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What's New

 

USD Wins Statewide Award of Excellence

August 2016

Union Sanitary District recently received statewide recognition for its “Leadership School” in-house training program. The California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) presented USD with its Organizational Excellence Award acknowledging the District’s efforts to educate staff about the responsibilities of management and other critical roles while providing training and mentoring to support them in promoting to those positions.

“Like many organizations, the District is continually faced with the retirements of seasoned staff – both management and non-management employees,” says Laurie Brenner, Organizational Performance Program Manager. “These employees fulfill roles that are critical to our protection of public health and San Francisco Bay. USD’s Leadership School was conceived as an opportunity to develop internal candidates who could not only fill these positions, but like their predecessors, become strong industry leaders.”

The Leadership School’s curriculum is a blend of learning opportunities. Participants complete external college-level business management coursework, attend in-house classes focused on USD-specific policies and processes, and are paired with an executive team mentor to gain insight into what a management role at the District entails.

“The proof of Leadership School’s success is that many graduates have received promotions into management and other positions with higher levels of responsibility – some more than once,” says Brenner.

This is the second statewide award received by USD for the Leadership School program. In 2015, the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) highlighted the value of Leadership School by presenting USD with its Innovative Program of the Year Award.

General Manager Paul R. Eldredge notes that “Leadership School has resulted in promotions from within that provide significant savings in training time and maintain our high productivity levels. This helps us to continue providing customers reliable, cost-effective service.”

 

USD Awards Certificates of Merit to Tri-City Industries

May 2016

USD recently honored 33 Tri-City Industries that achieved 100% compliance with water quality requirements in the 2015 calendar year. The District annually awards Certificates of Merit to those permitted industries within its service area that maintain 100% compliance with all wastewater discharge requirements. In addition, these industries consistently comply with and implement pollution prevention measures, maintain a cooperative working relationship with the District, and demonstrate continuing awareness and understanding of environmental issues and requirements. Several of the recipients received this honor for consecutive years of continued compliance.

The District is responsible for permitting, inspecting and monitoring certain industries that discharge to its sewer system to ensure compliance with Federal, State and Local environmental regulations. This is done not only to protect the treatment plant from toxic discharges, but also to protect the water quality of San Francisco Bay.

USD's Certificate of Merit honorees:

(number in parentheses notes consecutive years receiving award)

Fremont
Amphenol Thermometrics, Inc. (2) Intematix Corporation (4) Pantronix Corporation (11)
Applied Thin-Film Products (10) Intevac, Inc. (7) Quality Transport, Inc./Truck Rail Handling, Inc. (6)
Bay Area Circuits, Inc. (2) Kaiser Permanente Hospital - Fremont (3) Quantum Clean #2 (9)
Boehringer Ingelheim Fremont, Inc. Lam Research Corporation CA/3 (5) Seagate Technology LLC #3 (4)
Clean Sciences, Inc. (2) Lam Research Corporation CA/30 (7) Soraa, Inc. (4)
Clean Sciences Technology, LLC (2) Materion Brush, Inc.  (2) Tesla Motors, Inc.
Compugraphics USA, Inc. (2) Microwave Technology, Inc. (5) Tri-Cities Recycling & Disposal Facility (11)
Enablence USA Comnponents, Inc. (7) NeoPhotonics Corporation (10) Washington Hospital Healthcare System  (3)
Finisar Corporation (13) Nitinol Devices & Components, Inc. #1  (4) Western Digital Fremont B1 (3)
Global Plating, Inc.    
 
