Safe, Sound and Prepared
Disasters can strike without warning and force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services – water, gas, electricity or telephone – were cut off? And what is the Crescenta Valley Water District (CVWD) doing to prepare for a natural disaster?
Making sure that there is an adequate amount of clean, safe water to meet the needs of our foothill community throughout the year, and during an emergency, are the primary objectives of CVWD. Much was learned from the Station Fire and the following floods, windstorms, and a major water main break in Montrose. The recent Napa earthquake, and the effects of that “shaker,’’ reminds us of the importance of planning ahead and being prepared.
CVWD is continuing to install seismic valves on its storage tanks to prevent loss of water from broken lines and to ensure that an adequate water supply is available should fires occur following an earthquake. Emergency generators keep pumps working to supply water to a network of storage tanks in the event of a power outage. Should the water distribution system temporarily become inoperable, CVWD will work to establish distribution stations capable of providing drinking water to residents.
Here are some facts about CVWD, its infrastructure, and the challenges it faces in preparing for natural disasters: Approximately 60% of your water comes from local wells; 40% is purchased from Foothill Municipal Water District. The water is blended and treated at the local Glenwood plant, then distributed to homes, businesses, schools, parks, the library and Caltrans through a network of storage tanks and 95 miles of pipeline.
Over 40% of these pipes have been in the ground in excess of 50 years. Over time, pipes corrode and leak. Occasionally pipes break, causing damage to streets and private property. To be prepared for an emergency, CVWD needs to ensure that its infrastructure is in good working condition. Although CVWD has not had a serious pipeline break, it does repair an average of 12 water main leaks per year (this does not include leaks in lateral lines connecting to each customer). Leaks are the result of land settlement, corrosion, older construction practices and pipe damage from outside contractors. Modern materials and improved/required installation practices will extend the life of pipes currently being installed.
The yearly operating budget of CVWD includes approximately $2,000,000 for replacement of aging pipes and water meters and repair of reservoirs and pumps. On average, CVWD replaces over 2,000 linear feet of water main pipes each year. Also, the fire hydrants in the district are periodically tested to ensure they are fully operational and that adequate water is available in case of fire.
CVWD is continually updating its emergency preparedness program and residents should do the same. Know what to do. CVWD wants to help; contact the District at (818) 248-3925 or visit