'Critical' Pipeline Repair Prompts Request for Immediate Cuts in Water Use

"While we have full confidence the state will complete repairs in the time allowed, our emergency reserves are limited in this portion of our service area," said Paul Jones of the Eastern Municipal Water District.

Residents of Moreno Valley, Perris and south Riverside were asked Friday to suspend all outdoor watering and minimize indoor water use through the weekend as a pipeline undergoes major repairs, putting pressure on local reserves available in the interim.

"While we have full confidence the state will complete repairs in the time allowed, our emergency reserves are limited in this portion of our service area," said Paul Jones of the Eastern Municipal Water District. "This is a very serious situation, and we must all do our part to ensure these communities continue to have the essential water supply reliability they have come to expect."

According to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Henry J. Mills treatment plant, located just off Interstate 215 in Box Springs, will be shut down around 2 p.m. to allow crews to begin repairing a broken valve on the pipeline that delivers supplies to the plant.

The shutdown is expected to last until 6 p.m. Sunday. The plant serves both the Eastern and Western Municipal Water Districts, encompassing the cities of Moreno Valley and Perris, as well as the communities of Eagle Valley, El Sobrante,  Lake Mathews, Mission Grove, Orangecrest, Woodcrest, along with portions of March Air Reserve Base and Mead Valley.

Around 325,000 people will be affected.

"This is a critical, unplanned repair coming as temperatures throughout the region are expected to rise," said MWD Chief Operating Officer Debra Man. "We all need to do our part to reduce water use while the repairs are made."

Along with halting all outdoor watering, officials asked customers to significantly scale back their indoor water use for the next two days to be on the safe side.

If there are complications with the pipeline repairs, officials will send out additional alerts notifying residents that conservation efforts must continue, according to Jones.

The Mills plant has a daily capacity of 220 million gallons. The facility is a recipient of State Water Project allocations via the Santa Ana Valley Pipeline, which is part of a network of supply lines running from Northern to Southern California.

Jones said as soon as the California Department of Water Resources informed local water districts of the need to take the plant offline, they began stocking up on reserves. However, he said, those could be depleted if the scheduled repairs exceed the roughly 52-hour window set aside for the overhaul.

– City News Service.

Ken Mayes May 09, 2014 at 10:38 PM
From the EVMWD website: Though not directly called upon, EVMWD customers are encouraged to refrain from outdoor watering and limit non-essential indoor water use while a state-operated pipeline undergoes emergency repairs beginning at 2 p.m. today through Sunday at 6 p.m.
jayson May 10, 2014 at 01:11 AM
They have a lot of money, I pay my bill every month and see the amount, i took my lawn out and pay more for sewer than my water useage. Water districts pay their employees a whole hell of alot of money, we bitch about government wages, check water, electric and gas company salaries and see the difference, these companies have more benefits and better pay than the government jobs. Check into it and let your voice be a positive source to make your monthly bills some what lower, SCE, Southern CA Gas and EVMWD all drive brand new vehicles that we pay for. So make a difference and let them know!
Donald Lambert May 10, 2014 at 09:53 AM
The valve repair is for a pipe about 9 feet to 10 feet in diameter. The pipe is normally under a lot of pressure. There is also the tremendous momentum force of the huge weight of moving water that has to be countered while the valve is being closed! This must be a real strong piece of machinery
Donald Lambert May 10, 2014 at 11:53 AM
The Saturday PE newspaper gave more detailed information. The valve that is being replaced is on a two inch pipe that is under 300 pounds per square inch pressure. this pipe is attached to the 9 foot diameter high pressure pipeline. The estimate is if this two inch valve broke it would shoot out 1,000 gallons a minute and the large pipeline would have to be shut off to make the replacement happen. Therefore they are doing it in a planned manner having first sent in extra water for several days. The water in the 9 foot diameter pipe is shut off upstream somewhere.
Diana May 11, 2014 at 07:48 PM
Anyone know if this is going to be done in the time frame stipulated? EVMWD has had my corner torn up to move a fire hydrant for a month, if they can't accomplish this for weeks I'm a bit nervous that a real issue such as this might take months.


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