Newark
Britech Electropolishing, Inc. (2)  Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc. (6)  
 
Union City
Royal Truck Body (6) Star Pacific, Inc. (5) United States Pipe & Foundry Company, LLC  (2)

 

USD Adopts Capacity Fee Ordinance

May 17, 2016

On April 25, 2016, the Union Sanitary District Board of Directors adopted Ordinance No. 35.22 with a vote of 5-0 in favor (Boardmembers Fernandez, Handley, Kite, Lathi, Toy), 0 in opposition, and 0 absent. Ordinance No. 35.22 set Capacity Charges to be charged in the District beginning in Fiscal Year 2017. The ordinance sets forth the Capacity Charges for new and existing users to buy a share of the District's system's capacity for the discharge of their wastewater. The purpose of the Capacity Charges is to provide revenue to recover costs for existing and future facilities that are of proportional benefit to the person or property being charged. The Capacity Charges will increase each Fiscal Year from 2017 thtough 2020 to the amounts specified in the ordinance. In addition, the ordinanace provides for the payment, dispostion, and administration of the charges.

The Capacity Charges were discussed and approved by ordinance following the noticed public meeting held at the Union Sanitary District Board meeting of April 25, 2016. A copy of the ordinance, which sets forth the Capacity Charges adopted for Fiscal Years 2017-2020 may be found HERE, or may by obtained at our offices located at 5072 Benson Road, Union City, CA.

 

USD Opens Alvarado Boulevard to Motorists

Friday, April 15, 2016

Read this press release as a PDF.

Restoration of a sinkhole area on Alvarado Boulevard was completed by Union Sanitary District and the roadway opened to traffic yesterday. Final activities such as painting curbs may require one westbound lane to close today near New Haven Street, but the lane will re-open by 3 p.m. Crews are scheduled to return for completion of final lane and crosswalk striping on Thursday, April 21, weather permitting.

 

The sinkhole appeared the afternoon of October 14, 2015, and quickly grew, causing extensive damage to a 33-inch diameter sewer pipe that runs 20 feet below Alvarado Boulevard in Union City. A manhole in the area was also damaged when the sinkhole occurred, as were other utilities.

 

USD’s repair work was hampered by difficult soil and groundwater conditions. The District had to stabilize the site by pumping a large amount of groundwater out of the area before an assessment could be performed and the best repair option chosen. This required drilling three wells, each about 30 feet deep and two feet in diameter, through which the groundwater was pumped. Groundwater remained a challenge throughout the repair activities.

The project required closing westbound traffic lanes on Alvarado Boulevard between Fair Ranch Road and Fredi Street. Although USD searched for the cause of the sinkhole as repairs progressed, it is still unknown. Multiple factors could have contributed to the sinkhole. In addition to extensive groundwater, the affected area included sandy soils and infrastructure for several utilities.

 

The sewer line was repaired and a new manhole installed, with flows returning to normal in mid-March. Repairs to other utilities in the vicinity of the sinkhole were also completed.

 

“This work has been our number one priority, and we are happy to return Alvarado Boulevard to vehicle traffic”, said USD General Manager Paul Eldredge. “We appreciate the public’s patience during our efforts to protect the safety of motorists and others in the area while performing difficult and complex work. The District also thanks the City of Union City, New Haven Unified School District and the Alameda County fire department for their support of our efforts to minimize inconvenience to the public and ensure that appropriate access was maintained at all times for emergency services.”

 

Repairs to Damaged Sewer Line Complete, Restoration of Alvarado Boulevard Underway

Read this press release as a PDF.

Repairs to a damaged sewer line caused by an October 2015 sinkhole in Union City have been completed by Union Sanitary District, and restoration of the sinkhole area on Alvarado Boulevard is in progress.

 

The sinkhole caused extensive damage to a 33-inch diameter sewer pipe that runs 20 feet below Alvarado Boulevard in Union City. A manhole in the area also was damaged when the sinkhole occurred. The sewer line has been repaired and a new manhole installed, with flows returning to normal in mid-March. Repairs to several other utilities in the vicinity of the sinkhole have been completed and will be put in service within the next week.

 

The repair project required closing westbound traffic lanes on Alvarado Boulevard between Fair Ranch Road and Fredi Street. USD’s contractor excavated the damaged pavement area and removed the asphalt and soils disturbed by the sinkhole. Crews are now backfilling and compacting the area, with paving expected to be completed and the road opened to traffic in mid-April, weather permitting. Crews will return to complete final lane and crosswalk striping approximately one week later.

