Protect Health & Environment

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Reliable Infrastructure, Careful Regulatory Compliance Protect Our Community

DSRSD provides high quality drinking water and recycled water for irrigation. The District complies with the Safe Drinking Water Act and all other state and federal regulations. This requires managing the quality of water sources, employing state-of-the-art water purification processes, paying close attention to facility operations and maintenance, and conducting rigorous water-quality testing.

DSRSD collects, treats and disposes of the community’s wastewater. The District complies with the federal Clean Water Act and other regulations that protect public health and the environment. The DSRSD sanitary sewer system is designed and maintained to keep wastewater safely in the pipes and, at a minimum, meet state sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) regulations. In addition, DSRSD reaches out to treatment plant neighbors to understand their concerns and address impacts such as odor, architectural aesthetics, traffic, noise, and lighting.

DSRSD prepares to protect public health and the environment in emergencies, such as severe storms, when wastewater flows increase, and natural disasters, when pipelines may fail.

The stories below describe some of the ways DSRSD protects public health and the environment. Click Archived News for items more than six months old.

Prepared for Wet Weather

Post Date:09/09/2016

DSRSD always prepares for the rainy season to minimize the chance of sewer overflows. When a strong El Niño forecast increased the chances of flooding in the winter of 2015-2016, the District took extra precautions. 

Situation: Heavy Rains Increase Wastewater Flows

In our community, stormwater and wastewater flow through separate pipes. However, during heavy rains, flooded streets and saturated soil can cause higher flows in sanitary sewers. Water trickles into sewer lines through manhole covers, pipe joints, and cracks caused by normal aging and made worse by tree roots seeking moisture.

Solution: Make Sure Pipes and Treatment Plant Are Ready for a Wet Winter

   Roots intruding into a sewer pipe
 

Tree roots invade an eight-inch wastewater pipe in San Ramon. A DSRSD crew took this picture with a mobile closed circuit television system used to monitor the condition of District pipes. They removed the roots and cleaned the pipe to make sure it was ready for high wastewater flows during wet weather.

 

To prepare for wet weather, DSRSD crews cleans sewers and removes tree roots so pipes are ready to carry more wastewater than normal. An average of 10 million gallons of wastewater flows into the DSRSD treatment plant on dry days. During wet weather, wastewater volume can increase by three times or more.

Treated wastewater from the DSRSD plant flows to the Livermore-Amador Valley Water Management Agency (LAVWMA) pump station in Pleasanton, where it is combined with treated wastewater from the City of Livermore’s plant. LAVWMA’s wet weather operations plan balances each agency’s treatment and storage capacities as volumes increase.

From Pleasanton, the treated wastewater is pumped 16 miles over the hills to San Leandro. There, the East Bay Dischargers Authority (EBDA), another multi-agency partnership, removes chlorine from the treated wastewater and releases it through a deep-water outfall pipe in the middle of San Francisco Bay, approximately seven miles from the shore.

In addition to making sure its own wastewater pipes and treatment plant are ready to run at full, wet weather capacity, DSRSD operates the LAVWMA pipeline on behalf of the regional partnership, which includes coordinating annual wet weather planning. El Niño preparations were extensive. Beginning in early fall of 2015, DSRSD field operators test LAVWMA’s pumps, valves, control gates, and emergency generators. They also inspect the pipeline where it crosses under streams and arroyos, looking for any evidence of erosion or tree damage.

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