Facilities and Operations

News on the processes, people, and places working to deliver a safe and reliable wholesale water supply to the San Diego region’s 24 member water agencies.

Murray Reservoir environment projects - City of San Diego

San Diego Projects Improve Water Quality, Fish Habitat

Two projects underway will enhance fish habitat and water quality at Murray Reservoir. The reservoir in Mission Trails Regional Park is owned by the City of San Diego and operated by its Public Utilities Department. “As stewards of the area, it is important for us to improve and enhance the environment in and around Murray […]

Sweetwater Authority Engineering Manager Luis Valdez gives a presentation to National City firefighters. Photo: Courtesy Sweetwater Authority National City Firefighters

National City Firefighters Get WaterSmart with Sweetwater Authority

The National City Fire Department is learning more about the water system it relies on, thanks to some specialized training for firefighters from Sweetwater Authority staff. Firefighters wanted to learn more about the water distribution system and where the city’s water originates. The department also wanted to review the location of Sweetwater Authority’s treatment facilities, […]

Fall fishing season is in full swing at San Diego County's reservoirs and lakes, including Lake Jennings. Photo: Helix Water District

Freshwater Fishing Flourishes at San Diego Region’s Reservoirs and Lakes

San Diego County’s freshwater fishing in area reservoirs and lakes managed by the region’s water agencies attracts expert anglers and beginners alike. Of San Diego County’s 24 reservoirs and lakes, 18 allow fishing. Bryan Norris, Reservoirs and Recreation Program Manager for the City of San Diego, oversees eight locations offering recreational opportunities, including fishing. “We […]

Crews install a carbon fiber liner in Pipeline 4 in October 2019 to give the pipeline several more years of service while a longer-term solution is developed and deployed.

Pipeline 4 Repairs Completed In North San Diego County

Pipeline 4 – one of the San Diego region’s major water pipelines – is back in regular service after a leak was repaired, a testament to the San Diego County Water Authority’s proactive asset management program. The pipeline resumed normal operations November 10 after nearly two months of modified operation. The leaky section was near […]

Lake Jennings staff including Recreation Manager Kira Haley (front row, fifth from left) rely on their dedicated volunteers including Lori Stangel (front row, sixth from left). Photo: Helix Water District

Volunteer Opportunities at Water Agency Reservoirs in San Diego County

People around the world know the San Diego region for its beautiful setting along the Pacific Ocean. But visitors, and even many local residents, aren’t aware of the recreational activities available year-round at area reservoirs. There are 24 reservoirs in San Diego County. Of these, there are 18 fishable lakes and some offer overnight camping. […]

Vallecitos Water District Senior Construction Systems Worker Steven Klein hosts the latest "Work We Do" video, describing his team working on a valve replacement. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Vallecitos Water District ‘Work We Do’ Videos Connect With Community

The Vallecitos Water District is moving beyond traditional bill mailers and tri-fold brochures to communicate with its customers in a more effective and dynamic way by using video. Vallecitos Board President Hal Martin conceived the idea to create “Work We Do” videos to help customers see and understand first hand the complex work Vallecitos water […]

Water Authority staff inspect leak in Pipeline 4

Pipeline 4 Repairs Underway in North San Diego County

A recently discovered leak in a section of a pipeline in North County will be repaired in coming months while Pipeline 4 returns to service. Crews have installed bulkheads in the pipeline to isolate a portion of Pipeline 4 for repairs. This will allow the pipeline to continue treated water deliveries throughout the county in […]

Pipeline relining is an efficient technique that extends the lifespan of pipes while minimizing costs and impacts to nearby communities. Photo: Water Authority

Innovative Pipeline 5 Relining Completed

San Diego County Water Authority crews completed relining a segment of Pipeline 5 in Fallbrook and San Marcos in late July, reaching a milestone in a strategic, multi-decade pipeline relining program. The 2.3-mile segment of Pipeline 5 was relined with new steel liners that are planned to last for more than 75 years. The proactive […]

Establishing unique partnerships with leading technology providers, such as Pure Technologies, has ensured the best available tools are used in the most cost-effective way. Photo: Water Authority

Proactive Partnerships Keep Pipelines in Top Shape

This summer, the Water Authority is partnering with three technology companies to test the condition of the agency’s oldest pipelines forming the First Aqueduct in Valley Center. Technology providers test their new and improved tools on Water Authority and member agency pipes. The tools are then used to assess the condition of those same pipes. […]

Trenchless technology allows the Vallecitor Water District to effect repairs without digging up streets. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Trenchless Technology Saves Ratepayers Time, Money, and Inconvenience

A method of replacing sewer pipe without digging or removing the old pipe – trenchless pipe repair – is saving Vallecitos Water District ratepayers money and reducing traffic delays. It’s another example of how water agencies in San Diego County are tapping cost-effective technology. The district is using the trenchless method to extend the life […]

Vallecitos Water District Wastewater Collection Systems workers Raul Rodarte (left) and David Saavedra conduct smoke testing. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Vallecitos Water District Smokes Out Wastewater System Problems

Problems in wastewater systems can’t hide behind a smokescreen at the Vallecitos Water District. The district’s Systems Collection Department routinely performs “smoke testing” of its wastewater system. This technique can easily locate flows caused by broken or incorrectly installed sewer pipes, lateral connections, or missing/broken clean-out caps. The test is performed by introducing smoke, comprised […]

San Diego regional water quality regulators issued a new permit for the development of permanent, stand-alone seawater intake and discharge facilities at the Carlsbad Desalination Plant. Photo: Water Authority

New Permit Fosters Sustainable Water Production at Carlsbad Desalination Plant

San Diego regional water quality regulators today issued a permit for the installation of new, technologically advanced and environmentally sensitive seawater intake and discharge facilities at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant. The plant – and the new permit – support Gov. Gavin Newsom’s April 29 executive order for California “to think differently and […]

Alexander Schultz, Otay Water District geographic information systems technician, operates a drone in front of a district water storage tank. Photo: Otay Water District

Drones Offer Water Agencies Cost, Safety Benefits

Water agencies across San Diego County are saving time and money while improving employee safety with drones. Industry analysts say drone use by water agencies worldwide is growing. The Helix Water District, Otay Water District and the San Diego County Water Authority have embraced the technology, using drones to inspect and monitor facilities, and to […]

FPUD is embarking on a number of prevention, maintenance and improvement projects to safeguard and maintain its pipes and infrastructure. Photo: Fallbrook PUD

Fallbrook PUD Goes With the Maintenance Flow to Provide Reliable Service

Water pipeline blowouts like the one the day before Thanksgiving 2017 at the intersection of Stagecoach Road and Ranchwood Lane in Fallbrook provide periodic reminders about the realities of aging infrastructure. Preventing these type of emergencies is the driving force behind planned shutdowns at water agencies such as the Fallbrook Public Utility District; investments today […]

Water Resources Engineer Sami Sweis holds the Nautilus in his right hand and a foam ball in his left hand that the high-tech device is placed in before it is inserted into a water pipeline to scan for potential leaks. Photo: Water Authority

High-Tech Tools Help Detect Possible Pipeline Problems

It’s a whole new ballgame for the San Diego County Water Authority when it comes to finding leaks in major pipelines with cutting-edge technology. One new tech tool deployed for the first time in February actually looks like a tennis ball that floats through water-filled pipelines scanning for potential trouble. Of course, the new device […]