The cause of the sinkhole is still unknown at this time. Determining an exact cause may be difficult, as multiple factors could have contributed to the sinkhole. The affected area includes infrastructure for several utilities, as well as extensive groundwater and sandy soils.

 

“We appreciate the public’s patience during this work to complete a permanent, effective repair as quickly and safely as possible,” said USD General Manager Paul Eldredge. “The District also recognizes the City of Union City, New Haven Unified School District and the Alameda County fire department for their support of our efforts to minimize inconvenience to the public and ensure appropriate access is maintained at all times for emergency services.”

 

Union Sanitary District Rate Ordinance Adopted

On January 25, 2016, the Union Sanitary District Board of Directors adopted Ordinance No. 31.39 with a vote of four in favor (Boardmembers Toy, Handley, Fernandez and Lathi) and one absent (Boardmember Kite). Ordinance No. 31.39 codifies rate changes for Sewer Service Charges for fiscal years 2017-2021. The ordinance sets forth rates for residential, commercial, and industrial users, sets forth a process to seek adjustments, and sets forth a process for multi-tenant parcels to apply for the option of segregating sewer service charges. In addition, the ordinance provides a method of collection, penalties for non-payment, and enforcement.

All property owners in the District’s service boundaries were informed by mail in early December 2015 of the proposed rate increases and the public hearing. A cost of service analysis, upon which the rates are based, is publicly available. These rates were discussed and approved by ordinance following the noticed public hearing held at the Union Sanitary District Board meeting of January 25, 2016. A copy of the ordinance, which sets forth the specific rates adopted for residential, commercial, and industrial users for fiscal years 2017-2021, may be found here, or may be obtained at our offices located at 5072 Benson Road, Union City, CA.

Union Sanitary District Hosts Informational Meeting for Tri-City Customers

 

Read this press release as a PDF

View the meeting Powerpoint presentation as a PDF

Union Sanitary District will host an informational meeting to give customers the opportunity to talk with staff members and ask questions about proposed rate increases and services USD provides to Fremont, Newark, and Union City. It will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at the Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., in Fremont. All members of USD’s Tri-City service area are invited to attend.

USD is proposing rate increases over the next five years to cover rising costs associated with providing service and maintaining aging infrastructure. The district recently mailed notices of a January 25, 2016 public hearing on the proposed rate changes to all property owners in Fremont, Newark and Union City.

“We invite all members of the community to the January 12 informational meeting,” said Paul Eldredge, USD General Manager. “This gives everyone a chance to learn more about proposed rates before the January 25 public hearing, and to speak to staff members directly about the many services USD provides to the Tri-Cities.”

USD’s mission includes protecting public health and the environment through its stewardship of wastewater infrastructure in Fremont, Newark and Union City. The District manages a large collection of facilities that includes more than 800 miles of sewer lines, seven pump stations, and the buildings and equipment at its Union City wastewater treatment plant.

“The cost of operating and maintaining these facilities continues to rise year after year, often outpacing inflation,” Eldredge said. USD is projecting to spend more than $175 million for improvements to the Tri-City sewer and treatment system infrastructure over the next 10 years.

“USD’s rates are within the lowest 11 percent of 26 Bay Area wastewater service providers surveyed, yet we provide some of the most extensive services,” said Eldredge. “We understand that no one likes a rate increase, and we strive to provide a reliable, essential service as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Even with the proposed increases, our rates would remain well below those of other Bay Area agencies.”

Property owners may protest the proposed rates via mail, email or fax until 5 p.m. on January 25, 2016, or in-person before the close of the public comment portion of the public hearing, which will be held at 7 p.m. on January 25, 2016 in the District Boardroom, 5072 Benson Road, Union City.

Protests must contain the property owner’s name, the street address or assessor’s parcel number (or other parcel description), and must be signed, unless sent via email, by the property owner. Property owners may submit one protest for each parcel owned.

