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Distributing Water to the Greater East Bay Area

March 14, 2023

A project Con J. Franke Electric recently completed in El Sobrante, CA included the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD)'s Maloney Pumping Plant and Sobrante Water Treatment Plant.

Providing Reliable Operation of Water Distribution Systems

Led by Project Manager, Erik Niewald, the project started in Sep 2019 and completed in Feb 2023.

Valued at $18.6 million, the project included upgrades to 12kV electrical utility services and 480V electrical distribution systems for two vital systems providing water to the Greater East Bay Area communities.

Under the direction of Foreman Sean Rode, Con J. Franke installed two prefabricated, medium-voltage power distribution buildings complete with utility metering, auto-throwover switching, and customer-owned overhead intertie between two critical water treatment plants for East Bay Municipal Utility District. The project also included interconnection of redundant backup generators (rated between 750kW and 2,000kW) with automated transfer switching via EBMUD’s distributed control system (DCS).

Overall, this project enabled EBMUD to feed two separate facilities with triple-redundant power, providing stable and reliable operation of their water distribution system to hundreds of thousands of customers.

Sobrante Water Treatment Plant

At the Sobrante Water Treatment Plant, Con J. Franke was responsible for the new 12kV power building, as well as replacing critical 480V switchgear, including DC battery system, DCS control panels, and low-voltage lighting and power panels. Overall site work included the installation of new underground manholes and duct banks, overhead power poles, and fiber optic network cabling throughout the plant.

The challenges faced included working in an operating plant that provides critical public health and safety services to the area's customers, meaning that continuity of operations was essential. Con J. Franke and EBMUD engineered innovative approaches, allowing the plant to continue operations by using timed and scheduled partial shutdowns and temporary power connections while critical equipment was removed and replaced.

Maloney Pumping Plant

At the Maloney Pumping Plant site, Con J. Franke and Flatiron (General Contractor) refurbished the Maloney and Greenridge Pumping (distribution) systems as well as the La-Honda Rate Control System. This included the systemic replacement of three 4160V pumps/motors for Maloney and four 480V pumps/motors for Greenridge.

Con J. Franke and Flatiron constructed a parallel electrical system, operating separate but concurrently, with the plant's existing electrical system from a new PG&E service thru a new 12kV prefabricated power building. Once in place, Con J. Franke and Flatiron conducted a systemic migration of critical systems from the old electrical system to the new while also replacing motors, valving, instrumentation, and distribution piping.

New electrical work in the Maloney Pumping Plant also included fiber optic network cabling, instrumentation, DCS controls hardware, medium-voltage motor starters, medium-voltage switchgear and a 2Mw generator.

Expertise, Experience, and Teamwork Lead to Success

Through Con J. Franke's expertise and experience, coupled with an amazing team at EBMUD and Flatiron, the major challenges of this highly technical project were met with great success.

This project is a prime example of how Con J. Franke is the region's premier electrical contractor in the Water/Wastewater industry.