I’ve mentioned before that San Francisco is an interesting place because it has an environmentalist streak laced with impracticality. This streak has, at times, interfered with the San Francisco Public Utility Commission (SFPUC) and its ability to make innovative upgrades to the existing water and wastewater treatment facilities in the city. Most notably, despite passing an initiative in 1991 mandating a water recycling facility in the city — rather cutting edge at that time — SFPUC still hasn’t been able to find a place that residents find acceptable to build the plant.
It turns out that, given the chance, the SFPUC can do stuff well. The one-year-old Tesla treatment plant treats up to 315 million gallons per day with UV disinfection, and recently was awarded a LEED silver certification. A recycling facility in Daly City has also recently begun supplying recycled water to TPC Harding Park’s golf course, with approximately 230,000 gallons per day. A drop in the bucket compared to the needs of the whole city of San Francisco, but a step in the right direction.
Well, I’m happy to report that the voters of San Francisco have decided to let SFPUC continue to manage their water supply and plan for its future, as they resoundingly voted against Proposition F to restore the Hetch Hetchy. I’m interested to see if SFPUC can finally get that water recycling facility built (they may have 2 others in the plans, too), which would decrease the city’s water demand. I’m glad to see them make a push in this direction before the drastic measure of tearing down the O’Shaughnessy Dam.