Panoramic Hill improvements

Pipes in the sky

As part of the Panoramic Hill Improvements Project, EBMUD has completed two days of helicopter operations. This method of pipe delivery was a first for EBMUD, reducing community impacts and saving approximately 90 days worth of work in the streets.

The two deliveries took place in September 2016 and April 2017, delivering a total of approximately 6,900 feet of pipe to the top of the hill.

Helicopter delivery eliminated the challenge of delivering pipes via the narrow, winding roads of the Berkeley Hills. Usually, standard 40-foot-long pipes would have to be cut in half before delivery via truck through the neighborhood. Once the pipes arrived to the job site, crews would have to fuse the pipes back together before putting them in the ground.

EBMUD is constantly innovating on the best practices and materials to upgrade our aging infrastructure.

Panoramic Hill Improvements Project Map

Panoramic Hill Improvements Project Map

EBMUD is planning to replace University Reservoir, built in 1963, University Pumping Plant, built in 1906, and EBMUD has worked closely with the cities of Berkeley and Oakland and their respective Fire Departments during the planning design and construction of this project. Four public meetings have been held regarding the reservoir, pipeline sand pumping plant.approximately 7,300 feet of pipe in the Panoramic Hill neighborhood in Berkeley and Oakland. These facilities are at the end of their useful life and do not meet current standards. A majority of the pipelines were installed prior to or in the 1940s. The pipes are made of unlined cast iron, and many have a leak history that makes them eligible for replacement. This work will increase both water reliability and operating efficiency in your neighborhood.

Workplan and schedule 

last updated February 17, 2021

Pipeline Replacements: Construction is complete. 

University Reservoir Replacement and University Pumping Plant Replacement

There are no planned water outages associated with this work. Allowable work hours are Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the University Pumping Plant site, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the University Reservoir site, although actual work hours will vary. During construction, expect increased dust, noise, and traffic to and from the sites. There will be intermittent closure of Panoramic Way at University Pumping Plant between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. There are no planned closures of lower Panoramic Way (below Dwight Way).

Published studies and other resources


Community Affairs
Phone: 510-287-0140
Emergencies or after-hours, call EBMUD at 866-403-2683.