Almanac

News - May 26, 2010

Sewage district replacing three miles of pipe in Menlo Park

by Sean Howell

Construction will begin this summer on about 20 Menlo Park street segments in the College Park and Bay Laurel neighborhoods, part of a $3.3 million project by the West Bay Sanitary District to replace nearly three miles of aging sewage lines.

The project will take about five months to complete, and will not force the closures of any streets, said Ned Moritz, a member of the West Bay board.

"We will be working with contractors to minimize the disruption, but the pipe replacement is necessary to ensure the health and safety of our residents," Phil Scott, manager of the district, said in a press release.

About 50 of the district's 200 miles of pipe will reach their expiration dates over the next 20 years, and the district is already gearing up to start engineering studies for the next round of pipe replacements in 2011. The project the district is beginning this summer is the largest repair program it has undertaken in several years, Mr. Moritz said.

Residents have seen fairly significant rate increases in recent years to fund more pipe-replacement projects, and to pay for a $200 million to $300 million renovation project at the sewage treatment plant, Mr. Moritz said. Fees are added to property tax bills.

The new pipes will last for at least 60 years, and could last up to 100 years, according to Mr. Moritz. To find out if your street is slated for repairs, call the district at 321-0384.

The district covers Menlo Park, Atherton, and Portola Valley, as well as parts of Woodside and East Palo Alto.

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