Rinconada Water Treatment Plant
Rinconada Water Treatment Plant
HDR team brings ingenuity, precision to treat Bay Area water
Retrofitting a plant 50 years since it opened, while not disrupting a thriving community, requires careful attention to our client’s needs and precise delivery.
At Rinconada, we often work beyond our typical third-party construction services/management role, helping owner Santa Clara Valley Water District increase plant capacity from 80 million to 100 million gallons per day and provide a water source for nearly 1 million people. This retrofit is the largest capital improvement project ever constructed by the district.
SCVWD’s oldest water plant serves Santa Clara County’s west side — part of Silicon Valley and home to tech company Netflix. Known as the Reliability Improvement Project, this endeavor will replace or upgrade all major plant components. The new facilities will house raw water ozonation, flocculation and plate settler clarification, and dual media filtration. We’re helping the district meet increasingly stringent standards for water quality and offering safety and seismic stability.
Building on this limited, 43-acre site presents unique challenges. We thoroughly consider construction laydown areas, parking, personnel and material logistics, and work sequencing.
Among SCVWD’s requirements, the plant must remain fully operational during construction; and new facilities must tie into existing facilities during each of six phases. Our effort entails overseeing construction activities to help alleviate penalties to the contractor. Their contract includes a liquidated damage clause of $5,000 per hour for any schedule shutdown while tying in new to old systems.
Since SCVWD sells Rinconada’s water to 22 retailers, there’s added importance of coordinating tie-ins with many stakeholders. Tie-in work can only occur during the low-flow season (November to March). Additionally, California’s tight labor market for skilled laborers — including pipefitters, millwrights, carpenters, welders, operators and electricians — makes finding talent challenging while keeping the project on schedule.
Through close coordination with SCVWD, our team provides customized third-party construction management services, often applying environmental, design and operations disciplines. The team works efficiently to maintain plant operation.
Our primary scope calls for constructability reviews; preconstruction bidding support; risk management; coordination of multiple construction contracts; plant operation and water production through five construction phases, including keeping the plant in full operation; startup/commissioning; and operations & maintenance training.
Much of the work involves administering the construction contracts — payments; change order and claims analysis; project record document management (e.g., receipt, review and return of submittals and requests for information); cost and scheduler analysis and reporting; and quality assurance observation.
Working on these and additional, parallel tasks, we’ve honed our service to SCVWD. Our supplemental services include asset management, specialty inspections, permitting, standard operating procedure writing, independent cost estimating, project controls, geographic information system, and startup/testing/commissioning.
We also apply unique solutions in technology (quality checks via an Unmanned Aerial System), safety (electronic speed signs for drivers entering and leaving plant), conservation (drought-tolerant landscape to provide tree privacy for Rinconada’s neighbors) and sound (quieter truck backup warnings and restrictions on working hours and truck activity).