Project background

Menlo Park Municipal Water (MPMW) 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. MPMW purchases all of its water from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's (SFPUC) 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 or other emergency interrupts the availability of the SFPUC supply. Studies indicate that MPMW could be without 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 2 to 3 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

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.

Well site ranking by tiers (January 2013)

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
July 2016 City Council approves an agreement with Infrastructure Engineering Consultants for $1,607,450 to identify the next two backup well locations, prepare environmental documents, design the wells and provide construction support. Staff Report and Minutes
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. Staff Report and Minutes
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. Staff Report and Minutes
August/September 2011 Community Meetings to gather input from the community
October 5, 2010
City Council approves well siting criteria. Staff Report and Minutes
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. Staff Report and Minutes
May 2009 Feasibility analysis completed for the Menlo Park Municipal Water'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'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. Staff Report and Minutes