On Monday, June 19 approximately 40 individuals braved the triple-digit heat to attend the McKinley Water Vault Public Scoping Meeting at Clunie Center in the Sacramento McKinley Park neighborhood. This was the first of a series of meetings the City of Sacramento will hold on the McKinley Park Vault project.
The City of Sacramento is one of only two cities in California that has a combined sewer system. What this means is that the combined system conveys both wastewater and stormwater runoff in a single pipe network.
The combined sewer system serves over 200,000 residents, including residents in Downtown, River Park, Land Park, Curtis Park, Oak Park and East Sacramento neighborhoods.
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During moderate to intense storms the McKinley Park area and surrounding neighborhoods in East Sacramento have experienced significant street flooding when the combined sewer system exceeds capacity. Over the years I have lived in the area I have witnessed street flooding several times. While I have had to smile as neighbors floated in rafts or paddled a canoe down the street – this is a serious issue.
The City’s proposed solution to this problem is the McKinley Water Vault, a storage facility under McKinley Park to help reduce the combined sewer system outflows. The McKinley Water Vault facility is a large cistern that will collect flows during storm events, as needed, and then slowly feed the water back into the combined sewer system for treatment.
The McKinley Water Vault is anticipated to be able to store approximately one million-cubic feet of combined wastewater and stormwater under about 1.5 acres of McKinley Park. The proposed location of the cistern is under the McKinley Park sports fields.
During construction, currently anticipated to start in Spring of 2019 and be completed in late 2020, the McKinley Water Vault would have a three to four-acre footprint. After construction is complete, the area would be returned to its original condition. Permanent related above-ground facilities would occupy about a 50-foot by 50-foot area adjacent to the underground cistern/vault.
Yes, construction will be disruptive. However, once the project is completed it should considerably reduce street flooding, increase public safety and protect private property as well as help the City of Sacramento meet its federal NPDES permit requirements.
As I mentioned to City of Sacramento staff and Councilmember Harris at the Public Scoping Meeting, I do not personally need to be “sold” on the project. In my opinion it is a reasonable solution to a problem that is not going to go away.
Another big plus is that there will be funding available for McKinley Park improvements. The public will have an opportunity to weigh in on what improvements they would like to see made at McKinley Park.
While the McKinley Water Vault Public Scoping Meeting did not include an opportunity for Questions and Answers (Q&A), other than at stations manned by City staff, I am assured that future meetings will include Q&A.
Did you attend the McKinley Water Vault Public Scoping Meeting? What would you add?
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