Sewer Authority Mid-coastside

Water breeched the Sewer Authority Mid-coastside plant on Jan. 4. It threatened electrical systems and was just one of the headaches for sewer plant managers over the past week.

The Sewer Authority Mid-coastside board members held an urgent meeting in the middle of a storm last week to declare a state of emergency for the local sewer system. The move allows SAM to better position itself for state and federal disaster relief funds. 

During the storm that hit the San Mateo County coast on New Year’s Eve, the sewer authority’s wastewater treatment plant in Half Moon Bay was partially flooded after Pilarcitos Creek swelled over its banks. The flood came close to shutting down the plant. It submerged the plant flow meters and damaged several pumps and breakers. Staff estimated it will cost at least $15,000 to repair damages. To get an idea of how much water moved through the creek that day, one meter clocked the flow at 2,690 cubic feet per second. For comparison, on the evening of Jan. 9, before more heavy rain blew through, flow dropped to around 500 cubic feet per second. 

August Howell is a staff writer for the Review covering city government and public safety. Previously, he was the Review’s community, arts and sports reporter. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon.

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