By Mary O’KEEFE
Crescenta Valley Water District customers will be asked to stop irrigating their lawns from March 18 to 28.
The request comes as a result of Metropolitan Water District temporarily shutting down a major water treatment plant. The Weymouth plant is in La Verne will be shut down for ten days.The plant services about 1.7 million customers along the foothill communities.
The treatment plant will be closed to upgrade for seismic improvements.
“We routinely shutdown to do upgrades normally in the winter and spring when water demands are [traditionally ] down and we have cooler weather,” said Bob Muir, spokesman Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. “The unique thing about this shut down is the length of time.”
Normally plants close for up to seven days but this upgrade needs the full ten days to complete not only the seismic work but to begin preparing the location for future water treatment improvements.
CVWD imports water from Foothill Municipal Water District that in turn imports water from Metropolitan Water District. Foothill also serves the La Canada area.
“Not all regions are going to be impacted the same,” Muir said.
If a region has a large amount of ground water they can draw on that resource.
CVWD does not have that ground resource therefore the district is asking their customers to continue their water conservation practice conserve and to stop irrigating their lawns during the ten day shut down, said Christy Scott, spokeswoman for CVWD.
La Canada has similar restricted irrigation as well. Caltrans will stop irrigating in the area as will some parks.
“Sometimes people will go by and see parks watering during times of [conservation],” Muir said. “Those parks are using recycled water.”
There are tips on the CVWD, FMWD and MWD websites on water conservation and how to get ready for the ten days without irrigation.
“We aren’t saying that if residents see a brown spot on their lawn they can’t water,” Muir said. “They can hand water [in small areas]. We do want them to turn off their irrigation systems.”
Muir added he understood that this might be time for people to plant their gardens.
“We want people to wait for planting,” he said.
When plants or seedlings are first planted they usually require heavy watering. Muir said it is important to conserve during this time.
“We just wait for sunny days,” said Alberto Gimenec, of La Crescenta Nursery. “You can plant at the end of the month.”
Water conservation efforts have been successful, reducing water usage throughout the foothill committees however more conservation is needed, Muir said.
The plant will most likely be closed again next year for more advanced treatment equipment but is not scheduled to be closed for as many consecutive days.
For information on water conservation or to find out more about the plant shut down visit the CVWD website at www.cvwd.com or contact (818) 248-3925. For more conservation information visit www.mwdh2o.com, www.bewaterwise.com, or www.fmwd.com