Protests may be submitted by mail to Union Sanitary District – Rate Protest FY17-21 at 5072 Benson Road, Union City, CA 94587, by email to rates@unionsanitary.ca.gov , or by fax to (510) 477-7501.

 

Union Sanitary District Continues Repairs to Damaged Sewer Line

Read this press release as a PDF

 

Union Sanitary District’s repair of the damaged sewer on Alvarado Boulevard in Union City is entering the final and most difficult phase. The 33-inch sewer pipe is about 20 feet deep and located in an area of unstable soils and high groundwater. The remaining work consists of the excavation of a large, deep pit at the intersection of Alvarado Boulevard and New Haven Street. It is currently anticipated the excavation area will be 60 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 20 feet deep to accommodate the necessary repairs to the sewer line and manhole. These repairs should not have an impact on the sewer services of the surrounding area.

Due to the large size and location of the repair pit and the staging area needed by the contractor to perform the work, the westbound lanes on Alvarado Boulevard between Fair Ranch Road and Fredi Street will be closed from December 28, 2015 through April 15, 2016, weather permitting . The Contractor will be working from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. At least one eastbound lane on Alvarado Boulevard will be open at all times.

District staff are coordinating closely with the City of Union City, New Haven Unified School District, Union City Police Department, and the Alameda County Fire Department to minimize inconvenience to the public and ensure appropriate access is maintained at all times for emergency services. In addition, Union Sanitary District is coordinating with the New Haven School District and the Union City Police Department to arrange for traffic control at the entrance of Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School (formerly Alvarado Middle School) at Fredi Street and Horner Street during this period.

 

The cause of the sinkhole is still unknown at this time. Determining an exact cause may be difficult, as multiple factors could have contributed to the sinkhole. The affected area includes infrastructure for several utilities, as well as extensive groundwater and sandy soils. Ensuring the stability of the area and completing a permanent, effective repair has been and will remain the focus for USD crews.

 

“This is going to be a project that will require patience on the part of everyone involved,” said USD General Manager Paul Eldredge. “There is a great deal of work to be done, and we are determined to do it as safely and quickly as possible.”

 

Union Sanitary District Proposes New Rates

Read this press release as a PDF

For more information, see our Sewer Service Charges web page

 

Union Sanitary District is proposing rate increases over the next five years to cover rising costs associated with providing service and maintaining aging infrastructure. The district recently mailed notices of a January 25, 2016 public hearing on the proposed rate changes to all property owners in Fremont, Newark and Union City.

 

If adopted, rates for single-family residences, the majority of USD’s customers, would increase 1 percent in fiscal year 2017 and 3.5 percent in each of the four following fiscal years. The current annual rate for single-family residences is $377. If adopted, in FY 2017 the rate would increase by $3.05 to $380.05. In the fifth year, the rate would be $436.12.

 

The proposed rates are based on the results of a comprehensive study of the cost of providing sewer service from July 2016 through June 2021. They reflect the study’s calculations of minimum rate increases for each year that would allow the District to meet its capital, operational, and reserve expense requirements.

 

In anticipation of lower revenues resulting from California’s ongoing drought, the district was able in FY 2016 to modify some operating expenses and delay certain capital projects. These adjustments reduced the overall cost pressure on FY 2017, allowing for a lower rate increase than in the following years. Overall, the rate increases are lower than in previous years and keep USD’s rates among the lowest in the region.

 

“USD’s rates are within the lowest 11 percent of 26 Bay Area wastewater service providers surveyed, yet we provide some of the most extensive services,” said General Manager Paul Eldredge. “We understand that no one likes a rate increase, and we strive to provide a reliable, essential service as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Even with the proposed increases, our rates would remain well below those of other Bay Area agencies.”

 

An informational meeting will be held prior to the public hearing to provide customers the opportunity to meet USD’s staff and ask questions about the proposed rates and services the district provides to the Tri-Cities. It will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at the Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., in Fremont. All members of the community are invited to attend.

