Back on tap! EBMUD’s Orinda Water Treatment Plant now online, serving Sierra water to East Bay

Sierra mountain water is now back on tap for many East Bay Municipal Utility District customers. Work on a $22 million upgrade to the Orinda Water Treatment Plant is almost complete, allowing the improved plant to come back online to serve customers.

“This investment in the heart of our water system keeps high quality water flowing to our customers now and into the future,” says EBMUD Board President Lesa R. McIntosh. “It was complex and challenging to rebuild this key facility, but over the long-term we will reduce maintenance costs and the need for future service outages.”

In operation since 1935, EBMUD’s Orinda Water Treatment Plant is the heart of EBMUD’s system. The plant and its large delivery pipelines and tunnel were shut down in fall 2016 for much needed improvements. During the shutdown, 800,000 customers west of the Oakland Berkeley Hills began receiving their water from local sources.

To ensure uninterrupted deliveries of water to customers during this critical shutdown, water normally treated at the Orinda Water Treatment Plant was treated at a combination of EBMUD’s other five plants, including San Pablo, Sobrante and Upper San Leandro water treatment plants.

“With the Sierra snowmelt coming back to your tap, some customers may notice a change in the taste of their water,” according to EBMUD Board President McIntosh. “We hope customers will welcome the return of our pristine Mokelumne River source water, and take a drink from the sink this summer!”

Every day EBMUD manages our critical water supply system to keep vital water flowing. To do that, we must maintain, replace and repair aging infrastructure. Much of the work at the Orinda Water Treatment plant was completely underground, invisible to customers. Customers will benefit from improved  reliability with the addition of backup power systems, upgraded water treatment processes and improved treatment configurations, and  a new bifurcation valve that allows EBMUD to leave one half of the plant operating and serving customers while the other half receives fixes or improvements.

Though the plant will be functioning after April 2017, construction work will continue through late 2018.

EBMUD delivers water to East Bay residents via six water treatment plants. This 24-hour per day, seven-day per week operation ensures high quality water for drinking, firefighting, sanitation and industry.


Andrea Pook
Senior Public Information Representative