Ready for El Niño: Richmond’s new wastewater storage tank set for ribbon-cutting Tuesday

EBMUD provides update on water storage for the East Bay following rains

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday will celebrate $16.5 million in upgrades to Richmond’s wastewater treatment plant, which includes a new five million gallon storage tank that will prevent sewage overflows during extreme rainfall and system backups.

The project, completed Nov. 7, includes a new pumping station, pipeline and storage tank on the site of the existing wastewater treatment plant at 601 Canal Blvd., according to a statement from the Office of Richmond Mayor Tom Butt.

Its completion comes just in time, as weather experts predict this year could be one of the strongest El Niño events in recorded history, threatening heavy rainfall and flooding.

Prior to constructing the wet weather storage facilities, Richmond’s wastewater treatment plant was overwhelmed during heavy, daylong periods of rainfall, leading to certain sewage overflows into the Richmond Inner Harbor, according to the city. Those overflows will no longer happen, the city says.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the wastewater treatment plant. Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, councilmembers and plant operators plan to attend.