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SFPUC Leads with Climate Resilience Projects and Jobs During Infrastructure Week

SFPUC Southeast Treatment Plant

May 13, 2024

SFPUC Leads with Climate Resilience Projects and Jobs During Infrastructure Week

169 Construction Contracts Over Five Years

SAN FRANCISCO – As the 12th Annual Infrastructure Week launches Monday, May 13, 2024, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has established itself as a national leader in infrastructure through expert planning, construction and protection of vital assets.

Between 2018 and 2023, the SFPUC awarded 169 construction contracts totaling $2.2 billion. While the SFPUC’s systems are often out of sight, they touch the lives of everyone in San Francisco. We help to meet people's basic needs, from delivering high-quality, reliable drinking water to providing renewable, affordable, and reliable energy to 385,000 customers across San Francisco, to building the City’s first major climate change adaptation project at Ocean Beach.

"Over the last 10 years, SFPUC infrastructure projects have created some 47,000 jobs here in the Bay Area – and that's just the start. Future investments will create another 50,000 jobs over the next decade,” said San Francisco Public Utilities General Manager Dennis Herrera. "We prioritized our resources to create an $11.8 billion 10-year infrastructure plan that strategically invests in climate resiliency, a healthy San Francisco Bay, and clean energy. We’re also doing the unglamorous but necessary work to keep our water, power and sewer systems operating at peak performance."

City residents performed more than 40% of the hours worked on SFPUC construction projects. Through apprenticeship programs, the SFPUC combines academic and technical training with paid work experience, providing access to good union jobs that pay prevailing wage and offer health care and pension benefits. These jobs offer many disadvantaged community members a pathway to the middle class.

Infrastructure construction projects are spread throughout San Francisco and Northern California, where the SFPUC generates clean electricity and manages a regional water system serving 2.7 million customers and thousands of businesses in four Bay Area counties. SFPUC recent and planned infrastructure highlights include:

  • Replacing 115 miles of aging water and sewer pipelines over the last five years to prevent breaks and be prepared for the next earthquake. Placed end to end, that pipe could stretch from San Francisco all the way to Monterey Bay.
  • Investing more than $3 billion over 10 years to seismically upgrade and modernize San Francisco’s largest wastewater treatment plant, reducing odors, protecting against sea level rise, and ensuring operational redundancy and efficiency. When complete, the Southeast Treatment Plant will be transformed into a resource recovery facility that smells better, looks better, and works better.
  • Switching natural gas-reliant building heating systems to all electric systems such as the Sunset Health Center clinic decarbonization project at 41st between Ortega and Pacheco Streets. The SFPUC's Hetch Hetchy Power, which provides 100% greenhouse gas-free electricity to residential, commercial, and municipal customers, powers the Health Center's new all-electric equipment, making it carbon-free and eliminating 16,150 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
  • Investing $1.5 billion to address the bay’s highest priority water quality issue – nutrient reduction. This is the largest and most consequential investment in nutrient reduction in the region, which will help to address the regional problem of algal blooms.
  • Completing the $29 million Wawona Area Stormwater Improvement and Vicente Street Water Main Replacement Project in 2023, enhancing water and sewer service over 25 city blocks and reducing the risk of flooding around the flood-prone area of 15th Avenue and Wawona Street.
  • Upgrading the North Shore Pump Station on Bay Street in Fisherman’s Wharf to improve the removal of trash and pollutants from stormwater before it’s discharged to the Bay.
  • Constructing the City's first major climate change adaptation project in 2025, creating new public open space at Ocean Beach, protecting key public assets from tides and increasing storms, and ensuring coastal access.

In 2023, the SFPUC announced it had received a $369 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act federal EPA loan to improve the city’s stormwater management ability and strengthen climate resiliency through new infrastructure projects, including the Wawona Area Stormwater Improvement and Vicente Street Water Main Replacement Project and the North Shore Pump Station. The low-interest loans enable the SFPUC to make needed upgrades to aging infrastructure while keeping customer rates competitive.

Since 2015 through Fiscal Year 2023, the SFPUC has also issued more than $3.7 billion in certified green bonds (fixed income investments) to finance Water and Wastewater capital projects and $100 million in self-certified green bonds to finance Power capital projects advancing climate change mitigation or adaptation, making the SFPUC one of the largest municipal issuers of green bonds in the United States.

In 2023, the SFPUC also adopted an Affordability Policy, establishing clear metrics to assess the effect of operating and capital budget increases on future rates and providing guidelines to maintain affordable rates. Additionally, the SFPUC has secured more than $46 million in state and federal relief funding to help customers pay past-due water, sewer and power bills from the pandemic. We have also increased discounts for our lowest-income customers. Now our Customer Assistance Program offers discounts of 25% to 40%. Thanks to the SFPUC’s multilingual outreach in low-income, Black, immigrant, and environmental justice communities, the Customer Assistance Program has grown by 209% over three years, from 2,100 to 6,500 customers.

About Infrastructure Week

For more than a decade, United for Infrastructure, a project of Accelerator for America Action, has presented Infrastructure Week as an annual, nationwide event focused on raising awareness about the importance of infrastructure and advocating for improvements that address some of our nation’s toughest challenges in transit and transportation, water systems, energy and more.

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and meets over 70 percent of the electricity demand in San Francisco. 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