Starting in August of 2020, Sandis provided civil engineering and surveying to the San Lorenzo Valley Water District (SLVWD) in an emergency response to the wildfires in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The CZU Lightning Complex Fire burned 86,000 acres, leaving roads closed and 1,185 structures burned in Santa Cruz and San Mateo Counties. All residents in the SLVWD were evacuated, and although many safely returned, they confronted power outages and an uncertain tap water status.
As a result of the CZU Lighting Complex Fire, SLVWD facilities sustained significant facility and operational capacity losses. The water system’s primary damage included intakes and raw water pipelines from the Peavine; Silver; Foreman; Clear Creek 1, 2 and 3; and Sweetwater water intake locations. The Bennett Spring Overflow, Settling Tanks, related piping, and controls were also completely destroyed. The Lyon, Little Lyon, and Big Steel Water Tanks, as well as the Water Treatment Plant with its associated structures, were spared from significant damage but require some minor repair before resuming full operation
To assist SLVWD in temporary restoration and repair of the system, and to begin long-term planning solutions, Sandis performed a Rapid Fire Damage system assessment of 7.5 miles of water pipeline and 7 intakes of the damaged waterlines. More than 50% of the structures assessed were completely destroyed or majorly damaged, while other facilities have heat damage, smoke, or possible contamination. SLVWD worked on emergency repairs to bring the water system back to functioning condition. The next step in restoring the water supply was the reconnection of the Little Lyon and Big Steel Tanks that were destroyed in the fire. Sandis provided expedited design and procurement of construction needed to replace or reroute the rest of the system that became non-operational.
Sandis’ management of recovery efforts included assessment, design, permit, and procurement. Sandis completed the Fire Damage Assessment Report and the on-call services to assist SLVWD in the repair and recovery of the water system. The team provided weekly reporting to the District Manager. Sandis provided development and management task/project schedule and cost model for all recovery efforts. Throughout this project, the Sandis team implemented expedited “best practice” study for longer term system reconstruction. In addition to the recovery of the water system, Sandis provided expedited study and design for watershed protection during winter weather.