Project background

Menlo Park Municipal Water provides water to approximately 17,000 residents and businesses within two service areas:  the lower zone located east of El Camino Real and the upper zone located in the Sharon Heights area near Highway 280. Menlo Park Municipal Water purchases all of its water from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's Hetch Hetchy system. There are no storage facilities or secondary water supplies for the lower zone, and as a result, nearly 3,000 residents and businesses could be without water immediately for an undetermined period if earthquake damage interrupts the availability of the SFPUC supply. Studies indicate that Menlo Park Municipal Water could be without Hetch Hetchy water for as long as 20-30 days while SFPUC repairs the damage.

Project goal

The goal is to provide 3,000 gallons per minute for the lower zone, which can be met by constructing 3 to 4 backup wells.

Design and construction of a backup well consists of three steps:
  1. Environmental review
  2. Well drilling
  3. Construction of the well facility

Well site ranking by tiers

In July 2016, the City entered into an agreement with Infrastructure Engineering Corporation to identify the next two backup well locations, prepare environmental documents, design the wells and provide construction support.

City staff are in the process of reviewing existing data and further analyzing the preliminary well site ranking that was last established in 2013 as shown below. The City will keep the public up-to-date as the project moves forward and will notify residents of upcoming community meetings.   
Tier 1 - Most desirable
  • City Corporation Yard
Tier 2 - Desirable
  • Menlo Park Fire Protection District Station No. 1
Tier 3 - Potentially feasible
  • Willow Oaks Park - 1 site
  • Burgess Park (Burgess/Alma)
  • Burgess Park (Ravenswood)
  • Alma site
Tier 4 - Less feasible
  • Willow Oaks Park - 2 sites
  • Seminary Oaks Park - 2 sites
  • Pope/Laurel site

Past activities

 Date  Activity
January 2013 City Council revises the well site ranking to include two additional sites at Alma Site and Pope/Laurel Site, and initiating public outreach for Tier 2 & 3 sites shown in the revised Well Site Ranking. These sites include Fire Station No. 1, Willow Oaks Park, Burgess Park and Alma Site.
February 2012
Exploratory drilling completed at the City's Corporation Yard on Burgess Drive to determine viability and well productivity
January 2012 Exploratory drilling completed at the City-owned property on Willow Road to determine viability and well production
November 2011 City Council authorized the detailed engineering and hydrogeologic evaluations (drilling exploratory borings) at the City’s Corporation Yard and City-owned property at 878 Pierce Road
August/September 2011 Community Meetings to gather input from the community
October 5, 2010
City Council approves well siting criteria
June 30, 2010 Community Meetings to develop well siting criteria to rank potential sits. Powerpoint presentation
October 2009 City Council approves a study to identify potential well sites.
May 2009 Feasibility analysis completed for the Menlo Park Municipal Water District's eastern service area to determine if wells could provide sufficient water for domestic use and fire flow
November 2008 Consultant's feasibility analysis recommends further analysis of water supply demand for the Menlo Park Municipal Water District's eastern service area to determine if wells could provide sufficient water for domestic use and fire flow
August 2008 City Council approves a preliminary feasibility assessment for wells-only emergency backup water supply system