DSRSD moves to prepare for more power shutoffs | News | DanvilleSanRamon.com |

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DSRSD moves to prepare for more power shutoffs

Board also extends state of emergency status as HQ flooding repairs drag on

A $250,000 budget hike for electrical improvements at the Dublin San Ramon Services District's Field Operations Facility means the tap will continue to flow for customers in the event of another Public Safety Power Shutoff.

The increase -- which will cover the construction contract, staff time and change order contingency -- was unanimously approved during the Jan. 7 meeting of the DSRSD Board of Directors.

The $577,600 project falls under the larger $8.1 million corporation yard and administration facilities project that began in 2016, when the agency's Field Operations Division moved from a Camp Parks facility to the Commerce Circle location in Pleasanton, just next door to DSRSD's facultative sludge lagoons and the Livermore-Amador Valley Water Management Agency pump station.

The existing field operations facility lacks a backup power system, making it susceptible to power outages, according to staff.

"(Field operations facility) is the hub for field operations personnel and houses the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) control station and SCADA servers," staff wrote in district documents. "In the event of a power outage (such as a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff), staff cannot use SCADA to monitor and control the water distribution system."

Spokeswoman Lea Blevins told the Weekly, "The planned electrical improvements will allow the district to have backup power in the event of PG&E power shutoffs to ensure field operations staff can continue to monitor and control the water distribution system."

"It was always planned to add this electrical work, and now it's especially going to be useful with the PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs," Blevins added. "Even though it's planned, it's very timely."

The scope of work includes the design of a backup generator and uninterruptible power supply to support SCADA communications needed to operate the district's potable water distribution system during a power outage. Project costs are split among the water expansion, local wastewater expansion and local wastewater replacement funds.

The board also signed off last week on extending a state of emergency originally issued when the district office was damaged by flooding two years ago.

Staff have been working out of the district office in Pleasanton since being forced out of their Dublin location in November 2018 due to a leak in the building's fire service line. A state of emergency was declared "to reduce potential further property damage due to water exposure and to minimize the time to restore core business operations."

Staff said they have been "hampered" by the displacement, including losing the board's customary meeting location, space for large group training, and individual offices for many supervisory staff in need of private spaces for confidential meetings. Customer service functions related to in-person bill payments have also been suspended.

The Dublin office is now on track toward being repaired and should be in better condition than before the flooding, according to Blevins.

"There was one to three inches of water throughout the building; it damaged the walls because of the humidity in the air," she said. "The board approved some additional renovations on top of that because the building is already 25 years old, so they figured it would be best to do while no one's there in the building."

Staff are looking to move back in the next several months once work is completed, although the exact date is still up in the air.

"I would say this spring is probably as specific as I can get because it varies on a weekly basis," Blevins said, noting that some issues like ensuring the building is ADA-compliant have made the timeline fluctuate a bit.

DSRSD will know later this spring exactly how much of their insurance policy will cover the estimated $6.2 million needed for initial restoration and abatement of the building, as well as design, construction and project management.

Julia Baum is a staff writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. Reach her at jbaum@pleasantonweekly.com or 925-600-0840, ext. 111.

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