Burlingame Public Works – What do they do?

Written by Raziel Ungar and posted in these categories: Community Organizations, Public Service, Videos

The Burlingame Public Works Department is the largest organization in Burlingame, with a nearly $40 million annual budget dedicated to taking care of all city-owned land, utilities and infrastructure. What does that mean? You can go to sleep at night not having to worry about the quality of your water, the safety of the roads, or a myriad of other things the department deftly takes care of 24/7.

click to read transcript

Syed Murtuza, Public Works Director, City of Burlingame: My name is Syed Murtuza; I'm the public works director for the city of Burlingame. My role is to manage the city's public works department that includes several sub-departments or divisions. One is the engineering department, and then you have water division, sewer division, streets division, waste water treatment plant, facilities, traffic division, and then we also have a fleet division that the public works is responsible for. The primary business for public works is making sure that the water quality that the citizens in Burlingame receive is of high quality.

Raziel Ungar, Burlingame Properties: So we are here just at the corner of Bloomfield and Vernon in the Burlingables neighborhood, and this is actually one of the several water-test stations throughout Burlingame. So behind me is a city employee and we're just about to do a test here. They actually test the water every Tuesday, right here, just to make sure everything looks good. They have very stringent standards; in fact, it's safer than a lot of the bottled water that you can find. Right now we're at the City of Burlingame Corp Yard and what you're looking at me here through is a $40,000 camera that actually goes through the pipes and it's fully robotic and it's got its own wheels and explosive-proof camera, and it's just totally cool. So I think this is something that is a new innovation in Burlingame, and it really keeps the pipes clean.

Syed Murtuza, Public Works, City of Burlingame: It's becoming a solution, making sure people are driving on safe roads, safe streets, making sure that the traffic signals are working, making sure there are proper stop signs, crosswalks in the streets, making sure that when during a winter storm the properties are not flooded. And when you do that, that's the greatest satisfaction, when you know they you're awake in the middle of the night so that the people can go to sleep. And that's the best. You can go home. There's no money that can give you that satisfaction.

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