San Francisco is nearing completion of a $42 million seismic upgrade to the 90-million-gallon reservoir that covers eight square blocks in the middle of the city. Workers have sunk 4,200 concrete beams into the bedrock to prevent Sunset Reservoir from collapsing in a 7.9-magnitude earthquake. Once the retrofit is complete, the reservoir should be able to withstand the kind of quake that might occur every 975 years, says Brian Sadden, the project's engineer.

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