FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 1, 2011
PRESS CONTACT: SFPUC- Tyrone Jue (415) 554-3247, DPW- Gloria Chan (415) 554-6926
CITY KICKS OFF EFFICIENCY AND WATER CONSERVATION PROJECT ALONG SUNSET BOULEVARD
Project is the first in the City to be approved under the recently enacted
SF Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance
San Francisco, CA – In an effort to maximize water savings through conservation measures and innovative practices, District Four Supervisor Carmen Chu, the Department of Public Works (DPW), and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) broke ground to replace the landscaping and retrofit the irrigation system along the center and side medians of Sunset Boulevard, between Rivera Street and Sloat Boulevard.
“The green belt of the Sunset Boulevard medians serve as a significant buffer for residents living alongside a six-lane thoroughfare, and it is important that we preserve this valuable resource,” said Supervisor Carmen Chu. “As we add trees and plants to enhance Sunset Boulevard, it is equally important that we have the appropriate infrastructure in place to maintain the landscaping.”
The Sunset Boulevard Water Efficiency project will replace one mile (six blocks) of outdated automatic irrigation systems with new, low-flow systems and rain and solar sensors that help optimize water usage. In addition, approximately 161,000 square feet of existing high water usage turf will be replaced with native Bentgrass, which uses half the water of the current species, and other climate appropriate, low water plants. The irrigation system has not been modernized nor upgraded for at least 25 years.
“Every year millions of gallons of Hetch Hetchy drinking water are used to irrigate landscapes in the city. By using low water use plants and the latest irrigation practices, San Francisco can ensure we maintain green spaces that make the best use of our precious water resources,” said Ed Harrington, General Manager for the SFPUC.
The Sunset Boulevard Water Efficiency project complies with the SF Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance and will save up to seven million gallons of water per year— enough water for 120 single-family households for one year. DPW is implementing the work scope; which includes:
• Excavation and removal of turf from the center and side medians along Sunset Boulevard
• Soil preparation through rototilling, the addition of topsoil, and removal of excess roots
• Installation of new native Bentgrass, which uses half the water of the current species, and other climate appropriate, low water using plants
• Installation of new low-flow irrigation systems featuring rain sensors and solar time controls
“This partnership demonstrates DPW’s commitment toward incorporating environmental standards and practices into our public landscapes,” said Ed Reiskin, Director of the Department of Public Works. “This opportunity will allow us to enhance and improve our infrastructure; while conserving on our natural resources.”
The project will be completed in three phases over the next eight months.
Phase I: March 22nd - May 19th- Center median lanes on Sunset Blvd. will close on either side of this median in both directions for the duration of this phase.
Phase II: May 19th - August 19th- 36th Avenue East Side Strips – curb lanes Northbound and Southbound on Sunset Blvd. will close for the duration of this phase.
Phase III: August 19th - November 17th- 37th Avenue West Side Strips - curb lanes Northbound and Southbound on Sunset Blvd. will close for the duration of this phase. Work hours for the project are Monday to Friday from 9 am to 3 pm daily. Traffic will be impacted during these hours with the closure of one lane in each direction.
This $1.2 million project is funded through a grant from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Grant Assistance for Large Landscape Retrofits and complies with the State Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance and the 2010 San Francisco Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance. These ordinances were established to protect water resources and plant and animal habitats; reduce outdoor water usage and increase climate appropriate plantings; reduce runoff and maximize water retention in soil and plantings; and reduce the impact of rising water costs on citizens. The SF Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance went into effect January 1, 2011 and encourages the use of low-water use plants, efficient irrigation techniques and alternatives to potable water.
For more information on the Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance, please the SFPUC web site at visit www.sfwater.org/landscape. For more information on the construction of project, please visit www.sfdpw.org