Ribbon-cutting celebrates 10-year construction project at San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility


California Construction News staff writer

A ribbon-cutting ceremony held last week showcased the new Headworks facility, the latest milestone of the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility capital improvement program.

The project is the largest public works program in the City of San José’s history with a $2.1 billion, 30-year capital program to modernize the RWF. The RWF has been in operation since 1956, treating wastewater uninterrupted for most of Silicon Valley.

Officials recognized completion of the CIP’s first phase, a 10-year plan launched in 2013, with a budget of $1.4 billion. The CIP has completed 21 projects in this first phase, including the replacement of the Headworks Facility.

As the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) transitions from the first 10-year phase to the next, Stantec will continue to support ESD as program maturity continues and reaches the point where the city can manage the program independently.

“It has been the high point of my career partnering with the City over the past nine years to deliver the CIP. Since the start of the CIP in late 2013, Stantec and the City have made great strides as an integrated team, from conducting a CASA award-winning mobilization effort to committing more than $800 million in projects to date,” said Simon Alder, Stantec vice president and program manager said in a news release earlier this year. “As we look ahead to the opportunities of the next 10 years, our team is looking forward to continuing our partnership with the City and supporting the South Bay community with improved treatment facilities.”

The first step in the wastewater treatment process, the Headworks Facility screens and removes debris and grit to protect downstream equipment and processes. The new Headworks Facility enhances performance and prepares the RWF to handle increased flows due to changing climate conditions and future population growth.

The CIP has won several industry awards:

  • 2021 California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) Resiliency and Innovation Excellence Award
  • 2021 Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) National Award of Merit Water/Wastewater
  • 2022 CASA Organizational Excellence Award


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