California Water Pipeline Repairs Scheduled, Residents Urged to Reduce Usage

A map showing how much Southern California cities should reduce water usage during scheduled pipeline repairs this month. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, and the Three Valleys Municipal Water District.

Officials from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA), Three Valleys Municipal Water District and local retail agencies are urging nearly 1 million consumers in Southern California’s Inland Valley to reduce water use as Metropolitan prepares to suspend deliveries through the Rialto Pipeline to allow the state’s Department of Water Resources to make repairs to a portion of the pipeline. The outage is scheduled to last from April 23 to April 28.

Supplies for the affected communities in eastern Los Angeles and western San Bernardino counties will be limited during the shutdown. The cities affected include La Verne, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Upland, Chino Hills, Chino, Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga. Residents in those cities should contact their local water supplier to determine water-use restrictions for their communities.

“We’re asking all of our residents to rise to the challenge during this temporary, six-day shutdown and make an extra effort to limit their water use,” said Halla Razak, IEUA’s general manager. “With the potential of warmer spring weather, in order to ensure water is available during this critical repair work, we are recommending cutting back significantly on all outdoor watering.”

Metropolitan’s 30-mile Rialto Pipeline extends from the state’s Devil Canyon Power Plant north of San Bernardino to Metropolitan’s San Dimas Power Plant, delivering up to 450,000 gallons of imported water a minute to Southland communities. A small portion of the pipeline is owned and maintained by the state, while the majority is owned and maintained by Metropolitan.

The pipeline is the only source of imported water for communities served by the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, which relies on Metropolitan water for about 30 percent of its water supply needs. Three Valleys, which uses Metropolitan water for up to 60 percent of its needs, has the ability to receive imported water through an alternate Metropolitan pipeline.

“This is a critical repair to state facilities that will help ensure the reliability of our water supply for years to come,” said Jim Green, Metropolitan’s water system operations manager. “Conservation by residents and businesses in the affected communities is essential to the successful completion of the repair work.”

In addition to suspending outdoor watering during the repair, consumers are asked to refrain from: filling swimming pools, hosing down driveways and sidewalks, and hand-washing vehicles. Other water-saving measures include running only full loads in washing machines and dishwashers, keeping showers to less than 5 minutes, limiting toilet flushing, and not leaving the water running while doing dishes, brushing your teeth or shaving.

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