Bayside Groundwater Facility

Groundwater can provide water during prolonged drought

Groundwater can provide water during prolonged drought

Water for future droughts

The Bayside Groundwater Facility is a supplemental source of water supply that will help protect EBMUD's 1.4 million customers against severe water rationing in the event of a prolonged drought. The facility is developed to tap into local groundwater resources to supplement supply needs.

The groundwater aquifer beneath San Leandro and San Lorenzo has been a source of local drinking water since the early 1900's. With sustainable groundwater management, it can be a reliable source of local water during droughts.

The Bayside Facility recharges this natural storage basin by adding water to the aquifer in wet years. During dry years or drought, local ground water will be extracted, treated, and distributed to customers along with our existing supplies.

Groundwater supply is one of a portfolio of supplemental supply options to help EBMUD meet demands during droughts. This portfolio includes conservation, water recycling, and acquisition of other imported supplemental supplies from our Freeport Regional Water Facilities near Sacramento.

Facility description

The Bayside Groundwater Facility was constructed in 2009. Testing was completed at the end of the first year of operation of the Phase 1 facility. The facility can inject up to 1 million gallons a day (MGD) of surplus drinking water into the underground sand layers of the basin during wet years. During droughts, it can deliver an average of 1 million gallons a day (MGD) of water to EBMUD customers. All extracted water would be treated and tested to meet state and federal drinking water requirements. EBMUD continues to partner with the U.S. Geological Survey to monitor that the Facility is geologically sound.

Planning began in 2001. The Environmental Impact Report was approved by the EBMUD Board of Directors in November 2005. The project's construction was completed in 2009.

Future Phases

After successfully operating the Facility for some time, EBMUD will consider development of a larger facility in the local area that would have a storage capacity of 2 to 10 MGD, providing even greater drought resilience. The larger facility development would first be subjected to the same environmental and public review as the first project, and EBMUD will review results of the groundwater monitoring system and "Extensometer", which measures minute changes in ground surface elevation.

The Bayside Groundwater Facility is but one of many ways EBMUD explores bringing greater water supply reliability to the District's ratepayers during drought, emergency, or for everyday needs.

Given the high levels of precipitation in 2017, EBMUD was able to test-inject potable water into the groundwater aquifer in February 2017. All indications are this first 5-day injection test was a success. In October 2018, EBMUD again conducted injection operations to store several millions gallons of drinking water in the local groundwater aquifer.

Contact 

Alice Towey, Senior Civil Engineer for Regional Projects
Email: alice.towey@ebmud.com
Phone: 510-287-1105

Emergencies or after-hours, call EBMUD at 866-403-2683.