Public Works

Who we are and what we do

Business Goals


  • Improve livability through sustainable practices for cleaning and maintaining parks, trees, and facilities;

  • Maintain the City’s infrastructure to meet current and future needs of our neighborhoods, support development, and reduce the City’s exposure to liability;

  • Create a sustainable City through implementing green buildings, renewable energy and efficiency projects, alternative fueled vehicles, and recycling/solid waste services;

  • Leverage existing resources by seeking grants, public private partnerships, and by enhancing volunteerism and sponsorship opportunities;

  • Foster collaborative opportunities with other agencies and individuals to improve service delivery; and

  • Continue focusing on high-quality service and customer satisfaction to be the “provider of choice” for our customers.

BUREAUS/DIVISIONS

Bureau of Administration

Administration supports the Public Works core functions by providing management, administration, fiscal services, human resources support, business and information analysis, safety program, regulatory compliance, and public information.

Fiscal Services Division

The Fiscal Services division processes over 25,000 financial transaction annually, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, reimbursements, and general ledger adjustments. They are also responsible for managing the department’s budget from development through implementation and reporting.

Human Resources Division

The Human Resources division manages the recruitment, hiring, payroll, separation and employee relations for the department’s personnel. It also manages the disciplinary process for any violations of City policies, procedures, and administrative instructions. This division works hand in hand with Human Resources Management Department (HRMD) and the Employee Relations and Risk Management Divisions.

Safety & Training Unit

The Safety and Training programs aggressively addresses and improves issues of employee safety and training needs. Reduces worker’s compensation claims, increases the number of employees returning to work, and decreasing the amount of exposure and liability to the city. Activities within the program include training in sound safety and health practices, developing and enforcing safety and health rules, and investigating every accident promptly and thoroughly to determine cause and implement proper measures to prevent recurrence. This program works closely with the City Attorney’s Office, the City’s Risk Management Division and the third-party administrator.

Business Information and Analytics Division

The Business Information and Analytics division (BIAD) manages our departments’ data analytics. In close coordination with ITD, BIAD manages Cityworks, SeeClickFix, OPW/DOT implementations of Accela, and ArcGIS. This division also produces reporting used to track compliance and performance metrics.

Communications Division

The Communications Division within Oakland Public Works creates all internal and external communication. They craft the messages that are released to the public regarding upcoming engagement opportunities and project in their area that may require outreach due to disruptions. The division also develops and executes our internal communications strategies to keep OPW employees informed of important information within the department.

Regulatory Compliance

This unit provides planning, intra-departmental coordination, program development and implementation, and regulatory oversight to ensure the City’s compliance with applicable federal, state, and local regulatory requirements pertaining to the City’s sanitary sewer system. It also provides technical consultation and functional direction to Public Works divisions and departments engaged in planning, reporting, and compliance activities, and coordinates and performs internal auditing and compliance investigations of the City’s sewer system.

Bureau of Design and Construction

The Bureau provides project management, construction management, capital contracts, and design services for the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The CIP focuses on Capital Improvements to the City’s critical infrastructure in six asset categories, Buildings & Facilities, Parks & Open Space, Transportation, Sanitary Sewers & Wastewater, Storm Drains & Watershed and Technology. The Bureau also support other City Departments (Library, Parks and Recreation, Fire, Police, etc.) as liaisons for the Capital Improvement Program and project implementation. The Bureau also focuses on providing infrastructure engineering and infrastructure management support of stormwater and sewer facilities. The function also ensures regulatory compliance with Federal, State, and Local Agencies for Sewer, Stormwater, and Watershed through reporting and interactions with regulators.

Wastewater Engineering Management Division

The City of Oakland has 934 miles of City-owned and operated sanitary sewer pipes, seven pump stations, and over 28,554 manholes and structures. Most of Oakland’s sewer system is greater than 50 years old. During wet-weather events, sewer flows are significantly increased due to infiltration and inflow (I/I) of storm water into the sanitary sewer system. The Sewer Service Charge that is collected from all properties pays for the operating and capital expenses incurred to maintain the system. The sanitary sewer collection system is a network of pipes, manholes, clean-outs, pump stations, and other structures used to collect residential, commercial, and industrial wastewater, and transport it to the East Bay Municipal Utility (EBMUD) treatment facility. The City of Oakland’s sanitary sewer system is a collection system only. Sewage treatment and disposal occurs at the EBMUD Treatment Facility near the Bay Bridge and two other facilities; Oakport Wet-Weather Facility and San Antonio Creek Wet-Weather Facility.

