US military to begin draining Pearl Harbor pipelines
Aerial view of San Francisco Bay, looking at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. military is in the process of draining the San Francisco Bay Tidal Energy Storage project to its lowest level, a process that could take up to 100 days. The Navy has been removing more than 2 billion gallons of wastewater from the project’s facility.
The pumping is expected to begin Monday and the actual amount of wastewater being removed is not yet known.
“The pump is operating at a low level and is currently at around zero,” said Lt. Cmdr. Stephen B. Ruhle, spokesman for Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific. “However, it will be turned on to a higher level over the next several days. During this period, the Navy will continue to monitor the system to ensure that water levels remain near zero and at no time reach levels that could pose any threat to the safety or security of the Bay.”
A Coast Guard official also told the Chronicle that the Navy is preparing to begin removing water from other Bay-related projects.
The project at Naval Base San Francisco, known as the Bay Project, is the largest single source of treated water for the entire West Coast in terms of volume. It takes treated wastewater from the Navy, the City of San Francisco and other entities, and dumps the water into the bay. The Tidal Energy Storage project began operations in January 2014.
The project has long been a source of controversy, largely due to the Bay Project’s use of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge as a backup to the Golden Gate Bridge, and has included a variety of controversies, from the San Francisco Ferry building scandal to the recent flooding of the Mission Beach community, among other issues.
The project has not yet attracted enough water to the bay itself to meet the project’s annual requirement of 5 billion gallons.
“The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has made its share of political headlines during the past few years,” said Eric Pianko, director