 

USD’s mission includes protecting public health and the environment through its stewardship of wastewater infrastructure in Fremont, Newark and Union City. The District manages a large collection of facilities that includes more than 800 miles of sewer lines, seven pump stations, and the buildings and equipment at its Union City wastewater treatment plant.

 

“The cost of operating and maintaining these facilities continues to rise year after year, often outpacing inflation,” Eldredge said. USD is projecting to spend more than $175 million for improvements to the Tri-City sewer and treatment system infrastructure over the next 10 years.

“Some of our pipelines date back to the early 1900s, and the majority of the current treatment plant was first constructed in 1978,” said Eldredge. “Although our assets are well-maintained, repair and replacement of aging facilities is critical to reliable service and continued protection of public health.”

Property owners may protest the proposed rates via mail, email or fax until 5 p.m. on January 25, 2016, or in-person before the close of the public comment portion of the public hearing, which will be held at 7 p.m. on January 25, 2016 in the District Boardroom, 5072 Benson Road, Union City.

 

Protests must contain the property owner’s name, the street address or assessor’s parcel number (or other parcel description), and must be signed, unless sent via email, by the property owner. Property owners may submit one protest for each parcel owned.

 

Protests may be submitted by mail to Union Sanitary District – Rate Protest FY17-21 at 5072 Benson Road, Union City, CA 94587, by email to rates@unionsanitary.ca.gov , or by fax to (510) 477-7501.

 

Notice of Public Hearing Regarding Proposed Rates for Fiscal Years 2017 - 2021 Mailed to Property Owners

December 8, 2015

USD mailed a Notice of Public Hearing regarding potential changes and increases to sewer service charges and rates to all property owners in its service area today. The notification is not a bill. USD is notifying property owners of a Public Hearing that will be held in the District's Boardroom on Monday, January 25, 2016 regarding proposed changes and increases to rates for all USD customers for Fiscal Years 2017 through 2021 (July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2021). The notice includes information about how to protest the proposed rates, and a complete list of rates for all customer classes. Also included is budget information, a rate comparison chart, and information about USD's cost-saving measures. If adopted, rates will adjust each year on July 1.

An informational meeting for the public will be held on Tuesday, January 12, 2016:

 

Informational Meeting

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Fremont Main Library

2400 Stevenson Blvd.

Fremont, CA 94538

We invite you to attend. USD Staff will present information about the proposed rates and services the District provides to the Tri-Cities. Please take this opportunity to meet staff and ask questions.

Questions regarding the notification may be sent to rates@unionsanitary.ca.gov, or call (510) 477-7500. For more information, see our Sewer Service Charges webpage.

View the notification as a PDF.

 

USD Continues Repairs to Damaged Sewer Line, Reopens Additional Lane of Alvarado Boulevard

Crews repairing damage caused by an Oct. 14 sinkhole in Union City this week were able to complete another element of the project and reopen an additional lane of traffic.

 

The sinkhole caused extensive damage to a sewer pipe that runs 20 feet below Alvarado Boulevard in Union City. A manhole in the area also was damaged when the sinkhole occurred. The repair project has required closing some traffic lanes on Alvarado Boulevard between Fair Ranch Road and New Haven Street.

 

On Tuesday, Union Sanitary District crews completed installing an underground bypass pipe needed to ensure sewer service is not interrupted during the repair project. This allowed them to remove temporary, street-level bypass lines that had occupied one traffic lane of Alvarado Boulevard.

 

Both eastbound lanes and one westbound lane now are open. One westbound lane of the boulevard will remain closed until the project is completed.

 

A repair to the sewer pipe will begin once USD is able to assess the extent of the damage and select the best repair method. This assessment has been hampered by difficult soil conditions and high groundwater levels in the affected area.

 

Last week, USD crews drilled three 30-foot-deep wells and began pumping groundwater out of the affected area. Once the project area is stabilized, USD will assess the damage, select the best method of repairing the damaged pipe, and complete the repairs. A completion date cannot be projected until the exact nature of the damage is known.

