Historic photo of the City's sewer system
San Francisco Sewers: The city under The City
After eight years of public feedback along with expert third- party analysis, the SFPUC is moving forward with the Sewer System Improvement Program (SSIP), a multi-billion dollar citywide investment required to upgrade our aging sewer infrastructure, making it more reliable and seismically safe now and for generations to come.
Since the City's first sewers were constructed in the mid-1800's, three sewer system master plans with different focuses have taken place in 1899, 1935, and the last in the 1970’s. The most recent sewer system master planning effort was conducted from 2005-2009 with the focus on a comprehensive evaluation of the condition and future needs of the combined sewer system.
During the sewer system master planning process, the SFPUC collected and analyzed extensive data, including valuable feedback from the community – like the Southeast Digester Task Force – and developed broad goals to address challenges facing the sewer system.
From 2009 through 2010, the Commission held seven public workshops to discuss the proposed capital improvements. This led to the development of the Sewer System Improvement Program Report. At the final workshop on July 27, 2010, the Commission endorsed the goals, levels of service and strategies for the SSIP. In 2011, the Commission directed staff to select a Program Management Consultant to validate the projects, scope and budget recommended in the SSIP and assist with implementation.
From January through June 2012, the SFPUC Commission and Program Management Consultant staff held internal workshops to validate the SSIP projects, cost and schedule requirements.
In addition, three validation workshops were conducted to update both the SFPUC Commission and the public regarding the proposed treatment and collection system projects' scope, schedule, and budget, as well as revisions to the SSIP goals and levels of service.
On August 28th, 2012, by unanimous vote, the SFPUC Commission validated the SSIP. The staff was authorized to proceed with planning and development of Phase 1 projects estimated at $2.7B of proposed sewer system capital improvement projects.
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