San Rafael, CA – A 43-year old stormwater pump station in unincorporated Tiburon has been rebuilt and upgraded to meet the needs of the upstream communities. The $2.1 million project is another milestone in the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District’s ongoing effort to improve flood mitigation in at-risk areas of Marin County.
The upgraded pump station at the Cove Shopping Center will handle an increased volume of stormwater running into Richardson Bay.
The station, located on the southern perimeter of the Cove Shopping Center, pumps stormwater from the storm drains of nearby communities into East Creek, which then flows out to Richardson Bay. Funding for the project comes from the District’s Flood Control Zone 4
The facility, built in 1976, could pump a maximum of 16,000 gallons of water per minute. The upgrades have increased the capacity to 21,100 gallons per minute and made it compatible with potential future upgrades to the surrounding area’s storm drain system.
The upgrades to the pump station include: three new pumps with improved motors; an improved wet well to increase hydraulic efficiency; a larger and more efficient trash rack to help keep debris out of the pumps; state-of-the art electronics; and an onsite emergency generator to run the station in the event of a loss of electricity, such as during one of Pacific Gas & Electric’s Public Safety Power Shutoff.
Additionally, the building was rebuilt to accommodate all the improvements. The new structure includes seismic upgrades and improved maintenance access panels. Also, the old 36-inch diameter corrugated metal pipe that channeled stormwater into the pump station has been replaced with a 48-inch diameter reinforced concrete pipe. That change creates more flow capacity and is more resistant to deterioration. The station’s three discharge pipes have been fitted with flap gates that will keep eventual sea level rise tidal flows from entering, thereby enabling the facility to potentially serve the surrounding communities for an extended length of service.
Improvement projects like the Cove Pump Station not only reduce flood risk from storms but 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.