The Horizontal Levee

A regional solution to the problems of:

  • flood risk from sea rise
  • water quality concerns in the Bay
  • providing key habitat on the Bay’s edge
  • finding an affordable solution

A Horizontal Levee is a re-imagining of how a levee looks and what it can do. Instead of a vertical wall to protect against storm surges, a horizontal levee uses vegetation on a slope to break waves. The ecosystems that live on horizontal levees can thrive while helping to further process waste water from treatment plants. For a more in depth overview, read the Oro Loma and Castro Valley Sanitary Districts to Test Experimental Levee brochure, or the Save The Bay Horizontal Levee Report.

Does the Horizontal Levee Work? See the Research

“The challenges of modernizing our institutions to handle these multi-benefit projects are more complex that the science or engineering of designing and building them. If this small experimental project succeeds, it will help convince people that the extra effort required to make it compliant with the patchwork of regulations out there, or to use pots of money that normally are reserved for other purposes, may be worth it. Oro Loma has been a wonderful partner on the project.

– David Sedlak
Professor, University of California Berkeley

“Responding to sea level rise in an environmentally friendly way is a decent win; but it can be a grand slam if it succeeds in addressing the water quality, flooding and habitat loss problems we face on our shorelines all at once.”

– Jason Warner
General Manager, Oro Loma Sanitary District

“If we’re going to ask ratepayers to ante up, it’s time to look at all options. Maybe treatment is good enough now that instead of piping wastewater into outfalls in 30 feet of Bay water, we can run it through wetlands. Rather than spending $50 million to rehabilitate our outfall, I’d rather spring for something where we can see the benefits right on our shore”

– Michael Connor
General Manager, East Bay Dischargers Authority

Alex Horne, UC Berkeley, Professor Emeritus

Bill Quirk, California Assembly Member District 20

David Lewis, Save the Bay, Executive Director

Tim Becker, Oro Loma Sanitary District, President

Bruce Wolfe, San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board

Jeremy Lowe, SF Estuary Institute, Sea Level Rise Prog Mgr

Mike Connor, East Bay Dischargers Authority, General Mgr.

Bob Wieckowski, California Senator District 10

Horizontal Levee Research and Activities

Volunteer Planting Day Video

Horizontal Levee Research Review Video with Dr. David Sedlak, UC Berkeley

Native Plant Nursery Relocation with Save The Bay

Important Numbers

(510) 276-4700 Oro Loma Sanitary District Office 24/7 Emergency Response

(510) 613-8710 Waste Management of Alameda County

(877) STOPWASTE Alameda County Recycling Hotline

(800) 606-6606 Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste

Our Facilities

Oro Loma Facility Tour Video

Watch Our Virtual Tour!

See what happens inside a Wastewater Treatment Plant and how we protect the San Francisco Bay.

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