If approved, San Francisco’s largest wastewater treatment facility, the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant in northern Bayview, will be upgraded and expanded over the next five years.
The existing 40-acre plant, which roughly stretches from Evans to McKinnon and Phelps to Quint, treats 80 percent of San Francisco’s current waste/stormwater, and it does so with facilities for treating solids that rely on outdated technology, are prone to disrepair, and “negatively affect the community with respect to odors, noise, and visual quality.” Oh, and the current facilities are “not designed to withstand the maximum credible earthquake on local faults.”
If approved, the Biosolids Digester Facilities Project (BDFP) would expand the existing facility by 7-acres, west to the border of the freight rail spur/Caltrain right-of-way, up to Rankin.
The project would replace the plant’s existing solid waste digesters, which are the major facility used in the solids treatment process, to produce higher-quality biosolids, better capture and treat odors, and maximize digester gas utilization and energy recovery for the production of heat, steam and electrical power while minimizing flares of excess gas.
A total of 22 new structures would be built on the expanded site, with the tallest building rising up to 65 feet and the tallest new structure a 75-foot-tall exhaust stack.
Endorsed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission back in 2012, an endorsement of the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which has just been released, is required for the project to proceed. A public hearing for the Draft EIR has been slated for June 1.
Assuming the project is approved as proposed, site prep could commence as early as July and the new facilities could be online by mid-2022.
And in 2024, once the 10 outdated digester tanks along Phelps are decommissioned, plant odors could be limited to within the plant’s fenceline, assuming everything performs as designed and intended.
A plan for demolishing the existing digesters and re-purposing the land has yet to be proposed nor authorized.