SURFACE WATER PIPELINE: A contractor is building this line under Howard and Russell fields to deliver a new water supply to the campus. The water will come from the Sacramento River by way of a new treatment plant that also serves Woodland and the city of Davis.
The pipeline work across the northern edge of campus is being done with minimal above-ground disturbance. Construction activities are most likely to affect the campus in about three weeks (mid-August) in front of the Cowell Building on California Avenue. That’s when and where the contractor will connect the new pipeline to the existing campus water distribution system.
Preparations are underway for the flushing of existing water lines in advance of the introduction of the new water supply. Utilities staff are “exercising” some of the campus’s 1,000-plus valves — focusing on the core campus — essentially turning them off and on to make sure they’re working properly before the flushing truck arrives Aug. 1. Instead of opening fire hydrants and letting water gush out, the flushing crew will do its work with almost zero water loss. At each flushing location, water will flow from a fire hydrant, through a hose to a set of filters, then through another hose into a different hydrant — thus going back into the water system. The filters will capture sediment and corrosion debris that might be present in the pipelines.
The flushing crew will focus on areas where pipelines are made of cast iron pipe that is more prone to corrosion. Flushing may result in reddish or cloudy water coming from taps for short periods. If at any point you have concerns with the water (e.g., odors, red hue, poor taste), contact the Facilities Management Customer Support Center by phone, (530) 752-1655, or email.
ARBORETUM WATERWAY: Campus staff lowered the water level a couple of feet last week in preparation for Phase 1 of a maintenance and enhancement project.
“We wanted to be ready for potential contractor questions like, ‘How long will it take the project area to drain’ and ‘How long will the soil take to dry,’” said Andrew Fulks, assistant director of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. “That information is going to affect the bids we receive and the timeline of the project.”
Bids are due Aug. 4 for Phase 1, between Lake Spafford and the east end of the waterway.
Construction preparations also include cleaning up vegetation along the banks of the waterway in the project zone. “We want to make sure that we provide places for contractors to get in and out of the project zone without damaging heritage shrubs and trees,” said Emily Griswold, director of GATEways horticulture and teaching gardens for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.