A large 100-year-old tunnel holds the important thing to SF’s water provide

Practically 100 years in the past, males used hand instruments and explosives to dig an enormous tunnel underneath the rolling inexperienced hills of Tuolumne County to move water from the controversial new Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to the quickly rising metropolis of San Francisco.

It was brutal work. Some died within the enterprise and for 2 years in the course of the building interval from 1917 to 1925, employees went on strike because of low wages and poor working situations.

It was actually males with dynamite who blew up the mountain, stated Katie Miller, director of water infrastructure capital applications on the San Francisco Public Utilities Fee.

At the moment, the 19-mile-long Mountain Tunnel is crucial to San Francisco: It is the one path for Hetch Hetchy Reservoir water to journey from one of many energy vegetation producing hydroelectricity to a different reservoir downstream.

Building employees block the doorway to the PriestPortal in Groveland (Tuolumne County) on April 6. The portal is an entry level to the Mountain Tunnel, the 19-mile lengthy tunnel that brings water to San Francisco.

Juliana Yamada/The Chronicle

For 2 consecutive winters, the Mountain Tunnel has been present process renovations after it was first red-flagged for main repairs 30 years in the past. SFPUC has accomplished roughly 40 % of the whole building and plans to shut the tunnel for one more 5 winters, via 2027.

We had been involved that the complete facility was about to break down, and that is our solely water conduit in San Francisco. If we lose this tunnel and it takes greater than six months to rebuild, we can’t have sufficient water domestically. We depend on Hetch Hetchy water to get us to the Bay Space, Miller stated.

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