Investing in Our System
Nationwide, utilities are grappling with aging infrastructure, and San Francisco is no exception. Our combined sewer system is 100 years old. It is crucial that we upgrade our system now, before it becomes a threat to our public health.
Routine repairs are not sufficient to keep pace with our aging and seismically vulnerable infrastructure. It is important to invest now in larger capital improvements to avoid more costly emergency repairs, potential regulatory fines, and greater impacts on our communities. The longer upgrades are delayed, the more expensive they become.
Our sewer system was not built to withstand a major earthquake or impacts of climate change, such as intense rainstorms that overwhelm our sewer system, as we treat both sewage and stormwater runoff.
Experts predict that there is an 80% chance that an earthquake of 6.0 magnitude or higher will impact the Bay Area within the next 20 years. So it is not a matter of if, but when the next earthquake will strike. Our current sewer facilities, especially our sewage plant that treats 80% of San Francisco's sewage and stormwater, have an increasing need for emergency repairs. Upgrading our sewer system now is essential to the overall vitality of our City's public health and environment.
Building for the Future
After eight years of public feedback along with expert third-party analysis, the SFPUC is moving forward with the Sewer System Improvement Program (SSIP) to upgrade aging infrastructure and ensure the reliability and performance of our sewer system, now and into the future.
Upgrade critically aging and seismically vulnerable grey infrastructure like pump stations and treatment facilities.
Build innovative green infrastructure to reduce stormwater flows into our sewer system while enhancing neighborhoods.
Ensure that only treated water will be released into the Bay and Pacific Ocean protecting the health of our community and the environment.
Through the rebuild of our Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System, and other capital programs, we have gained the expertise and know-how to fix our aging sewer system. This experience and knowledge assisted in the development of the SSIP Goals and Levels of Service (learn about the goals here) that will guide project selection and help evaluate our program implementation and success.
Click on this link to learn more about the Phase One SSIP projects.
Check out the SFPUC calendar for upcoming Green Infrastructure and other SSIP events coming to your neighborhood!
Stay informed by subscribing to our e-newsletter to learn about upcoming sewer and urban watershed events and projects. Sign up here: sfwater.org/signup.
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