 

The cause of the sinkhole is still unknown at this time. Determining an exact cause may be difficult, as multiple factors could have contributed to the sinkhole. The affected area includes infrastructure for several utilities, as well as extensive groundwater and sandy soils. Ensuring the stability of the area and completing a permanent, effective repair has been and will remain the focus for USD crews.

 

“This is going to be a project that will require patience on the part of everyone involved,” said USD General Manager Paul Eldredge. “There is a great deal of work to be done, and we are determined to do it as safely and quickly as possible.”

Read this press release as a PDF

 

FY 2016 Rate Notice Mailed to Property Owners

November 4, 2015

USD mailed an annual rate notification to all property owners in its service area this week. The notification is not a bill. USD is notifying property owners of rates that were adopted on July 13, 2015 for Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.)

The notification contains the following information:

On July 13, 2015, USD’s Board of Directors adopted Ordinance 31.38, establishing rates to be charged for Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016). Annual Sewer Service Charges are placed on the Alameda County property tax statement. The charges appear on the tax statement as a single line item and are listed as “Union Sewer Svc”. Sewer Service charges are not a property tax and are not related to the assessed value of a property. They represent a charge for a service provided. USD includes the annual charges on property tax statements to save the administrative cost of generating and mailing separate invoices. The table below depicts last year’s rates and the new rates for FY 2016. In you have questions, call USD at (510) 477-7500 or email to: rates@unionsanitary.ca.gov

 

 

Last Year's Rate

FY 2015

This Year's Rate

FY 2016

Residential ($ per Dwelling Unit)
Single Family Residences
$357.02
$377.00
Multiple Family Residences
$315.25
$326.00
Commercial ($ per 1,000 gals)
Strong
$7.47
$7.90
Moderate
$4.03
$4.26
Weak
$3.53
$3.73
Fast-food Restaurant
$7.14
$7.55
Full-Service Restaurant
$9.13
$9.65
Industrial
Volume ($ per 1,000 gals)
$2.25
$2.37
COD ($/1000 lbs)
$227.54
$240.51
Suspended Solids ($/1,000 lbs)
$417.17
$440.95
Minimum Charge for non-residential customers
$315.25
$326.00

See the notification as a PDF.

 

USD Continues Work on Union City Sinkhole Repair

*Update Tuesday, November 3: Both eastbound lanes of Alvarado Boulevard now open to traffic in vicinity of repair work

Wednesday, October 28:

Repair work to damage caused by an October 14 sinkhole in Union City continues this week, as Union Sanitary District (USD) undertakes a complex project to assess and repair a damaged sewer pipe.

 

The damaged pipe is 33 inches in diameter and runs 20 feet below Alvarado Boulevard in Union City. A nearby manhole also was damaged when the sinkhole occurred.

 

Assessing the extent of the damage to the sewer pipe has been hampered by difficult soil and groundwater conditions in the affected area. The groundwater level is very high and soils are unstable, which makes it impossible to simply excavate the damaged pipe without risking additional damage to the street and other utilities. The presence of groundwater above the damaged sewer pipe also makes it impossible to assess the damage with a remote camera.

 

The initial excavation was backfilled immediately following the repair of a water main about 10 feet above the USD sewer pipe. This was done for safety reasons, as well as to stabilize the pavement and allow the reopening of one traffic lane.

 

Before a complete assessment can be performed and the best repair option selected, USD must stabilize the site by pumping the groundwater out of the area. This will require the drilling of three wells, each about 30 feet deep and two feet in diameter, through which the groundwater will be pumped.

 

When the area is stabilized, USD will assess the damage, select the best method of repair to the damaged pipe, and complete the repairs. Without knowing the precise nature of the damage, it is not possible to project a completion date at this time.

 

Throughout this project, the damaged sewer pipe must be bypassed so that sewer service is not interrupted. Currently, this is being achieved with pumps and a bypass line running along Alvarado Boulevard. In the next week, USD expects to finish the installation of an underground bypass line and remove the street-level bypass lines. It is hoped that an additional eastbound lane may reopen as soon as the middle of next week, after the underground bypass is completed.