Watershed & Stormwater Management Division

The City’s storm water infrastructure includes more than 402 miles of pipe that range from 6” to 98” in diameter, including trash collection devices such as Vortex Units, 15,000 structures, and over 80 miles of open creek. The majority of the City’s storm water infrastructure was constructed over 80 years ago. Since that time, very little to no upgrading of the system has taken place. Much of the system has long suffered from inadequate resources leading to increasing instances of flooding, erosion, and property damage. Additionally, the City of Oakland is subject to storm water quality regulations (Municipal Regional Permit - MRP) that mandates the City implement numerous programs including : New development and redevelopment permitting and enforcement, Industrial and commercial site inspections, enforcement, and control, Illicit discharge detection and elimination, Construction site inspections, enforcement, and controls, Public information and outreach, Water quality monitoring, Trash load reduction, Mercury, PCBs, copper and legacy pesticide, PBDE, and selenium controls and Development of plans for implementation of green infrastructure. The City of Oakland has no fund source dedicated to managing storm water or for water quality compliance. Without a dedicated source of funding for ongoing maintenance, capital improvements, and water quality efforts the existing storm water system will continue to deteriorate, damage related to flooding and infrastructure failure will increase and compliance with water quality regulations will be jeopardized. An average annual investment of $20 to $25 million is needed for storm water system capital projects and maintenance and for water quality compliance.


Capital Contract Services Division

Capital Contracts administers the execution and solicitation of a variety of Capital Improvement Project Contracts (construction, consultant, and on-call) to support the delivery the Capital Improvement Program. In this current budget cycle, the division has processed approximately 275 unique contracts and task orders equating to $122M in contracting. This division is responsible for implementing processes to ensure Federal, State, and Local requirements are being met for contracting. They also administer the development and solicitation of RFP/RFQs and bidding and awarding of construction contracts.


Construction Management Division

The department manages the construction of all the City’s major Capital Improvement Projects These construction projects are authorized, programed, and funded through the Capital Improvement Program. Construction Management supports an active City Capital Improvement Program Portfolio of 77 Projects and $223M in Capital Improvements. In this past budget cycle, 28 projects totaling approximately $40 million were successfully completed. In addition, there are 40 active construction projects in construction which value at approximately $140 million. Finally, due to delays affected by COVID-19, approximately 30 more projects totaling about $60 million are slated to begin by end of this budget cycle.

Project and Grants Management Division

The staff implements and manages capital improvement projects in support of all City departments. Capital projects span across many types of improvements including buildings/facilities (i.e. libraries, police and fire facilities, recreation centers, pools, etc.), parks and open spaces, and sport fields. Capital projects are implemented in accordance with all applicable codes, ordinances, and policies such as the City’s planning policies, building codes, Green Building/LEED policy, Bay Friendly Landscape policy, ADA standards, and environmental and sustainability programs. Grant Management involves the identification of grant opportunities, preparation of grant applications, implementation of grant programs, fund reimbursement, and all other tasks necessary to meet the standards and conditions of various funding agencies. Capital project fund sources vary from State Park grant programs, local fund measures such as Measure WW East Bay Regional Park Bond, Measure DD City of Oakland bond, Measure KK City of Oakland Infrastructure Bond and partnerships with non-profit organizations.

