On tap: Carpenters help keep The City’s water supply ready and safe
Residents of eastern downtown San Francisco and Treasure and Yerba Buena islands can rest easy about topping up their tumblers, thanks to a major renovation of the University Mound North Basin Reservoir in the Portola District of the city. Once the repairs, upgrades and seismic retrofit are completed in June 2011, the 140-million-gallon reservoir should be good to go- even in the event of a significant earthquake.
Originally built in 1885, this reservoir is one of three at the receiving end of 167 miles of aqueduct that carry some of the most delicious drinking water in the state from Hetch Hetchy, at the northern end of Yosemite National Park, to the Bay Area. University Mound supplies about 25 percent of the city’s drinking water.
S.J. Amoroso Construction Company is the project contractor for the $46 million upgrade to the reservoir. The work includes seismic repair of the reservoir roof’s interior and exterior lining; reinforcing the interior using concrete beams and stainless steel brace frames; and upgrading the floor liner, rim road, drainage system, ventilation, hatches, inlet/outlet piping and landscaping. Inside, 550 new micropiles- hollow stainless steel rods filled with grout drilled into the basin’s foundation- will increase the reservoir’s ability to withstand earthquakes.
Some of the best news for the carpenters working on this project? It’s just one aspect of a much larger plan- the Water System Improvement Program (WSIP), which includes about 85 projects. A $4.4 billion bond, approved by voters in 2002, is funding the WSIP projects, which are all designed to seismically upgrade and repair pipelines, reservoirs, tunnels and dams as well as develop local water sources. It’s all part of a major effort to ensure that about 2.5 million customers in San Francisco and several other Bay Area counties have clean, high-quality drinking water in the years ahead.
More good news for carpenters and other building trades workers: All the WSIP projects are covered by a Project Labor Agreement. Signed in April 2007, by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and several building trade unions, the PLA ensures prevailing wages, hiring through local halls, and at least 30 percent local hires.
Thanks to the Water System Improvement Program, building and other construction trades are looking at about 1.3 million hours of work, according to the SFPUC. The agency says that upwards of $1 billion in WSIP contracts will be “shovel-ready” by the end of this year, and provide work for carpenters and other building trades workers until 2023.
San Francisco Public Utility Commission
Project contractor: S. J. Amoroso Construction Company
Project: Repair, replace and
Built in 1885, began use in 1888