October 2018 Vol. 73 No. 10


San Francisco Receives $699 Million EPA Loan for Wastewater Upgrades

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $699-million, low-interest loan to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to help finance its innovative Southeast Treatment Plant Biosolids Digester Facilities Project.

Under the EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), a program offering as much as $5.5 billion in loans, this is the largest amount issued to date to fund approximately half of SFPUC’s $1.2-billion biosolids and resource recovery project.

Led by environmental engineering and construction firm Brown and Caldwell, the project involves upgrading critical components of San Francisco’s aging sewer system infrastructure to support the city’s sustainability goals. With the loan, SFPUC will replace its outdated biosolids digester facilities with modern, efficient technology to transform wastewater solids into high-quality biosolids and biogas.

The updated infrastructure is designed to maximize energy recovery, reduce emissions, minimize potable water use through recycling, and produce reusable Class A biosolids. Additionally, the new digesters will be located farther away from existing residences, feature advanced odor control, and be more resilient to earthquakes.

“I am thrilled the EPA has chosen to partner with SFPUC by investing in their infrastructure and the local economy,” said Jay Patil, Brown and Caldwell senior vice president and director of sales, strategy, and marketing. “It speaks volumes about SFPUC’s visionary leadership and culture of environmental and community inclusivity that they received the largest WIFIA loan thus far.”

As the prime firm, Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Brown and Caldwell leads a team comprising Black & Veatch, CH2M (Jacobs), SRT, STRUCTUS, AEW and Geotechnical Consultants for engineering; Saylor Consulting Group for estimating; MWA Architects, MEI Architects, Fluidity Design Consultants and Endrestudio for architecture; and Katz & Assoc., Alfred Williams Consultancy and BAYCAT for outreach.

Brown and Caldwell assisted the city in its letter of interest for the loan and provided technical documents in support of the application. The SFPUC project was the largest in a pool of 43 letters of interest submitted, and one of 12 projects selected by the EPA to apply for and negotiate a loan.

Located in Bayview-Hunters Point, the Southeast Treatment Plant is the city’s largest wastewater facility. Construction is expected to begin in early 2019 with facilities operational by 2025.

Brown and Caldwell, (925) 937-9010, brownandcaldwell.com

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