By Jason KUROSU
Starting Monday, Crescenta Valley Water District customers will be asked to halt outdoor watering for 10 days, as a district-wide planned imported water shutdown will begin.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, in conjunction with the Foothill Municipal Water District, have asked local residents and businesses not to water their lawns from Monday, Feb. 29 to Thursday, March 10, while a district regional treatment plant undergoes rehabilitation.
Red signs throughout the community will mark the district’s critical water conservation status through the duration of the shutdown. The restrictions could be lifted earlier than March 10 depending on how the upcoming retrofit of the F.E. Weymouth Water Treatment Plant in La Verne progresses.
The facility is MWD’s oldest treatment plant, sends water to 14 cities and is the last to be retrofitted with ozonation process equipment. With the Weymouth plant’s construction, ozone gas will replace chlorine as the primary disinfectant at all five district treatment plants.
According to MWD, the use of ozone gas will help MWD treatment plants better adhere to new EPA standards and drinking water regulations geared to reducing the amount of disinfection byproducts in drinking water. Water is treated by bubbling ozone gas into the supply, which MWD says is more effective than chlorination and improves the water’s taste and odor.
The retrofit is slated for completion in 2017.
In the meantime, local water supplies will be much more heavily relied upon and residents will be asked to keep up conservation efforts that have persisted through the state’s ongoing, major drought conditions.
Along with the red water alert signs, CVWD customers can be kept up to date on the status of the shutdown via notification services Nixle and Nextdoor, said CVWD spokeswoman Christy Scott.
The red signs will be changed back to their current orange status at the end of the shutdown.
The shutdown is also affecting a number of other cities and water agencies, including those in La Cañada, Altadena and Pasadena.
Pasadena’s city council recently adopted a Level 4 Water Supply Shortage Plan, in which the city will not conduct any scheduled water quality flushing, new service connections or fire flow testing, in addition to an outdoor watering ban.
Altadena is in the midst of a 15-day shutdown that includes replacement of a portion of the city’s imported water pipeline.
Glendale Water & Power customers need not worry though, despite importing 65% of its water from MWD. According to GWP Director Steven Zurn, GWP’s water storage capacity is sufficient to see the utility through the duration of the shutdown, without necessitating an outdoor watering ban.
FMWD recommends a number of conservation measures that residents should take during the shutdown. These include turning off irrigation controllers, taking short showers and using that water to water plants, refraining from mowing lawns and other outdoor activities to reduce stress on turf, running only full loads in washing machines and dishwashers, not using water to clean sidewalks or other hardscapes and limiting vehicle washing.
Residents with questions were asked to contact their local water provider or FMWD at (818) 790-4036.