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East Bay Thrives Thanks to its Water Infrastructure
East Bay – On October 12, 2017, we celebrate Imagine A Day Without Water – a day to reflect on the role water serves in our lives and community. We all use and depend on the water and wastewater services provided by our agencies. We drink water and use it to make our morning coffee. We count on it to bathe, brush our teeth, wash clothes, and flush the toilet. After we are done with it, we want our dirty water to go away, without a thought, and to trust that it will be cleaned and returned safely to the environment.
Our agencies have provided water and wastewater services in the East Bay for a long time: Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) for more than 80 years, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (Central San) for more than 70 years, and Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) for more than 60 years. Some of our oldest pipes are in need of replacement. The infrastructure may be out of sight, but the systems that bring water to homes and businesses and take wastewater away after it has been used, cleaned and recycled are far more vast, and in many cases, much older than our interstate highway system.
That is why Central San, DSRSD, and CCWD are joining hundreds of drinking water and wastewater utilities, community leaders, businesses, policy experts, advocacy organizations, and infrastructure experts in raising your awareness of “Imagine a Day Without Water.” This is a day for all bay area residents to reflect on the importance of water in their life.
Organized by the Value of Water Coalition, this campaign underscores the water and wastewater infrastructure needs facing the nation. An economic study released by the Value of Water Coalition earlier this year found that a single nationwide day without water service would put $43.5 billion of economic activity at risk.
At DSRSD, CCWD and Central San, we are taking the necessary steps to maintain our aging infrastructure and ensure that a “Day Without Water” is never a reality for the residents of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.
DSRSD serves 178,000 people in both counties and is making major investments in infrastructure and water reliability. Current projects include expanding a water recycling plant ($8.3 million) to increase maximum output from 9.7 to 16.2 million gallons per day, collaborating with other Tri-Valley water agencies in an $850,000 potable reuse feasibility study, and rehabilitating the sewer pipeline ($6.7 million) that carries half of Dublin’s wastewater to extend its life by another 50 years.
CCWD maintains a system of pipes and pumps that makes water available to more than 500,000 residents in Contra Costa County. This complex system includes the Contra Costa Canal – a 48-mile facility that winds through the service area starting in the Delta and ending in Martinez. In Central County, CCWD maintains close to 900 miles of underground pipes that deliver safe drinking water to residents. CCWD also built Los Vaqueros Reservoir to protect water quality and supply for our customers.
Central San recently completed a Comprehensive Wastewater Master Plan – a 20-year vision for needed replacements and upgrades to maintain the service levels customers expect. This plan encompasses a $1.8 billion (2016 dollars), two-decade-long capital improvement program for the collection system and treatment plant. It also outlines implementation of the latest and most cost-effective technology to optimize our facilities for the future.
Through these efforts and others, CCWD, Central San, and DSRSD are committed to providing reliable water and wastewater services now and into the future. As you sip your coffee this morning, brush your teeth, and take your shower, know that our agencies are working 24/7 to provide and protect this critical resource and the infrastructure we depend on.
On this day, we call upon all residents to contact local agencies and learn more about your water and wastewater service. Many agencies provide tours, speakers or other programs that delve into the details. We thank all residents for their interest in water and commitment to use this precious resource most efficiently.
President, Dublin San Ramon Services District
President, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
President, Contra Costa Water District
Richard Halket is the board president of Dublin San Ramon Services District, Paul H. Causey, P.E., is president of the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District Board of Directors and Lisa M. Borba, AICP, is the board president of the Contra Costa Water District.
Contact: Sue Stephenson, DSRSD, 925-875-2295 office, 925-570-5739 cell, email@example.com
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