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Huge SF Creek pump to be ready next winter

Original post made on Feb 28, 2008

The long-awaited San Francisquito Creek pumping station is on-schedule and on-budget, even if its new $6.8 million budget is $2 million more than initial estimates, Senior Engineer Joe Teresi told the Storm Drain Oversight Committee Wednesday morning.

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Comments (7)

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Posted by Norman Beamer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 28, 2008 at 7:31 am

As those of us concerned about flooding have said in the past, the decision to raise taxes and spend $35 million on cutting down street flooding is a regretible misallocation of resources, given the far more serious threat of flooding from San Francisquito Creek. $35 million would go a long way towards a partial, but significant, solution to creek flooding -- namely, widening the Chaucer Bridge and very minor downstream changes that would at least protect against 1998-level flooding. During the debate, one of the big arguments that won the day was that we should rely on the Corps of Engineers, and pursue a very long range complete solution to creek and tidal flooding. But now, post-Katrina and given the budget situation, the JPA has essentially recognized what we were saying -- that such a long range solution is elusive and will likely never happen. The JPA is now looking at the short range solution that we urged. Too bad they don't have access to that $35 million.

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Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 28, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Palo Alto got it backwards again. There were street puddles in several places during the last few rainstorms, and they weren't caused by water backing up from the drain pipe where the new pump is being constructed. But the real needed fixes were delayed or cancelled while we spent all the money on a new pumping station that really isn't going to fix the pudddling in our streets. Our strom drain oversight commission is more concerned with the $10,000 sculpture that will adorn the new pumping station than getting the street puddling fixed.

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Posted by Lee
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Street puddles are over-rated. Many streets in England have constant puddles from the rain. Unfortunately, here where it rains so rarely, people can't adjust and slow down. Puddles do not flood homes and neighborhoods, they dry up after a few days. I'm for the pumping station first.

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Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Lee has it backwards. The pumping station won't stop home flooding. In fact, it might contribute to home flooding in East Palo by pumping water from Palo Alto streets into the creek when the creek level is higher than the present storm drain outlet pipe. This extra water is then a threat to overbanking in EPA. Elizabeth Dahlen who was a member of the Blue Ribbon committee on storm drains and a civil engineer, said the creek flooding problem should be fixed before the pumping station was built. She had it right.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 29, 2008 at 2:53 am

Is this to avoid replacing the bridge with one that does not obstruct flow?

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Posted by Parent
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 29, 2008 at 11:32 am

I am concerned about the effects of this pumping station on the school next door to it (International School). Do these pumping stations pose any health hazards or environmental risks? Thanks for any information. Concerned Parent

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Posted by Norman Beamer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 1, 2008 at 1:03 am

Regarding some of the questions above, my understanding is that the pump will neither help nor hurt creek flooding. The pump is strictly for the purpose of improving the effectiveness of the storm sewers during the types of 5-10 year heavy rain events that cause street flooding. This is much different (much less rain) than the 50 or 75-year events that overflow the creek. The pump handles 300 cubic feet per second. The 1998 flood was 7200 cubic feet per second. So the pump does nothing for creek flooding. On the other hand, it will not increase creek flooding, because when the creek reaches a certain pre-flood stage level, the pump will automatically turn off.

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