Swinerton Provides Management Services at Sharon Heights Pump Station

Contributor: Swinerton Blogger   |   June 24, 2015
Swinerton Provides Management Services at Sharon Heights Pump Station

In the late 1950s, the City of Menlo Park agreed to provide Stanford University with water and fire protection to the proposed linear accelerator, SLAC. A reservoir was built on land leased from Stanford, and in 1962 a pump station was installed to send water from the Hetch-Hetchy system to SLAC, the reservoir, the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, and nearby homes.  

Since installation, two out of the three pumps at the 1962 pump station have ceased to operate and have been replaced with temporary pumps. Due to the out-of-date technology, the entire pump station needed to be replaced, in order to improve power efficiency, and ensure water system reliability for future generations.

Under our five-year, on-call services agreement, Swinerton Management & Consulting was selected to provide bidding services, including pre-qualification of bidders and construction management for the construction of the Sharon Heights Pump Station. These services include contract management and administration, construction inspection, and coordination of the commissioning of the new pump station.        

The scope of work for the construction project includes installing a temporary pump station prior to starting construction for the permanent pump station. The temporary pump station consists of three similar pumps, a portable electrical generator, and communication connections. Located on an adjacent parcel, the station will remain in operation while the permanent pump station is built. The contractor will be responsible for maintaining 24/7 operation of the temporary pump until the permanent one is operational.

Work also includes coordinating with PG&E for powering both the temporary and permanent pump stations, and demolishing an existing pump station. Construction of the permanent pump station will commence once the temporary station is complete, and water flow rates and quality test results are accepted. The permanent pump station will consist of a pump house that will contain all the pumps, motors, electrical controls, alarm system, and other appurtenances. 

During the construction of the Sharon Heights Pump Station, special coordination of the temporary station was needed to keep the reliability and adequate water flow of the temporary station during the hot summer months. The original design parameters accounted for an existing fixed connection of the temporary pump station to the City’s distribution system. During testing, it became apparent that summer flows and water quality of the system would be compromised, and a higher flow rate was needed.

SMC team members helped the owner negotiate a substantial change of conditions with the temporary pump station design. Re-design of the mechanical and electrical equipment became necessary to maintain both the reservoir levels and reliable water quality during the hot summer period. Variable frequency drives that increased the pump motors to 120% of the motor-rated capacity were required and used to increase the flow rate to the reservoir during the summer months. This ensured nitrification of the water on the reservoir was avoided, and that the station could keep up with water consumption.

No disruptions to service were experienced during the time the temporary pump station was placed into service.