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500,000 Gallons of Recycled Water Per Day Coming to Alameda

On Friday, January 26, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) San Francisco District and East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) signed a project partnership agreement at a ceremony held at Bohol Circle Immigrant Park. The project will provide recycled water for irrigation and industrial uses in the public and private sector—green space, median irrigation, and cooling tower water.

Alameda Post - two people, one in business clothes and the other in military uniform, sit at a table and sign documents
EBMUD Board President Lesa R. McInt0sh and USACE San Francisco District Deputy District Commander Major Shantel Glass sign the agreement. Photo Kelsey Goeres.

Speakers at the event included EBMUD Board President Lesa McIntosh, Deputy District Commander Major Shantel Glass, Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Oakland Deputy Mayor Dr. Kimberly Mayfield, and EBMUD Director Doug Linney. Following a brief introduction about the project, McIntosh introduced Glass to speak on behalf of USACE San Francisco.

“We all know how critical these recycled water projects are to the local community as we look to modernize the infrastructure as we face global climate change,” he said. Glass went on to thank Congresswoman Barbara Lee for her strong support of the project, and spoke about USACE’s work with EBMUD in the past. “We partnered with EBMUD in 2010 to deliver an assembled recycled water project in San Ramon where we installed a new pump station and pipeline, and we are excited to do the same thing for the city of Alameda. The first increment of work involves the inspection and design of the Alameda-Oakland Estuary Crossing Pipeline and we will continue to partner with EBMUD as funding becomes available.”



Alameda Post - a sign on the water's edge in Bohol Circle Immigrant Park that says "EBMUD Recycled Water a future to rely on"
A sign at Bohol Circle Immigrant Park. Photo Kelsey Goeres.

Mayor Ashcraft spoke next about her support of the project. “This innovative water transmission pipeline that crosses the Oakland Estuary will provide 500,000 gallons of recycled water per day for irrigation and industrial uses in the city of Alameda,” she said. “Last year, East Bay MUD completed the Oakland Inner Harbor Crossing, which installed 3,000 feet of earthquake-resistant pipeline below the Oakland Estuary floor in areas susceptible to liquefaction during seismic activity. That new pipeline is critical to ensuring that Alameda residents have safe drinking water every day, including during and after a disaster.”

Now that the Oakland Inner Harbor Crossing is complete, the old pipeline is being used for this project to bring recycled water to Alameda, Ashcraft noted. “The recycled water traveling through this recycled pipeline will help reduce pollution in San Francisco Bay, ensure greater drought and climate resiliency, reduce the use of drinking water for irrigation and industrial uses, and improve our emergency preparedness,” she said.

Alameda Post - EBMUD sets up pipe along Marina Village Parkway before installing it in the floor of the Oakland Alameda Estuary.
A photo along Marina Village Parkway from before the new pipeline was installed in the floor of the Oakland Alameda Estuary. Photo EBMUD.

The microphone was then passed to Oakland Deputy Mayor Mayfield, who also spoke about the environmental and community benefits of the project. Linney was the last to speak, on behalf of EBMUD. “Today our customers use 9 million gallons per day of recycled water for a variety of non potable functions. Our goal is to increase that usage to 20 million gallons a day by the year 2040. This project gets us one giant step closer to our goal.”

Once the speeches concluded, McIntosh and Glass sat at a table draped in red cloth to sign the project partnership agreement, which signals the start of construction of the first recycled water pipeline in Alameda.

“The project is boosted by $3.2 million in federal funds appropriated through the Army Corps Environmental Infrastructure Assistance Program,” according to a press release issued by USACE and EBMUD. “The program, authorized through Section 219 of the 1992 Water Resources Development Act, provides planning, design and construction assistance for water and sewer-related environmental infrastructure projects for communities throughout the United States. Congressional leaders, including Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Senator Alex Padilla, and the late Senator Dianne Feinstein helped push for funding for the project as part of federal spending efforts.”

A map of the East Bayshore Recycled Water Project. Image EBMUD.

An estimated 12 million gallons per year will be allocated to the Veterans Affairs Project. Alameda Post environmental reporter Richard Bangert has previously written about his hope that the proposed 150-acre regional park at Alameda Point will also be on the receiving end of the recycled water distribution system, in an effort to preserve seasonal wetlands in the area.

The planning and design phase of the project is estimated to take about two years. A construction date has not yet been set, but the recycled water project could be up and running by late 2027.

Kelsey Goeres is a contributing writer for the Alameda Post. Contact her via [email protected]. Her writing is collected at AlamedaPost.com/Kelsey-Goeres.

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