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D3: Sediment Reuse to Support Restoration Projects

About This Project

This project reuses local sediment removed through Valley Water’s Stream Maintenance Program, capital projects and other local sources to create and restore tidal marsh, riparian or wetland habitats. Sediment may be reused to support the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration project or other environmental enhancement and restoration projects. Valley Water removes sediment from streams to maintain their capacity to carry floodwaters. To secure environmentally appropriate reuse sites, partnership agreements may be required. This project also funds site improvements necessary to facilitate sediment delivery to the reuse sites.

Beneficial reuse of sediment has become a key component in tidal marsh, riparian or wetland restoration around the bay and throughout the county. As sea levels rise, natural sedimentation and vegetation rates cannot keep up and tidal zones are in danger of being submerged, erasing environmental gains from restoration work. By delivering clean sediment from local creeks that would have naturally flowed into the San Francisco or Monterey Bays, this project accelerates natural marsh-building processes and helps to keep up with sea-level rise. Activities necessary for sediment reuse may include testing, transport, cover material, and site improvements required for access.

*This project was voter approved as part of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.

Sediment Reused Build along Maintenance Road at Pond A8
On Target
Start FY 2022 / Finish FY 2036
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($4.1 million)
News and UpdatesNews and Updates
Reports and DocumentsReports and Documents
Environmental and Community BenefitsEnvironmental and Community Benefits
History and BackgroundHistory and Background
News & Updates

Project Modification: January 2023

On January 24, 2023, the Valley Water Board (Board) held a formal public hearing and approved modifying KPI #1 “Reuse sediment meeting applicable screening criteria at available Valley Water or partnership project sites to support restoration.” Valley Water had been delivering sediment to Salt Pond A8 of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project (SBSPRP) via an agreement with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). However, Salt Pond A8 has received 100% of the material needed for the ecotone habitat that was designed and permitted as part of SBSPRP. Valley Water had paused sediment delivery to Pond A8 in July 2022. The KPI was modified to support continued sediment reuse for restoration purposes beyond SBSPRP. The Board also adjusted the project’s name, description, and benefits in alignment with the modification.

These adjustments and modifications are incorporated into this webpage above (title, description) and in the Environmental & Community Benefits section (KPIs, benefits).

Valley Water explored other opportunities and identified the prospect of delivering sediment for Valley Water’s Pond A4 Resilient Habitat Restoration Project (Pond A4). This new multi-benefit project is designed to create habitat for threatened and endangered species and promote community flood resilience by constructing wetland and transitional habitat at the southern boundary of Pond A4. Construction access improvements are anticipated to be completed in 2024, with sediment delivery beginning in 2025.

In the past, because of the higher standards required to meet criteria under the new Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP), Valley Water was unable to find enough soil that met the foundation criteria and even less for cover, thus limiting Valley Water’s ability to deposit the soil at Pond A8. SBSPRP, USFWS, and Valley Water are working with the Regional Water Quality Control Board to modify the criteria for reuse material. As a part of that effort, Valley Water continued to test the sediment removed to ensure consistent sediment quality data was available. Valley Water staff will consult with RWQCB to develop a site-specific QAPP for Pond A4.

 Fiscal Year 2023-2024 (FY24), Quarter 1 (July 1, 2023 – September 30, 2023)

  • Through Q1 of FY24, all sediment removal projects were tested in the hopes that the soil could be utilized at Pond A8 to provide erosion protection for the closed landfill, a one time effort to address minor storm damage of previous winter. However, due to the current sediment testing requirements, all tested soil failed to meet the criteria for re-use, as foundation or cover.
  • The Pond A4 Resilient Habitat Restoration Project, which was approved by the Board in April 2023, is expected to have Pond A4 serve as an alternate location for sediment reuse starting in FY25. Field geotechnical investigation was started in September to support the preliminary design effort. The current goal is to complete necessary access improvement and staging area construction by next summer so that sediment delivery to Pond A4 could be possible by October 2024.


October 2023


For more information:

Reports & Documents

No current documents. 

Environmental & Community Benefits

FY22-36 Key Performance Indicators for the Safe, Clean Water Program

  1. Reuse sediment meeting applicable screening criteria at available Valley Water or partnership project sites to support restoration. 

  2. Provide up to $4 million per 15-year period to support activities necessary for sediment reuse.


  • Accelerates progress of important tidal wetland restoration projects, including tidal marsh, wetland, and riparian habitat

  • Reduces disposal costs for sediment that has been removed from local channels 

  • Reduces disposal of clean fill into local landfills

  • Addresses climate change

Geographic Area of Benefit



    History & Background

    About the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program

    In November 2020, voters in Santa Clara County overwhelmingly approved Measure S, a renewal of Valley Water’s Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.

    The program was first passed by voters in 2000 as the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan, then again in 2012 as the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program. The renewal of the Safe, Clean Water Program will continue to provide approximately $47 million annually for local projects that deliver safe, clean water, natural flood protection, and environmental stewardship to all the communities we serve in Santa Clara County.

    While evaluating ways to improve the 2012 program, Valley Water gathered feedback from more than 21,000 community members. That helped Valley Water create the six priorities for the renewed Safe, Clean Water Program, which are:

    Priority A: Ensure a Safe, Reliable Water Supply

    Priority B: Reduce Toxins, Hazards and Contaminants in our Waterways

    Priority C: Protect our Water Supply and Dams from Earthquakes and Natural Disasters

    Priority D: Restore Wildlife Habitat and Provide Open Space

    Priority E: Provide Flood Protection to Homes, Businesses, Schools, Streets and Highways

    Priority F: Support Public Health and Public Safety for Our Community

    Each year, Valley Water prepares a report providing a progress update for each of these program priorities, along with fiscal year accomplishments.

    To ensure transparency and accountability to the voters, the ballot measure also created an Independent Monitoring Committee, appointed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors. The Independent Monitoring Committee annually reviews the program’s progress to ensure the outcomes are achieved in a cost-efficient manner and reports its findings to the Board. Additionally, the IMC also reviews each proposed 5-year implementation plan prior to its submittal for Board approval.

    In addition, the program requires three independent audits.

    View the Safe, Clean Water Program’s annual reports, annual IMC audit reports, and independent audits, including a staff response, on the Valley Water website.