of 300 mgd. Their actual capacity is approximately 292 mgd with all lines in service. When one of the pipelines is shut down for maintenance, at least half its length must be removed from service, greatly reducing the system’s hydraulic capacity.
  • Calaveras Dam Replacement ($416 million) – Calaveras Reservoir, located on the Alameda and Santa Clara County boundary, is the largest Bay Area reservoir in the SFPUC’s regional water system. Because the dam is located near a seismically active fault zone and was determined to be seismically vulnerable, since 2001, the California Department of Water Resources, Division of Safety of Dams, has limited the amount of water that can be stored in the reservoir to roughly 40% of its former full storage capacity until the seismic deficiencies are corrected.
Shovel excavating underground pipe for the water plant

Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant

  • Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant Upgrade ($276 million) – This project will provide long-term improvements to the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant, a critical component of the SFPUC water system, enabling it to operate at full capacity. Parsons is developing the Alternatives Analysis Report as part of the planning phase. Specific improvements include ozone generation, sedimentation, sludge thickening and dewatering, effluent pipeline, raw water pumping system, and electrical and instrumentation upgrades.
  • Irvington Tunnel Upgrade ($313 million) – The Irvington Tunnel carries water from two of the three SFPUC sources: Hetch Hetchy and Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant. Parsons is providing specialized tunnel expertise to support project management and is reviewing the technical design and constructability for these upgrades.

Awards and Accolades

Parsons has been recognized with multiple awards for its work on WSIP, including a Project Achievement Award from the Construction Management Association of America in the program management category and an O'Shaughnessy Teamwork Award from SFPUC. Parsons continues to achieve high performance reviews from the SFPUC for WSIP services. Through our ongoing program, project, and preconstruction management services, Parsons continues to work with SFPUC to streamline procedures and implement cost-saving measures on this fast-track program.