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The San Francisco Examiner reported today that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission recently began work on a $2.6 million improvement to the sewer system on the Sunset District’s Vicente Street. This will increase the capacity of sewer mains from 34th Avenue to Sunset Boulevard and from 42nd Avenue to 45th Avenue. The City is also working on a $767,000 project that will improve storm water flows during heavy storms along Baden and Monterey streets from Circular Avenue to Alemany Boulevard in Glen Park.
For long-suffering noses in the southeastern part of The City, the most welcome part of the project will be upgrades to the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will help contain its unappetizing odor. Ventilation issues will be addressed when that project breaks ground in spring 2006.
Even with the projects, city neighborhoods won’t be immune to flooding, but SFPUC officials said the chances of a repeat of the Feb. 25, 2004 storm — which some officials called the biggest in The City in 100 years — will be less. Whipped by hurricane-force gusts, the storm drenched San Francisco, flooding 19th Avenue with four feet of water, causing parked cars to be whisked away on flood waters and leaving roughly 160,000 residents of Northern California without power.
“During a really, really major storm, no sewer line will fully protect a house in a low-lying area,” said Tony Winnicker, an SFPUC spokesman.
To prevent storm flooding this year, the SFPUC has stepped up storm drain and catch basin cleanings. The SFPUC will also give away free sandbags on Saturday and continue to issue “flood risk alert” warnings during the winter season as warranted.