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MEDIA ADVISORY: EPA Top Water Official Tours Local Water Facilities Focusing on Sustainability

Release Date: 02/25/2016
Contact Information: Michele Huitric, Huitric.michele@epa.gov, 415-972-3165


Oro Loma project treats wastewater, provides habitat, and protects from sea level rise

SAN FRANCISCO – On Friday, February 26th, U.S. EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water Joel Beauvais will end his California tour of several sustainable water facilities at the Oro Loma wastewater treatment and purification plant in San Lorenzo. His visit will focus on their innovative “horizontal levee” ecotone project, which is transforming a 10-acre weedy field to provide wastewater treatment, wet weather storage, shoreline habitat, and infrastructure protection from rising sea level. The levee is also an outdoor laboratory used to research climate change adaptation methods to protect infrastructure around San Francisco Bay.

Prior to visiting Oro Loma, the Deputy Assistant Administrator will tour the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Silicon Valley Water Purification Center. The center is the largest of its kind in Northern California and capable of producing 8 million gallons of highly purified water a day from San Jose’s wastewater treatment plant. Using microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light, the purified water exceeds California’s drinking water standards providing a variety of water reuse opportunities.

WHO: Joel Beauvais, Deputy Assistant Administrator, EPA Office of Water

WHAT: Tour Oro Loma Experimental Horizontal Levee Project.

WHEN: Friday, February 26, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Oro Loma Sanitation District
          2655 Grant Ave.
          San Lorenzo, CA 94580-1838
WHY: The 2012 Bay Conservation and Development Commission study, Living with a Rising Bay, identified at least 22 wastewater treatment plants around the Bay that are vulnerable to sea level rise over the next century. A separate 2012 study by the Pacific Institute identified sea level rise as putting at risk up to 15 power plants, 1,780 miles of roads and highways, 4 airports, and 270,000 residents.
          This project is a cooperative effort of the Oro Loma and Castro Valley Sanitation Districts and the East Bay Dischargers Authority. The Oro Loma wastewater treatment plant is also reducing climate change emissions by powering their facilities using methane gas generated from the wastewater treatment process and on-site solar power.

VISUALS: Following a short presentation about the facility and project, the group will tour the horizontal levee.

RSVP: Credentialed press who would like to attend this event, or for more information, please e-mail Michele Huitric, Huitric.michele@epa.gov.


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