Views still in the clear with rise of new buildings

Neighbors of the Rinconada Water Treatment Plant want to make sure the rise of new buildings at the facility don’t impact the sweeping view of the Santa Clara Valley. So there was reason for relief at a recent neighborhood meeting where water district officials said the two new structures now visible at the plant won’t go any higher than their current height.

041_Floc Sed Basin_cropped
The flocculation and sedimentation basins at the Rinconada plant.

Viewing the nearly complete ozone contactor and flocculation and sedimentation basins from the deck of the operations building, Plant Supervisor Steve Twitchell explained to neighbors on June 29 that the only additions to the facilities would center on safety.

“We will only add a fence on the roof that is primarily a guard rail that will fade into the background,” said Twitchell, adding generally one or two operations staff per shift will monitor these new facilities as opposed to the scores of construction crew members currently on site, which would also limit the amount of noise emanating from the area.

The public meeting was the second held this year to update neighbors about the Reliability Improvement Project, the water district’s large scale modernization of its longest operating water treatment plant.

Work is expected to last another three years, but Assistant Engineer Stephanie Logan said neighbors will see improvements in water quality and taste with these improvements and overall plant reliability.

“This means the plant will have more capacity to meet water demand and be better prepared to service the west side of Santa Clara County in an emergency or during a seismic event,” she said.

The plant is currently in its second of five phases of work and neighbors had plenty to ask about the third construction phase, scheduled to start in early 2018.

Phase 3 will include demolition of the existing basins, a potentially noisy operation. But water district staff assured neighbors they are evaluating ways to minimize noise and reduce the impact to the neighborhood, including limiting demolition hours. The contractor initially provided a range of three weeks to five months for this work, but the goal is to reduce this timeframe and minimize impacts to neighbors.

Project staff will provide neighbors a more detailed schedule at the fall community meeting tentatively scheduled for October. Look for an alert about this meeting and join us to learn more about what comes next!

Follow all the plant construction action through our Work Zone Live Cam (add active link).

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