SAN LORENZO, Calif.– Construction will begin this month on a first-of-its-kind levee and wetland basin on a field adjacent to the Oro Loma Sanitary District. The project is a partnership between Oro Loma and Castro Valley Sanitary Districts, UC Berkeley, Save the Bay and others. This new outdoor laboratory will test how shoreline wastewater treatment plants can improve water quality; provide habitat restoration in a time of drought; and protect communities from flooding due to climate change.
The new wetlands and gently sloped levee (“ecotone slope”) will further filter wastewater that has passed through the treatment plant by using native sedges and rushes grown by Save the Bay’s community-based restoration program. The adjacent two-acre wetland basin will also store up to eight million gallons of enhanced primary treated wastewater during a storm or peak flow event. The project will help plant co-owners Oro Loma and Castro Valley Sanitary Districts improve the ability to provide services to their 63,000 collective customers and to protect their facilities in any kind of weather or flood condition.
“This project is a great example of our innovative and sustainable approach to infrastructure management,” said Jason Warner, General Manager of Oro Loma Sanitary District. “It may become the model response for sea level rise using environmentally friendly methods. It has the potential to further improve water quality in the Bay while creating new habitat on the Bay edge.”
Project Partners & Consultants: Oro Loma & Castro Valley Sanitary Districts, East Bay Dischargers Authority, San Francisco Estuary Partnership, The Bay Institute, Save The Bay, ESA Associates, Peter Baye, Whitley Burchett and Associates, and ReNUWIt, UC Berkeley.
Funding: Oro Loma & Castro Valley Sanitary Districts, and a $2.1 million grant from the Integrated Regional Water Management Program through the California Department of Water Resources.
For more information, see Oro Loma Sanitary District (OLSD) Levee Experiment Overview at www.oroloma.org.