 

Repair of the damaged sewer pipe will require the ongoing closure of one westbound lane of Alvarado Boulevard between Fair Ranch Road and New Haven Street. This lane will remain closed throughout the entire project. USD has been able to keep one lane open in each direction, and is making every effort to minimize the impact on street traffic and to safely reopen lanes as quickly as possible.

 

“Our objective in this project is to protect the safety of motorists and others in the area while performing a repair that will be permanent and effective,” said Paul Eldredge, USD general manager. “This work has been our number one priority, and it will remain our priority until the repair is complete and the street is fully reopened,”

 

Although no estimate of a completion date is possible at this time, USD will continue to provide updates on this project as it progresses.

Read this press release as a PDF

 

*Update Wednesday, October 21: One Westbound Lane of Alvarado Boulevard now open to traffic between Fair Ranch Road and Fredi Street

Repairs to a sewer line damaged by last week's sinkhole in Union City will take longer than initially projected, although repair crews hope to conduct the work in a way that minimizes the impact on traffic in the area.

Over the weekend, crews from Union Sanitary District (USD) were able to do a more thorough examination of the damage than had been possible when the sinkhole remained flooded by a broken water main. That examination revealed that damage to the sewer pipe some 20 feet underground was more extensive than previously believed. The pipe now appears to be damaged in two different spots about 20 feet apart. Further, a manhole at the site of the sinkhole has been extensively damaged by the shifting ground.

 

The cause of last week's sinkhole is not known at this time. USD’s focus has been and continues to be completing repairs as safely and quickly as possible.

 

Soil conditions in the area, as well as a high level of groundwater, have made excavation more difficult and will complicate the repair options available to work crews. 

 

USD crews have been on site since the sinkhole was first discovered, although excavation and diagnostic work had to wait until the water main above the sewer line was repaired.

 

"Our crews are working as quickly as possible," said Paul Eldredge, USD general manager, "but it's important that we do this repair correctly and only have to do it once."

 

USD is evaluating several possible methods of repair, and will have to conduct additional diagnostic work before determining which method to use. No timetable for completing the repair is possible at this time.

 

Motorists, however, should see an improvement to the traffic situation on Alvarado Boulevard and the surrounding area as early as this week. USD crews hope to re-open one westbound lane of Alvarado Boulevard as early as Wednesday, and may be able to reopen an additional eastbound lane next week.

 

Currently, both westbound lanes of Alvarado Boulevard are closed between Fair Ranch Road and Fredi Street. One westbound lane of the boulevard will remain closed throughout the repair project, as USD crews bypass the damaged pipeline while repairs are made.

Read this press release as a PDF

 

Union Sanitary District and Alameda County Water District Collaborate to Repair Sinkhole in Union City

Repairs to a sinkhole in Union City will continue through the weekend, as crews from both the Alameda County Water District and the Union Sanitary District seek to fix damaged pipes and restore normal service to customers of both agencies.

 

Both ACWD and USD have crews in place around the clock and hope to complete repair work by Tuesday, Oct. 20. Until then, westbound lanes on Alvarado Boulevard will remain closed between Fair Ranch Road and Fredi Street.

 

The sinkhole was reported on Wednesday afternoon, and crews from both agencies have been on site since then. As the work progresses and the extent of damage is more clearly understood, it is possible that the timeline may be adjusted.

 

The cause of the sinkhole is undetermined at this time. The focus of both utilities remains on completing repairs as quickly as possible and on reopening the roadway to traffic. ACWD was able to bypass the line early Thursday and restore water service to all 20 customers that were impacted. Permanent repairs have been completed and water quality sampling analysis is being conducted. Sewer service continues without disruption.

 

After excavating the site, ACWD crews determined that the water line had more extensive damage than previously believed. The additional damage has required further excavation and more time-consuming repair.

 

“What initially appeared to be 40 feet of damage now is about 53 feet,” said Marty Koller, ACWD Board President. “That additional damage changed the equation for removal and repair pretty significantly. Fortunately, our crews were able to restore service to affected customers very quickly, and now a more permanent repair can be made.”

