#ELGLKnope: Redwood City, CA vs. North Chicago, IL

Posted on March 3, 2021

redwood city north chicago

It’s time to vote in the #ELGLKnope Round of 32! Read about this matchup, and then submit your vote! One vote per email address, please. We’ll tally the votes and will post the next round of matchups on Tuesday!

Vote! Vote! Vote!

silicon valley

Silicon Valley Clean Water

Redwood City, California 94065

  • Three words to describe Silicon Valley Clean Water: Innovative, Sustainable, Cool!
  • Why are you nominating Silicon Valley Clean Water: Silicon Valley Clean Water (SVCW) is an amazing organization that treats the wastewater for the Cities of Belmont, Redwood City and San Carlos and the West Bay Sanitary District, serving over 200,000 residents and businesses on the San Francisco Bay Peninsula.
    The thing that sets SVCW apart from others nominated for this award is Teresa Herrera, the woman behind the veil of wastewater treatment. Under her leadership as Manager of SVCW, Teresa oversees the RESCU program {svcw-rescu.org}, which includes building a new gravity pipeline using a tunnel boring machine (TBM), and seven internal divisions. As the first woman Manager of SVCW, Teresa brings experience, dedication and hard work as an engineer to the wastewater treatment plant. As Manager, Teresa encourages innovative projects that improve sustainability, efficacy of wastewater treatment, and above all, safety.

    The one-of-a-kind TBM has received multiple funding awards through the EPA totally over $300 million. This monumental project includes 11 different sub-projects, and will upgrade and rehabilitate the region’s wastewater conveyance system. Through a collaboration with Stanford University, SVCW piloted a program, called SAF-MBR {svcw.org/sustainability/innovation/new-technology}, to innovate the anaerobic digestion process that results in a finished product called biosolids {svcw.org/sustainability/innovation/solids-management-2} and methane gas. The methane gas is then used to produce electricity to run the plant’s equipment. The plant also began a pilot project with Tesla and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to install batteries {svcw.org/news/4469}. This past year, during the pandemic, SVCW successfully received approval from PG&E to export energy generated at the treatment plant back into the power grid. Not only can SVCW now export energy generated at the treatment plant, but the plant’s 1,040 kW Energy Storage System using Tesla batteries will now store energy at night when demand for energy is low.

    One of the most amazing about SVCW is their commitment to safety. To date, SVCW has had ZERO work loss accidents for 770 days straight!! Over two years without an accident! Not only that, but operations continued when the pandemic hit last March with modified, stringent health safety protocols. They have not stopped working, treating the region’s wastewater, innovating, and providing excellent service.

    As we all know, Leslie Knope believes in the people behind the desk and their passion to do their jobs at the best of their ability. Teresa Herrera and her team at SVCW absolutely embody Leslie’s drive and passion for wastewater treatment and deserve the Knope Award.

north chicago

North Chicago Lakefront Water Plant

North Chicago, Illinois 60064

  • Three words to describe North Chicago Lakefront Water Plant: Vital, Pure, Essential
  • Why are you nominating North Chicago Lakefront Water Plant: The North Chicago Lakefront Water Plant provides several million gallons of water a day to residents and businesses – including industry bioscience and pharmaceutical leaders of Abbott and AbbVie.  The highly focused research-driven biopharmaceutical company, AbbVie, uses our water in and for the production of life-saving medicines used throughout the world.  In addition to two Fortune 100 pharmaceutical leaders, our water customers include a medical school, a bioscience incubation site, and numerous other bioscience corporations.  The North Chicago Lakefront Water Plant also serves as the back-up water supply to the only US Naval training center in the world, Naval Station Great Lakes.  The plant has been in service since 1929 but has gone through a complete renovation to use state-of-the-art technology to bring fresh and safe water to those who depend on it.
  • Anything else to share? During the height of the COVID pandemic, the North Chicago Water Plant employees were prepared to quarantine on-site to ensure there was the manpower to keep providing North Chicago a supply of fresh water.


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