Bureau of Maintenance & Internal Services

Facilities Services Division

Through the Facilities Services Division (FSD), Oakland Public Works provides custodial services, security, preventative and general maintenance to approximately 300 City-owned buildings (estimated 2.5 million square feet) ranging in size from the Police Administration Building (147,900 sq. ft.) to the FROG Park restroom (40 sq. ft.). FSD has also served as the lead in managing the City’s efforts to secure PPE and supplies, sanitize City vehicles and facilities, and otherwise ensure safe and healthy working environments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Council allocated $1.25 million in Minor Capital Improvement Project (MCIP) funding for minor capital improvement repairs, which has recently been reduced to $1.0 million, This funding is used to perform proactive building maintenance, i.e., roofing replacement and repairs, facility painting, repair and replacement of building HVAC systems equipment, electrical upgrades and other required maintenance on all City-owned facilities that exceeds normal routine maintenance covered through O&M. The current backlog of unperformed MCIP projects and repair needs at City Facilities for each year is estimated at $2.5 - $3M and the reduction of MCIP funds is expected to escalate the backlog accumulation. This will result in further decline of facility conditions and likely result in more costly repairs in the future.

Equipment Services Division

The City of Oakland owns and operates 1,575 vehicles and major pieces of equipment used to provide emergency, health and safety, and mission essential support to the citizens and businesses of Oakland. The City’s fleet has been increased by over 100 vehicles in in the past two years while staffing levels have remained relatively consistent. A full-time City staff of 55 mechanics, service workers, technicians, and administrative staff completing over 13,000 vehicle service and repair work orders keep the City’s aging fleet at an 91% availability rate. The average fleet vehicle is 10.7 years old which is more than twice the 5.2-year replacement age recommended by the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA). Currently, over 55% of City vehicles are over the NAFA recommended replacement age. A continued investment in regular replacement cycles for equipment will increase availability, reduce total operating costs, and reduce the fleet's carbon footprint.

Sanitary Sewer & Drainage Maintenance Division

The City of Oakland operates and maintains a Sanitary Sewer System consisting of 934 miles of City-owned and operated sewer pipes, eleven pump stations, and over 28,554 manholes and other structures. The sanitary sewer collection system is the network of pipes, manholes, clean-outs, pump stations, and other structures used to collect residential, commercial, and industrial wastewater, and transport it to the East Bay Municipal Utility (EBMUD) treatment facility and is maintained and repaired by the Sewer Maintenance Division. Most of Oakland’s sewer system is greater than 50 years old. During wet-weather events, sewer flows are significantly increased due to infiltration and inflow (I/I) of storm water into the sanitary sewer system leading to sewer spills. Conditions such as ground movement, tree root intrusion, quality of material, and other factors can also cause sewer spills and significantly decrease the service-life of sewer pipes and manholes. The Sewer Maintenance Division responds to and remediates sewer spills, clears obstructions in the sewer system, and cleans, inspects, and performs preventive maintenance and minor repairs to the sanitary sewer system. In 2014, the City and the US EPA, along with other East Bay communities, agreed on a landmark 22-year sewer consent decree requiring at a minimum that the entire system is cleaned on a five year cycle (with annual progress check-ins and reporting) and the entire system is inspected with CCTV equipment on a 10 year cycle (with annual progress check-ins and reporting) with the stated goals of reducing sanitary sewer overflows and decreasing wet-weather flows into EBMUD facilities.

Bureau of Environment

Keep Oakland Clean & Beautiful

The Keep Oakland Clean and Beautiful program maintains and enhances the cleanliness, health, and appearance of City streets and neighborhoods. Activities include more than 31,000 annual requests for removal of illegal dumping; abatement of over 100 homeless encampments annually; removal of 800,000 sq. ft. of graffiti; support for volunteer cleanup and beautification events; special events support; and street sweeping of 614 routes monthly to improve the quality of life for Oakland residents and comply with Clean Water regulations.


Parks and Tree Services

Oakland Public Works provides landscape maintenance, litter removal for 134 parks and public spaces. This includes two region-serving parks, nine community parks, 53 neighborhood parks, 15 special use parks, 26 athletic fields, plus many mini-parks, linear parks, and public grounds. There are another 1,055 acres of Resource Conservation Area (open space) primarily in the Oakland hills. Approximately 100 landscaped medians and streetscapes are also included in the City's park maintenance responsibility along with grounds at City facilities. Oakland is known for its green tree canopy; the 100-year-old Jack London Oak tree symbolizes our commitment to being a Green City. The urban forest maintained by OPW consists of over 250,000 trees of which 42,642 are street trees (per the 2008 Sidewalk Survey) plus trees found in public parks, medians, streetscapes, and within the street right-of-way, the exact number has not been quantified.


