Thursday, October 18, 2007

Water System Improvements Prompt Benicia Celebration

Water System Improvements Prompt Benicia Celebration
By SARA STROUD/Times-Herald staff writer
Vallejo Times Herald

BENICIA - The Department of Public Works thinks about backwash and flocculation so you don't have to.

To that end, city officials, engineers and water experts gathered Wednesday to celebrate the completion of two projects that will improve the city's water supply system.

Collectively called the Water Facilities Improvement Projects, the projects include a new reservoir and pump station and updates to the existing water treatment plant.

"These are the kinds of things citizens don't normally see," said Mayor Steve Messina at the new facilities' dedication ceremony, referring to infrastructural improvements that are often executed under the public's radar.

The new reservoir and pumping facility is on East Second Street, on a site previously owned by Valero. The reservoir tank holds up to 3 million gallons of treated water, and the three bright blue pumps housed next door are capable of supplying Benicia with 3,000 gallons of water per minute.

"That's a lot of water per minute," Public Works Director Dan Schiada said.

Benicia gets its source water from the Delta, and a damaged or destroyed pipeline could leave the city vulnerable, officials said. The new tank's large storage capacity will make Benicia more self-sufficient in an emergency.

Schiada emphasized that the fire department may also need the extra storage.

Project planning began in 2001 and sought to bolster inadequate water stores for the city's Zone 1 water supply area - which includes most of downtown - and to replace outdated components of water treatment facility.

Treatment plant im-provements include new filtration systems and cement-lined lagoons to store wastewater.

Costs for both projects totaled $17 million, and came from both state and local funds.

Treatment plant superintendent Scott Rovanpera said the new pumps would be cheaper to run than the old ones, as their motors are more efficient and require less electricity. Also, unlike the old pumps, the new pumps can be run at night, when electric rates are lower.

"We're hoping to see energy reductions and cost reductions," Rovanpera said.

E-mail Sara Stroud at or call 553-6833.

Solano's Got It!

Solano's Got It!
The Best That Northern California Has To Offer.

Blog Archive