 

USD is working to set up a bypass that will allow use of a remote camera to assess damage. Excavation is expected to begin Saturday in order to reach USD’s main, which is 33 inches in diameter and 20 feet below street level. USD’s main is located below ACWD’s facilities in the affected area, and repairs to the water main had to be completed before USD could conduct its repair work.

 

Westbound lanes on Alvarado Boulevard between Fredi Street and Fair Ranch Road remain closed. One eastbound lane of Alvarado Boulevard is closed to traffic today until approximately 10 p.m. and on Saturday beginning at 7 a.m., when it is to remain closed until the repair is complete. This closure is necessary for USD to install a bypass line, as sewage cannot flow through the pipeline while repairs are made. After considering multiple options, this closure pattern was selected as the best method to expedite the repair and maintain the fire station’s ability to respond to emergencies.

 

“We appreciate the collaboration between all agencies as all of us work to complete repairs and open the roadway to the public,” said Jennifer Toy, USD Board President. “We all have the same priority – to get things back to normal for our customers as quickly and safely as possible.”

Read this press release as a PDF.

 

Thank You For Visiting USD's Open House!

We enjoyed hosting over 1,100 visitors on Saturday, May 9, 2015. It was great to share a bit about the work we do for you, and show you the equipment and processes we use to protect public health and the environment 24/7/365. Customers toured our plant and Greeen-Energy projects, and experienced interactive demonstrations of the specialized vehicles and equipment used to maintain the plant, seven pump stations and over 800 miles of sewer lines in the Tri-Cities.

We especially enjoyed all of the wonderful kids who participated in our activities. Our engineers, chemists, plant operators, mechanics, electricians, business services personnel, and more came up with fun ways for kids to learn about our work. We heard from many happy parents about our great educational displays and games, and we very much enjoyed seeing so many smiling faces. Thanks for taking the time to visit our facility and talk to our staff. It was our pleasure to get to know you.

 

 

Wipes Clog Pipes!

Visit Baywise.org For Info About Wipes and Other Pollution Prevention Tips

Information on BayWise.org about "flushable" wipes and their effects on sewers and the environment deserves attention. Below are some interesting facts about wipes from BayWise - check the website for more details (and to view a very funny "Can't Flush This" video from the United Kingdom!)

Many consumers use disposable wipes because they're convenient for cleaning and disinfecting. Even people who would not normally embrace disposable products because of concern for overburdened landfills are using wipes that are being marketed as "flushable." They don't toss them in the trash; they flush them down the toilet, believing they've done the right thing.

 

"Flushable" Wipes Should NOT be Flushed

The "flushable" label simply means they will go down your toilet when flushed. What you should be concerned about is what can happen next.

Unlike toilet paper, disposable wipes (even those labeled "flushable") do not quickly disintegrate in water. Consumer Reports tested several brands of wipes labeled "flushable" and found that while toilet paper disintegrated after about eight seconds, the wipes still hadn't broken down after 30 minutes.

These products stay largely intact as they travel through sewer pipes and can easily get caught on roots or other debris, increasing the risk of clogs and sewage overflows. As disposable wipes grow in popularity, sewer agencies are being forced to commit additional resources to removing mounds of wipes clogging up public sewer lines, pumps, and treatment facilities.


While USD has not experienced significant problems with wipes at our plant and pump stations, their increasing popularity is a concern. Disposable wipes are an even greater threat to your home's sewer pipe, which is much smaller and more easily clogged. In addition to potentially causing clogs and overflows, many of the cleaning and disinfecting wipes contain chemicals that are difficult for sewer treatment plants to remove, and they can thus pollute local waters.  

If you use disposable cleaning/disinfecting wipes, moist towelettes, baby wipes, personal hygiene wipes or similar disposable or "flushable" products, put them in the trash, never in your toilet. Only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down your toilet. If you have questions about wipes, call USD at (510) 477-7621.