Environmental Services Division

Environmental Services leads OPW efforts in the protection of Oakland’s natural resources and the improvement to health of our community, through programs that focus on energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy sources, pollution prevention, environmental cleanup and restoration, waste reduction and recycling, and promotion of environmental sustainability.

Environmental Services is dedicated to promoting community climate action and enhancing energy efficiency in and maintaining environmental compliance for municipal facilities; conducting environmental assessment and cleanup of open spaces, rights-of-way, waterways and development projects; managing franchise contracts that provide Oakland residences and businesses with weekly trash, compost and recycling services in pursuit of Oakland’s Zero Waste goals; and implementing broad-based sustainability projects throughout the community.

ORGANIZATIONAL CHART

SERVICE INVENTORY

External Services

Sewer Maintenance

Oakland Public Works (OPW) owns, maintains, and operates the City of Oakland’s Sewer Collection System which includes sewer mains, sewer structures, and pump stations. Maintenance of Sewer Collection System includes reducing sewer overflows; televise, inspect, and clean sewers; inspect and maintain sewer pump stations; and inspect and replace sewer maintenance hole covers.


Private Sewer Lateral Program

OPW manages the Private Sewer Lateral Program and provides inspections for Private Sewer Lateral Permits from private residences, distributes notices of abatement to property owners with broken or improper connections, and coordinates with the Sewer Maintenance Division to address public complaints related to private sewer laterals.


Regulatory Compliance

OPW is responsible for ensuring that the City follows the Environmental Protection Act's Federal Consent Decree mandates and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) discharge permit.


Sanitary Sewer Design

The Sanitary Sewer Design section responds to public complaints and coordinates the repair of sanitary sewer infrastructure, reviews infrastructure permits, and projects related to development and assesses the sewer mitigation fee for applicants.


Watershed and Stormwater Management

OPW implements components of the City of Oakland Creek Protection Ordinance (O.M.C. Chapter 13.16) such as providing review and technical input on Creek Protection Permit applications and CEQA documents, conducting creek determinations, and responding to public inquiries regarding flooding, erosion, watershed health and resources, discharges to the storm drain system, creeks, and/or waterways, or other stormwater- or watershed-related matters. OPW also manages stormwater-related capital projects including creek and wetland restoration, green stormwater infrastructure, and storm drainpipes and structures. OPW provides storm drainage master planning efforts to inventory, update, and plan management efforts for the City's separate municipal storm drainage system. OPW facilitates implementation of the City's Municipal Regional Stormwater NPDES Permit (MRP) (Order No. R2-2015-0049) that regulates the discharge of stormwater to the City's storm drain system and includes prescriptive provisions regarding the prevention of non-stormwater discharges and discharge volume limitations.


Regional Coordination & Participation for Wastewater Collection System

OPW coordinates communications, negotiations, and joint planning or activities between the City of Oakland and the EPA/Regional Water Board, Consent Decree Defendants, and community interests.


Permit Issuance for Temporary Storm Drain Discharge

OPW administers Temporary Storm Drain Discharge Permits for projects that wish to pump uncontaminated storm or ground water into the City's storm drain system.


Park Services

OPW provides core functions to ensure safe and well-maintained city parks, trails and other city owned landscape assets. Functions include landscape, lawn, ballfield, and irrigation maintenance, installation, and repair.


Tree Services

OPW provides core functions to manage the City's urban forest by prioritizing tree work such as hazardous tree removal in the public right of way and parks, tree permitting for removal for non-development and development permits, tree planting, and stump grinding and removal.


Street Sweeping

Keep Oakland Clean & Beautiful (KOCB) Street Sweeping division provides street sweeping service in residential and commercial areas seven (7) days a week. Residential street sweeping - Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Commercial street sweeping - Monday through Sunday from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.


Graffiti Abatement

KOCB Painters respond to graffiti vandalism in parks, on litter containers, benches, retaining walls, fences, street light poles, and signal boxes located in the public right-of-way. Oakland strives to remove graffiti containing explicit language within twenty-four (24) hours of notification. Under extenuating circumstances, as a one-time courtesy, the City may abate graffiti on private property.


