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.

— Sandy Brundage

Comments

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

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.


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

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.


1 person likes this
Posted by good communication needed
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm

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).


2 people like this
Posted by LA
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 11, 2015 at 11:21 pm

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


9 people like this
Posted by farmer john
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 12, 2015 at 9:35 am

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"


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 12, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

John:

what a great idea: vandalize your neighbors property.


Like this comment
Posted by Green Lawns
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2015 at 6:16 pm

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


4 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 12, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

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.


2 people like this
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 11:27 am

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

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


Like this comment
Posted by Water differences
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 12:23 pm

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


1 person likes this
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

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)


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Redwood City gets new brewery
By Elena Kadvany | 11 comments | 5,317 views

Learning Disabilities and the Struggle to Be Known
By Aldis Petriceks | 0 comments | 1,162 views

Couples: A Relationship Test . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 761 views

Food Party! SOS
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 602 views

Enjoy every configuration of your family
By Cheryl Bac | 4 comments | 428 views