Photographs from the Oceanside and Southeast Treatment Facilities: San Francisco, CA
       

As global environmental conditions demand greater environmental awareness and populations become larger and more dense water becomes more and more fraught an issue at the local level. One typically overlooked aspect of water use is wastewater treatment—a complex issue of infrastructure, ecology, and recycling.

San Francisco faces unusual wastewater challenges; its system combines sanitary sewers and storm sewers in one piping and treatment system (it is an old system with components and piping dating back more than 100 years). As the city grows and pushes against its peninsular boundaries the treatment facilities in these photographs are aging and overburdened.

Repair is not a glamor political issue and consequently wastewater management struggles for funding even as the City's waste system constitutes a critical public health bulwark against communicable disease. The SFPUC is making headway though and is today underway with several significant renovation projects.

 
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Separated wastewater stream, Southeast facility
 
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Monitoring stations, Southeast facility
 
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Southeast facility piping, I
 
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Digester controls, Southeast facility
 
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Activated carbon odor control tanks, Oceanside facility
 
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Home shown to be most impacted year-round by waste treatment odors, Southeast facility
 
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Oceanside facility managers
 
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Southeast facility piping, II
 
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Robotic testing station, Oceanside facility
 
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Biological samples taken at underwater outlet pipe terminus, Oceanside facility
 
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Machine controls, Oceanside facility
 
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Solids rake separator warning sign, Oceanside facility
 
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Spraying solids conveyor, Oceanside facility
 
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Plant maintenance technician, Oceanside facility
 
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Solids separation hopper, Oceanside facility
 
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Grit Slurry Piping
 
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Keep door closed, Oceanside facility
 
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Oceanside facility control room
 
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Solids conveyor, Oceanside facility
 
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Solids separation unit, Oceanside facility
 
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Grit slurry transport piping, Oceanside facility
 
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Installing vinyl splash curtains, Oceanside facility
 
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Natural gas reclamation piping, Oceanside facility
 
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Digester elevation drawing, Oceanside facility
 
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Sludge digester outlet, Oceanside facility
 
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Digester tank, Southeast facility
 
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Digested sludge piping, Oceanside facility
 
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Processed wastewater prior to pumping offshore, Oceanside facility