Vegetation Management

KOCB Vegetation Management crews remove vegetation from public owned lots, pedestrian pathways, hard scaped medians/islands, returns - radiuses at the corner of sidewalks, sidewalks underneath overpasses, roadsides, gutters, and perform day lighting of roadsides and clearance of vegetation causing sight obstructions.


Illegal Dumping

KOCB Illegal Dumping crews are responsible for remove illegal dumping from public property, provide special event support, maintain over 1,300 street litter containers, and clean homeless encampments on public property and in parks.


Environmental Enforcement Officer Program

The Environmental Enforcement Officer Program (EEO) is a patrol program assigned to areas for the purpose of removal and enforcement of regulations pertaining to illegal dumping, blight, and nuisance crimes. This program issues citations for related violations per state and local regulations, carries out investigations to identify violators and owners of property on which violations occur, and notified to the appropriate authority. This program also attends various City and community-sponsored events to perform outreach and education related to illegal dumping.


Environmental Services: Recycling Solid Waste

OPW implements the City's Zero Waste Program (ZWP) in accordance with City mandates and regulatory requirements. This program:

  • Enforces the Zero Waste Program to ensure compliance with minimum service standards and proper recycling of resources (e.g., administration of the Second Unit Exemption Program and Construction & Demolition Recycling Plan reviews);
  • Negotiates and administers the City's Mixed Materials & Organics and Residential Recycling collection services franchise agreements, as well as the program governing non-exclusive franchise agreements for construction & demolition debris collection services;
  • Collaborates with Bay Area cities and regional organizations (e.g., Pacific Coast Collaborative) to leverage available external resources to effect recycling and resource recovery in Oakland; and
  • Promotes the City's Zero Waste Program with an active outreach campaign to Oakland residents and businesses and maintenance of a Recycling Hotline.

Environmental Services: Environmental Compliance & Stewardship

OPW promotes and administers the City's Adopt-A-Spot and Adopt-A-Drain Programs to clean and green Oakland. This division manages litter cleanups, habitat restoration, park care projects, public art installation, and large-scale volunteer cleanup events annually including the annual Earth Day, MLK Jr. Day of Service, and Creek to Bay Day cleanup events and the annual volunteer appreciation event. This division also administers the Team Oakland summer job training program for Oakland high schoolers and young adults.


Environmental Services: Sustainability

OPW administers the City's Sustainability Program to pursue community energy efficiency, conservation, decarbonization and clean energy generation. This division also is developing and implementing the City's 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP), with an emphasis on minimizing climate-related impact on frontline communities and ensures inclusive community engagement in the ECAP implementation. Additionally, this division collaborates with other Bay Area cities and organizations, including the Bay Area Regional Energy Network, East Bay Community Energy, and PG&E to leverage available external resources to effect climate actions in Oakland.

Internal Services

Administration

Administration performs internal functions to support department operations, such as fiscal oversight, Human Resources related functions, on-call contract professional services contracts, and procurement. Business Information and Analysis provides software application support to OPW and the Department of Transportation (DOT). This software such as Cityworks, Accela, and SeeClickFix collect, manage, and analyze data for maintenance management, permitting, and other capital and internal tools.


Construction Management

OPW manages the construction of all City of Oakland major capital improvement projects. These construction projects are authorized, programed, and funded through the Capital Improvement Program. OPW manages construction progress, payment for construction and/or professional services contracts to ensure compliance of prompt payment and contract compliance policies and oversees staffing and all functions in construction management.


Capital Contracts Administration

OPW administers a variety of Capital Improvement Project contracts (construction, consultant, and on-call) to support the delivery of the Capital Improvement Program. This division is responsible for implementing processes to ensure City requirements are being met, assists project managers to develop and provide Request for Proposals/Bids (RFP/B) that follow state and city guidelines for solicitations.


Measure DD Administration

Administers the Measure DD Bond, Oakland Trust for Clean Water and Safe Parks, a $198,500,000 general obligation bond passed by Oakland voters in 2002 that provides funding for improvements to Lake Merritt, creeks, and waterfront parks and trails. 


