Water from Powell Street BART station to heat downtown San Francisco hotels

Water from Powell Street BART station to heat downtown San Francisco hotels

A new water recycling project unveiled Tuesday using water drained from the Powell Street BART station to generate energy is expected to save around 30 million gallons of water a year.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday announced the $3.5 million project at the Energy Center San Francisco District Energy Plant in the South of Market, which will redirect water from a foundation drainage system at the Powell Street BART Station into the ECSF’s District Energy Plant. The plant, which will boil the water to produce steam, will provide heating, hot water and steam to hotels and buildings in downtown San Francisco.

The project will result in a 30 million-gallon annual savings, an amount that can serve roughly 2,000 households in San Francisco.

“We want to embrace the spirit of innovation and look at new ways to maximize resources,” said SFPUC’s General Manager Harlan L. Kelly.

The project was completed in partnership with both ECSF and BART, with $3 million of its $3.5 million price tag financed by ECSF. SFPUC provided a $500,000 grant.

ECSF’s General Manager Gordon Judd said it took ten years to develop a project that could pump dirty water to the plant and turn it into clean water thanks to a technology called “reverse osmosis,” that can reuse from 80 to 90 percent of the overall drained water.

Judd said he expects to expand the system and save 80 million gallons within the next ten years.

“This is an incredible project and an example of what we should be doing everywhere,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener, who called for a structural change of water resources usage in California.

“We need to continue to prepare for the effects of climate change by being more resourceful when it comes to our water supply,’ Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

For now, workers at the plant need a little time to adjust to the new system.

“It complicates my job and adds equipment to the plant that need to be maintained. But it’s worth it,” said Ted Vincent, plant manager at ECSF’s District Energy Plant.

Bay Area News

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

 

Water from Powell Street BART station to heat downtown San Francisco hotels

Just Posted

Agnes Liang, who will be a senior at Mission High School, is running for one of the two student representative seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Turbulent year on school board leaves student delegates undeterred

Around this time last year, Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza were… Continue reading

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Three people killed in SF shootings in less than 24 hours

San Francisco police were scrambling Saturday to respond to a series of… Continue reading

Muni operator Angel Carvajal drives the popular boat tram following a news conference celebrating the return of the historic F-line and subway service on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Mayor, transit officials celebrate return of Muni service

Mayor London Breed and city transit officials gathered Friday to welcome the… Continue reading

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference about a $12 billion package bolstering the state’s response to the homelessness crisis at the Kearney Vista Apartments on May 11, 2021 in San Diego, California. (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
Newsom promises sweeping change in California’s $267-billion budget

John Myers Los Angeles Times California would embark on the most ambitious… Continue reading

Most Read