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SFPUC Emergency Declaration Paves the Way for Rapid Start of Repair and Restoration Efforts in Stern Grove After Pipe Break

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The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department are working together on a series of contracts to begin repairs

San Francisco, Calif. – The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department are working together to begin the restoration and cleanup of Stern Grove caused by a main break earlier this week at 22nd Avenue and Sloat Boulevard. A 54-inch diameter water transmission pipeline’s broken air valve released water into the area. 

The two agencies performed a site inspection this week. Based upon the initial assessment, the SFPUC has issued an Emergency Declaration which allows for the rapid execution of contracts to begin the repair, cleanup, and restoration of Stern Grove. 

“This incident underscores why consistent investments in our infrastructure are so critical,” said Michael Carlin, Acting General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.  “It is unfortunate that this main break occurred, and we appreciate and regret the impacts this has had on many.  This is why we took immediate action to approve the Emergency Declaration. It is also why we have been working in partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department on next steps since earlier this week, when we learned of the damage. Together, we have identified resources to begin cleanup, repair and restoration of this iconic natural space as soon as possible.” 

The Emergency Declaration paves the way for multiple contracts for hazard tree removal, slope repair and restoration, and debris removal in Stern Grove. 

“Stern Grove is a special, beloved place. We know the temporary closure of its east end and the cancellation of the final concert of the Stern Grove Festival is disappointing, especially during a time when we all need nature and connection,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “I want to thank the SFPUC for its collaboration and for doing everything possible to restore Stern Grove quickly. Parks aren’t luxuries. They’re essential infrastructure, critical to our mental and physical health, and we’re grateful the restoration is a top priority.” 

Providing an expedited restoration of the site will also help the nonprofit Stern Grove Festival continue its 84-year tradition of providing free concerts in Stern Grove each summer. 
About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates clean power for municipal buildings, residential customers, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at

About the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department 
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department currently manages more than 220 parks, playgrounds and open spaces throughout San Francisco, including two outside city limits—Sharp Park in Pacifica and Camp Mather in the High Sierras. The system includes full-complex recreation centers, swimming pools, golf courses, sports fields and numerous small-to-medium-sized clubhouses that offer a variety of sports- and arts-related recreation programs for people of all ages.  Included in the Department’s responsibilities are Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower, the Marina Yacht Harbor, the San Francisco Zoo and Lake Merced. In 2017, San Francisco became the first city in the nation where all residents have access to a park within a 10-minute walk, a direct result of the Department’s commitment to increasing and improving parkland in the city. Learn more at


SFPUC Contact:                                                                 
Betsy L Rhodes

Rec and Park Contact:
Tamara Aparton