Fleet & Equipment

OPW owns, operates, and maintains a fleet of 1,800+ vehicles and major pieces of equipment used to provide emergency, health & safety, and mission essential support to the citizens and businesses of Oakland. This equipment directly supports operations for the Fire, Police, Transportation, Public Works, and other city departments. Support staff performs the regulatory compliance reporting, preventative maintenance, mandated inspections, and repairs to ensure the equipment is in safe operating condition for the using Departments and keeping the City’s fleet at a 92% availability rate.


Facility Services

The Facility Services division manages over 300 Facilities which services all City owned properties. Facilities Services provides direct tenant services to a wide variety of client agencies, including custodial services, building engineering, security and access controls, HVAC and air quality monitoring, emergency response and property management. This division is also responsible for preparing new building operating estimates, design and project oversight for all minor maintenance and maintenance related internal and Capital Improvement Projects. In addition, this division is responsible for the maintenance of and operation of underground storage tanks (UST's), emergency generators, HVAC, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing, preventative and routine maintenance, and service requests for the Emergency Operations Center, Oakland Fire Department, the Veterans Building, Oakland Animal Shelter, and various Oakland Public Libraries throughout the City. The Custodial unit is responsible for providing daily custodial services, including cleaning, disinfecting, sanitizing, debris removal and recycling at 26 Recreation and Head Start Centers, 36 sets of outside restrooms, 5 City pools and various parks including Joaquin Miller, Lake Merritt, De Fremery, Mosswood and Arroyo Viejo and tot-lots throughout the City, at the Main Library, African American Museum and Library of Oakland and 16 Branch libraries throughout the City.


Environmental Services

Manages and oversees the City's environmental division and programs including Recycling, Compliance, Stewardship, Sustainability, and Energy by providing policy and programmatic guidance and quality assurance/control of staff work products. Administers the City's environmental compliance program that includes environmental site assessments and contamination mitigation, and hazardous material/waste management, oversees the inspections and routine maintenance of the City's fuel storage infrastructure, including related employee training, and obtains and maintains environmental regulatory permits.

DEPARTMENTAL FACTS

Oakland Public Works (OPW) plans, builds and maintains Oakland’s physical and environmental infrastructure for residents, businesses, and visitors, making Oakland a sustainable and desirable place to live, work, invest and visit.


Oakland’s infrastructure includes:

Stormwater

  • 400 miles of storm drains
  • 15,000 structures
  • 80+ miles of open creek

Wastewater Collection

  • 930 miles of sewer pipes
  • 7 pump stations
  • 29,000 structures

Public Buildings

  • 309 public buildings

Parks, Trees & City Landscapes

  • 134 City parks
  • 100+ street medians
  • 42,642 official street trees
  • Plus, all open space & park trees

Fleet & Equipment

  • 1,575 vehicles & equipment including fire trucks & police cars

Other Information

Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP)

Recent Adoption of Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP) - 40 aggressive actions rooted in equity to tackle climate change in sectors spanning transportation, buildings, material consumption, and carbon removal. Implementation of these actions not only will ensure Oakland remain on track to reach its greenhouse gas reduction targets, it will also reduce racial and other disparities across the city by ensuring that the benefits of climate action flow first and foremost to historically underserved and most vulnerable communities.


Equitable Capital Improvement Program Prioritization Process

The Equitable Capital Improvement Program Prioritization Process was adopted by City Council in October 2018 and authorized the City Administrator to utilize a new equitable and community focused rating system. The prioritization process was developed to align the City’s priorities through Capital Improvement prioritization and now focuses on nine Priority Factors; equity, health and safety, existing conditions, economy, environment, required work, improvement, collaboration, and shovel ready. The goal of the new CIP prioritization process is to:

  • Improve the quality and consistency of Departmental input on capital projects;
  • Improve the transparency of the CIP prioritization/decision-making process;
  • Ensure that the process is data-driven by identifying, applying and adhering to clear, well defined and consistent criteria;
  • Streamline the process to improve efficiency and expenditure of staff time and resources;
  • Filter physical and programmatic needs through an equitable lens of City-wide values and goals.