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Alvarado Wastewater Treatment Plant

Cris

Alvarado Wastewater Treatment Plant

A vertical panorama of the plant.

As I begin a new season of photography in South San Francisco Bay I have a list of a couple dozen subjects to visit. Some of these are new requests and some are locations that I photographed in previous years. One interesting request was to photograph the Alvarado Wastewater Treatment Plant in Union City, California. The idea was to document an example of urban infrastructure lying adjacent to the South Bay salt ponds, a relationship made somewhat tense by the prospect of sea level rise and attendant issues of flood control.

Alvarado Wastewater Treatment Plant

A horizontal panorama showing the flats stretching to the Coyote Hills.

On a pleasant Sunday afternoon I was photographing near Salt Pond E7 when I noticed the light over near the water treatment plant was starting to look pretty good. This was late in the day and as a large bank of clouds descended from the north it was clear that the light would soon turn bland. Even with the prospect that the light would fade I pulled my kite down, packed up, and headed toward the plant fingers crossed. Arriving 10 minutes later I went through a speed drill to get the kite and then the camera aloft. I was able to get a few nice images of the plant just as the last few patches of sunlight headed south and my Galen Rowell moment passed. It was then time to pack up and go home.

Alvarado Wastewater Treatment Plant

… and there goes my pool of light.

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