You are now in Facilities & Operations News category.

Essential Repairs Completed on Pipeline 5 in North County

The San Diego County Water Authority and its contractors have completed essential repairs on a section of Pipeline 5 in North San Diego County between Fallbrook and Escondido. The repairs included installing 156 feet of carbon fiber liner inside the 96-inch pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe to extend its service life. The pipeline was returned to normal service over the weekend – ahead of the original schedule.

Cutting-edge technology improves pipeline structure

The lining for Pipeline 5 is a material made from layers of carbon and glass fibers combined with polymers that are engineered to efficiently and effectively improve the structural integrity of large-diameter pipelines.

“The timely upgrade to this section of Pipeline 5 is part of the Water Authority’s proactive asset management program,” said Jim Fisher, director of operations and maintenance at the Water Authority. “A key element of providing a safe and reliable water supplies is continually assessing our 310 miles of large-diameter pipeline and making the upgrades necessary to continue serving the region.”

The essential repairs followed similar repairs on nearby Pipeline 4 last year. The Pipeline 5 project started in early April, about the time most Water Authority employees transitioned to working at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The crews adapted quickly to implement safeguards to protect their health while moving forward with the critical repairs,” said Peter Milligan, engineer at the Water Authority. “We made sure to limit the number of people on-site, wear masks, and maintain a safe physical distance inside where possible.”

Proactive asset management program maintains critical water infrastructure

The asset management program uses cutting-edge technologies, like carbon fiber lining, to monitor and maintain the condition of important regional water infrastructure. Making preventative repairs ensures that regional water service will continue uninterrupted.

Pipeline 5 was built in 1982 and is part of the Water Authority’s Second Aqueduct, which consists of Pipelines 3, 4 and 5. Along with Pipeline 3, Pipeline 5 delivers untreated water from Lake Skinner in southwest Riverside County to the Lower Otay Water Treatment Plant in southern San Diego County.

An analysis to determine a long-term solution to maintain the Second Aqueduct in North San Diego County is underway.

Mission Trails Project-March 2020

Water Project Underway in Mission Trails Park

The Water Authority is building a new flow regulatory structure to upgrade the untreated water system in the northwest area of Mission Trails Regional Park. When complete, the project will upgrade the untreated water system that delivers water to treatment plants that serve the central and southern areas of San Diego County.

Construction is taking place Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and will close some trails in the western portion of the park. Trail closure signs, including a park map showing alternate trails are posted to help park users navigate the trails.

The project currently underway will construct a new 5-million-gallon underground covered reservoir, a flow control facility and pipeline interconnections. The reservoir will be covered with soil and vegetation, except for several access hatches and vents that allow for air movement inside the reservoir.

This work is part of a suite of projects called the Mission Trails Project located in the western portion of the park.

For more information about the project and to access maps of closed trails with alternate routes, visit

Opinion: Southern California Doesn’t Have Decades to Figure Out Water Recycling. We Need it Now

The great achievement of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is that few people ever give it much thought. You turn on the faucet and the water comes out. The stuff is reliably clean and safe, and always available.

Massive Northern California Reservoir Project Scaled Back to Reduce Costs

An ambitious plan to build the largest new reservoir in California in 40 years to supply water to homes and businesses from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, along with Central Valley farmers, is being scaled back considerably amid questions about its $5 billion price tag and how much water it can deliver.

Sites Reservoir is proposed for construction in remote ranch lands in Colusa County, about 70 miles north of Sacramento. The reservoir, originally designed to be four times as big as Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park and nearly as big as San Luis Reservoir between Gilroy and Los Banos, received more money than any other project two years ago from a water bond passed by state voters during California’s historic drought.

Megadrought ‘Unprecedented In Human History’ Likely the New Normal Across the West

Come spring, the American West’s vast water reservoirs are supposed to fill with melting snow. However this year, as in recent years, the large reservoirs of Lake Mead and Lake Powell in the Colorado River basin have seen declining water levels — an ominous trend that a new study warns could signal a looming megadrought.

Pandemic Could Complicate Efforts to Upgrade State Drinking Water Systems

An unprecedented and fledgling statewide effort to shore up hundreds of struggling drinking water systems could face intense pressure from the novel coronavirus pandemic as the program is rolled out in coming months.

For almost a year now, the California Water Resources Control Board has been working to craft the program, and on Tuesday it approved a policy designed to guide the spending of $1.3 billion over 10 years to save some 300 water systems that are failing or at-risk of failing.

Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair Announces County Winners

San Diego County students showed off their expertise at the recent 2020 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair, with dozens being named winners for their projects.