News

Menlo Park recycles stormwater to wash sidewalks

Given California's severe drought, the sight of city workers starting to power-wash downtown sidewalks on June 1 raised eyebrows from residents.

City Manager Alex McIntyre, trying to keep ahead of the critics, explained to the council on June 2 that the water used had been collected from storm drains, and thus was recycled.

The cleaning, which takes place between 5 and 9 a.m. each day, is expected to be finished today, according to the city.

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Menlo Park recycles stormwater to wash sidewalks

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 11, 2015, 11:08 am

Given California's severe drought, the sight of city workers starting to power-wash downtown sidewalks on June 1 raised eyebrows from residents.

City Manager Alex McIntyre, trying to keep ahead of the critics, explained to the council on June 2 that the water used had been collected from storm drains, and thus was recycled.

The cleaning, which takes place between 5 and 9 a.m. each day, is expected to be finished today, according to the city.

— Sandy Brundage

Comments

Interested party
Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Jun 11, 2015 at 12:44 pm
Interested party, Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Jun 11, 2015 at 12:44 pm
9 people like this

I am curious how they can reuse storm drain water for sidewalk cleaning when the "grey water" regulations say that the water cannot reenter the storm drain system? Additionally, it was my understanding that water from street run off (storm drain water) needed to pass through the processing plant. It is possible that is what is happening and there is a device that recaptures the water, but the article doesn't elaborate...this is a big deal. I'd like to hear more.


Mike Keenly
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 11, 2015 at 1:13 pm
Mike Keenly, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 11, 2015 at 1:13 pm
Like this comment

Also a "thank you" to Alex McIntyre for further keeping ahead of the critics by posting signs along Santa Cruz Ave. indicating that recycled water would be used for the power washing.


good communication needed
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm
good communication needed, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm
1 person likes this

Signs were posted downtown that the streets would be power washed. On the OPPOSITE side of SOME of the power wash signs were signs that recycled water would be used. I drove by the sign by the Wells Fargo Bank numerous times and was not aware that recycled water was to be used because only the power wash sign was visible.

Proper communication and outreach would include power wash AND using recycled water on the SAME sign! Especially considering the power wash signs were handwritten. The idea of including wash and recycled water should have been a no-brainer, especially in this water-conscious environment. I would give the city a big fat D- for this minimal effort.

The city staff must improve communication and outreach for projects to succeed -- timeliness, accuracy, complete information to the community and affected parties. Two glaring examples are the Santa Cruz Avenue sidewalks trial implementation and the Ravenswood/Alma intersection implementation (see Web Link).


LA
Atherton: other
on Jun 11, 2015 at 11:21 pm
LA, Atherton: other
on Jun 11, 2015 at 11:21 pm
2 people like this

Using grey water is a great idea, but what about using it to irrigate our parks vs washing down the sidewalks?


farmer john
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 12, 2015 at 9:35 am
farmer john, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 12, 2015 at 9:35 am
9 people like this

all this concern on some recycled water (a minimal amount) being used to keep the town clean, as I drive by all these green lawns.... if you want your message to be heard, try a little bleach in a thin-stream spray bottle, take a walk late one night, and anoint the green-lawn crowd with a title upon their lawn:

"I'm selfish"


Menlo Voter
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 12, 2015 at 4:16 pm
Menlo Voter, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Jun 12, 2015 at 4:16 pm
1 person likes this

John:

what a great idea: vandalize your neighbors property.


Green Lawns
another community
on Jun 12, 2015 at 6:16 pm
Green Lawns, another community
on Jun 12, 2015 at 6:16 pm
Like this comment

Something tells me you're exceeding your water allotment, Menlo Voter...or is it a guilty conscience?


Menlo Voter
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 12, 2015 at 7:32 pm
Menlo Voter, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Jun 12, 2015 at 7:32 pm
4 people like this

Green lawns:

no guilty conscience here. I live in a townhouse barely use any water for irrigation at all. We're UNDER our allotment. How about you?

My comment was made because I don't think there's ever an excuse for vandalizing another's property. Whether you think they're wasting water or not.


Roy Thiele-Sardiña
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 11:27 am
Roy Thiele-Sardiña, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jun 15, 2015 at 11:27 am
2 people like this

Recycled water is NOT grey water. Silicon Valley Clean Water (the Sewage Treatment Plant servicing Menlo Park) creates recycled water (almost +8M gallons per day) and that water is recycled.

It contains a little more salt than your normal drinking water, but is actually on a parts per million basis cleaner than Hetch Hetchy warter.

Roy Thiele-Sardina
Director - West Bay Sanitation District


Water differences
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 12:23 pm
Water differences, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 12:23 pm
Like this comment

What is grey water?
Did MP use grey water or recycled water for cleaning sidewalks?


Roy Thiele-Sardiña
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm
Roy Thiele-Sardiña, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jun 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm
1 person likes this

Grey water is water taken from your sink and/or showers and tubs. Many houses are plumbed with a second drain system to divert this water to a holding tank to be used in watering gardens and such. it is illegal to use this in ANY way that could make it to the bay without being treated.

It is DIFFERENT from rain water systems, which catch rainwater and put it in cisterns. we had a home in the midwest with an entire basement that was a cistern for rainwater, which was then used to water the landscaping and gardens (multi acre)


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