Skip to main content

Utility functions in Berkeley

We are moving. One of the pre-move tasks is to cancel our utility services: broadband cable, water, gas and electricity. In the course of doing so, I remembered a post at Pruned about the utility landscape of Chicago. Pruned editor Alexander Trevi challenged me to write a similar entry about Berkeley. Here goes.

The gross stuff first. My wastewater (sewage too?) gets treated in Oakland. The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) treats the wastewater of its East Bay customers at its Oakland plant which is located near the Bay Bridge.

My drinking water (this water is also used for non-drinking purposes) is supplied by EBMUD. The utility's "water supply system begins at the Mokelumne River watershed and extends 90 miles to the East Bay." I drink the water straight from the tap. Fire stations, downtown, and the University of California receive water from a local reservoir, the Berryman Reservoir on Euclid Avenue. The university's first drinking water supply was acquired by damming Strawberry Creek in the late 1800s.

Pacific Gas & Electric substation on Hearst Avenue

AT&T substation on Bancroft Avenue

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) supplies my electricity and Comcast my broadband cable. I could not find a location list for PG&E or Comcast substations, but I think there is a PG&E substation in my neighborhood, on Telegraph between Blake and Dwight. The substation is housed in a charming brick building. The PG&E substation on Hearst is also in an architecturally pleasing building whereas AT&T attempted to create an interesting contribution to the streetscape with a decorated facade in front of a plain building.

Berkeley's old landfill is now a popular park on the waterfront, Cesar Chavez Park. I'm embarrassed to write that I don't know where my trash ends up. I do know that the city contracts with the Ecology Center for curbside recycling Services. More research to be done and maybe I can write a similar entry for the next place I call home.


Anonymous said…

My name is Barbara O’ Brien and my blogging at The Mahablog, Crooks and Liars, AlterNet, and elsewhere on the progressive environmental and political blogophere has earned me the notoriety of being a panelist at the Yearly Kos Convention and a featured guest blogger at the Take Back America Conference in Washington, DC.

I’m contacting you to tell you about my newest blogging platform —the environmental concern of Asbestos Litigation Blog at —where I am looking at critical issues in new light. Our shared concerns include asbestos contamination of the environment, but they also include corporate accountability, consumer product safety, environmentally safe workplaces, and green public policies.

So drop by for a visit at Give us a link on your site to help spread this important information. Blogroll us, and we’ll blogroll you back. I’m also available for guest blogging on your site. Please contact me back, I hope to hear from you soon.


Barbara O’Brien