By Mary O’KEEFE
Local residents will be asked to increase their water conservation efforts from Feb. 21 to Feb. 28 as a major supply line from Metropolitan Water District is repaired.
Foothill Municipal Water District and Crescenta Valley Water District receive their imported water from Metropolitan Water District. The upper feeder system will be shut down for repairs for eight days, which means no imported water.
“Crescenta Valley has one emergency route connection with Glendale that they will take advantage of [that will bring] a little bit of water,” said Nina Jazmadarian, Foothill Municipal Water District’s general manager.
CV also has some ground water, but that will not be enough to make up for what will be lost through the shut down.
“La Cañada and Crescenta Valley have no other source of imported water,” Jazmadarian said.
The shut down put the communities into Critical Alert, which means no outside irrigation will be allowed and customers are asked to take additional conservation actions.
“The [upper feeder line] was built in 1941,” said Bob Muir, Metropolitan Water District’s spokesman. He added the line is one of the oldest and largest sections that supplies water to Southern California.
The repairs are necessary. The water district is now spending more money repairing old lines to keep them up and running.
“In the mid-1990s, we spent $5 million on rehabilitation. In the next two years, we will spend $270 million,” Muir said.
If the repairs are not done, the possibility of damage to the line increases, which could also increase the possibility of a longer shut down at a time not determined by the district.
“[Customers] cannot afford to have a major import water line go down,” he added.
When a shut down is required, the district usually schedules it in the winter months.
Jazmadarian said there are ways to prepare before Feb. 21 including deep watering plants.
“If you see a plant that is stressed, then fill a [small] bucket and water it,” she said.
The districts’ had asked customers in 2011 to go the extra conservation mile for 10 days. Customers took that conservation to heart and got through the 10 days. In addition, there were several summers when the levels were critical and customers came through with their conservation efforts.
The water line repair also affects Pasadena and Altadena. No outdoor watering, hosing or car washing are mandatory during the shut down, however other measures can be taken to help conserve water. CVWD has tips for the shutdown that include taking five minute or shorter showers, putting a bucket in the shower to collect water before the shower warms up to use for watering plants, not leaving water running when washing dishes, running only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher, not leaving water running when brushing teeth or shaving and not mowing the lawn to reduce stress on the turf.
This shut down does not affect Glendale city customers.