San Rafael, CA – In the ongoing effort to improve flood mitigation in at-risk areas of Marin County, the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District will be replacing a 43-year-old pump station in unincorporated Tiburon starting this spring. The facility, dubbed Cove Stormwater Pump Station, will be rebuilt and upgraded to meet the needs of the upstream communities.
The planned upgrades at the Cove station would improve pumping capacity from 16,000 gallons per minute to 21,100.
The station, located in the Cove Shopping Center in Tiburon, pumps stormwater from the storm drains of nearby communities into East Creek, which then flows out to Richardson Bay. Originally built in 1976, the facility’s current pumping capacity is 16,000 gallons of water per minute. The planned upgrades will increase the capacity of the station to handle 21,100 gallons per minute, as well as be compatible with potential future upgrades to the surrounding area’s storm drain system.
The $2.2 million project was awarded to the Valentine Corporation of San Rafael in September 2018. Funding for this project comes from the District’s Flood Control Zone 4 budget.
The three new replacement pumps for the station will take up to seven months to be custom built. Valentine is slated to begin construction of the facility in May 2019 and is anticipated to complete it by September 2019.
The upgrades to the pump station include: three new pumps with improved motors, improvements to the station’s wet well to increase hydraulic efficiency, a larger trash rack that will be more efficient in keeping debris out of the pumps, an onsite emergency generator to run the station in the event of a loss of electricity, state-of-the art electronics, and a new building to house it all.
The new building will feature structural improvements that include seismic upgrades and improved maintenance access panels. Also, an existing 36-inch diameter corrugated metal pipe that flows stormwater into the pump station will be replaced with a 48-inch diameter reinforced concrete pipe. This change will allow for more flow capacity and is more resistant to deterioration.
Improvement projects like the Cove Pump Station will not only reduce flood risk from storms but will help prepare the community for future sea level rise impacts. At the urgency of the Marin County Board of Supervisors, the County has prioritized climate change adaptation the past few years and is addressing current and future effects of sea level rise. The Flood Control District is addressing this need by making improvements to flood infrastructure whenever possible and planning specific projects that target the issue. More information on the County’s sea level rise efforts can be found online.