The City of Sunnyvale Kicks off construction on its Largest Improvement Program in its History

On July 11, the Mayor of Sunnyvale, City Council members, City staff and about 40 other guests gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the first project in the long-term renovation of the Donald M. Somers Water Pollution Control Plant. The Plant is responsible for treating the sewage of 148,000 residents, businesses and industrial users in Sunnyvale and some parts of Cupertino and San Jose.

event audience

“Even though the infrastructure is hidden from most people, this facility performs the critical function of treating the wastewater we generate, so it can be safely recycled or discharged to the Bay,” explained Mayor Hendricks during his remarks.

Construction for this first major project will result in a new primary treatment facility, which is the first treatment step that occurs as the wastewater passes through the Plant. These upgrades will ensure operational reliability for generations to come, and by taking advantage of the latest treatment technology, will meet new and future regulatory requirements. This first phase of work is expected to be completed by 2020 and will cost $100 million. The completion of the entire program is expected to be around 2042.

It is also important to note that these construction projects are happening while the plant must still remain operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. John Stufflebean, director of the Environmental Services Department, explained that this facility renovation is like “rebuilding the plane you are in while flying it, and it will be challenging in numerous ways”.

"This has been a huge effort. There have been hundreds of people involved from City staff to designers, to consultants, the Environmental Services Department and the City Council. It's an exciting project that needed to happen, and it's the largest capital project in the City,” said Sunnyvale’s Director of Public Works, Manuel Pineda, and the master of ceremonies for the event.

breaking ground

From left to right: Director of Public Works Manuel Pineda, , Councilmember Tara Martin-Milius, Vice Mayor Gustav Larsson, Mayor Glenn Hendricks, Councilmember Jim Griffith, Councilmember Jim Davis and Director of Environmental Services Department John Stufflebean all posed in front of construction equipment with shovels in hand, symbolizing the start of the construction for this important project.

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