SJW employees updating water pipe

Infrastructure

Making sure that our customers have safe, clean and reliable water service means that our water system must be maintained and upgraded as time goes by. In our approximately 140 square mile service area, there are 2,400 miles of water mains, 106 tank and reservoirs, 20,143 hydrants, and 35,143 valves - that’s a lot of infrastructure to maintain!

SJW continues its commitment to maintaining and upgrading our water system, investing almost $120 million to ensure we can safely and efficiently serve customers now and for the next 100 years. Here’s an overview of our key projects.

Construction Assets List:

Belgatos station tank project construction header photo

Belgatos Station Tank Project

Located in the foothills of Los Gatos in the southwest corner of Belgatos Park lies an important piece of our water system infrastructure. Belgatos Station previously consisted of 2 earthen embankment reservoirs that stored up to 9.5 million gallons of potable water and served approximately 84,000 people in the San Jose Water service area.

Computer graphic of 2020 infrastructure

Columbine Station Improvement Project

Beginning in January 2020, San Jose Water is launching a multi-year project to improve the storage facilities at our Columbine Station.

This capital improvement project will demolish the existing earthen-embankment reservoir built in 1963 — replacing it with two 5 million gallon pre-stressed concrete water storage tanks. The original facility has reached the end of its useful life.

Aerial view of Pike tank replacement

SJW Replaces 175,000 Gallon Pike Tank

A major part of SJW’s commitment to provide safe and high-quality drinking water to our customers is the replacement of aging infrastructure. We’re happy to announce the completion of our most recent effort: replacing the Pike Tank in Saratoga.

Mclaughlin well number 1

McLaughlin Well Site Project

 

We have recently completed work on our newest groundwater production station, and will be producing water from this station in the next few weeks. The new groundwater station is located on McLaughlin Avenue, and has been inspected and permitted by the Division of Drinking Water.

Construction work on Hamilton Ave

Main Investments

SJW is constantly working to improve water delivery to our customers. We have over 2,400 miles of main pipelines in its system a year and we renew 24 miles of mains a year.

Two male San Jose Water employees checking a residential fire hydrant

Advanced Leak Detection Program

We currently deploy the Echologics Echoshore-DX cellular fixed leak monitoring system, which uses acoustic technology to locate leaks throughout the system. By placing sensors on fire hydrants, the sounds generated by leaks on pipes up to 12 inches in diameter can be detected and analyzed. Other technologies are used to support our technicians as they pinpoint the location of leaks in the field.

How are my rates set? The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) oversees regulated water companies. This is determined by looking at the costs involved in ensuring safe and reliable water system. Cost involved water supply, infrastructure and overhead.

General Rate Case 2022-2024

All water companies regulated by the CPUC are required to file a General Rate Case (GRC) every three years to ensure that rates accurately reflect the cost of providing service. In the GRC process, the CPUC sets rates to cover the costs of providing water — allowing us to earn a reasonable return on our investment in the water system.

West Valley Construction crew examining pipe to be repaired

System Improvements

San Jose Water is committed to providing safe, high-quality, reliable water. To ensure this, we continually invest in our system and upgrade older infrastructure.

Pipes have a useful life of 100 years or less. We have made a commitment to replace 1% of our system or 24 miles of pipes annually to meet that 100-year turnover. Over the past decade, we have invested more than $1 billion in capital infrastructure on behalf of the communities we serve.

 

Your Rate Dollars at Work: Pike Tank Replacement Project

 

Infrastructure Spotlight: Belgatos Tank