Sewer System Improvement Program | Grey. Green. Clean.
The Sewer System Improvement Program (SSIP) is a collection of innovative and sustainable improvements needed to fix our aging system, protect public health and leave our City better for generations to come. We are carefully evaluating each of San Francisco’s eight urban watersheds to understand the problems and determine the most social, economic and environmental solutions possible.
San Francisco’s Eight Watersheds: What is a Watershed?
A watershed is defined as the area of land that drains the water in or on it by gravity to the same receiving water body such as a river, lake or ocean. San Francisco has eight distinct watersheds – three on the west side and five on the bay side. In an urban
watershed, rain runs off hardscapes (streets, rooftops, sidewalks, parking areas) flowing through catch basins, sewers, and treatment plants before being discharged to the bay or ocean.
One of the challenges in our City is that the majority of the watersheds are paved and the rain has no place to go other than the City’s combined sewer system.
The watershed-based planning approach provides an opportunity to include a mix of “grey” and “green” project solutions. The "green" above ground projects (like rain gardens and permeable pavement) can help manage and treat stormwater and provide additional social and environmental benefits to the surrounding community. The “grey” below ground projects (such as larger piper or pump stations) can improve the sewer system by providing additional capacity to store and convey stormwater.
We want to hear from you!
Over the course of the next couple of years, we will be gathering specific watershed information to better understand stormwater and sewer issues in each of San Francisco’s neighborhoods. We want to know what happens on your block, neighborhood or place of business.
- Does water back-up or pool in places?
- Are there odor issues?
- Do you think a rain garden or permeable pavement is possible in your neighborhood?
Make a difference and take advantage of one of our programs to improve the health of your watershed!
The rainwater falling off of your roof into the sewer system during a heavy rainstorm can overwhelm the system. Benefit your watershed by managing stormwater on your property and by using less drinkable water for watering in your home and neighborhood.
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