Jon Foreman-Water Quality videos-Vista Irrigation District

Region’s Water Quality Celebrated by Switchfoot Musician Jon Foreman

As part of its campaign to promote the quality of local water supplies, the San County Diego Water Authority and its 24 member agencies have partnered with Encinitas resident and Grammy-award winning musician Jon Foreman of Switchfoot to create a series of videos highlighting how tap water across the region meets or exceeds stringent state and federal standards.

The new videos are part of the Water Authority’s regional Trust the Tap outreach and education platform, which was launched in early 2020 to assure the public about the safety of water during the coronavirus pandemic. Related messages were shared in English and Spanish.

Region’s water quality celebrated

The videos highlight efforts to sample, test and treat water at three locations: Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir, the Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant and the Vista Irrigation District’s water quality lab. Foreman talks about sampling and treating with the Water Authority’s Chris Castaing and Javier Chavez, and he talks about testing with VID’s Distribution Supervisor Dean Farris.

The new videos are being shared on a variety of digital platforms, including website ads and social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram) in partnership with various radio stations. They also will be used as “pre-roll” video on streaming services.

Trust the Tap

Drinking water provided by the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies is treated by a combination of technologies – including sedimentation, filtration and disinfection – that chemically deactivate and physically remove bacteria, viruses and other contaminants.

The water quality outreach program is funded with a grant from the California Department of Water Resources.

This is the second time Foreman has partnered with the Water Authority. He interviewed Water Authority staff and toured various facilities for a series of videos in 2019 as part of the Brought to You by Water outreach and education program. The eight videos received more than 200,000 views on YouTube and were widely shared on social media.

View looking north of the First Aqueduct right of way in Valley Center. Photo: Water Authority

Historic Pipeline Project Boosts Long-Term Water Reliability

San Diego County Water Authority crews successfully completed the first of three coordinated shutdowns of the First Aqueduct in early March to launch a major renovation of dozens of structures on two pipelines, including the historic Pipeline 1 that first delivered imported water to the region in 1947.

The series of shutdowns was carefully planned for nearly four years to minimize impacts on the community and retail water agencies during retrofits of Pipelines 1 and 2, which comprise the First Aqueduct.

“The First Aqueduct has been a very reliable source of imported water for more than 70 years,” said Chris Castaing, operations and maintenance manager at the Water Authority. “These critical upgrades will make sure we can operate and maintain the pipelines for another several decades to transport water to the region for future generations.”

Started during the Water Authority’s 75th anniversary year, the $30 million First Aqueduct structure and lining renovation project is among the most complicated pipeline retrofits in agency history.

During the next two years, upgrades include replacing the lining on the steel pipe sections; removing 19 associated structures; and retrofitting 41 structures – all without jeopardizing water service to the region.

Project will enhance reliability and flexibility of regional water system

Crews complete work on and seal the top of a bifurcation structure. Photo: Water Authority

Crews complete work on and seal the top of a bifurcation structure. Photo: Water Authority

Pipeline structures that will be rehabilitated include valves, blowoffs, pump wells and access ways.

Approximately 4 miles of failing pipeline lining on the steel pipe sections will be carefully removed and replaced with new cement mortar lining. Cement mortar is the preferred material, because it protects the interior of the steel pipe from corrosion and premature failure, has a longer life, and is easier to maintain. The project also will add redundant connections to six flow control facilities between the two pipelines, greatly improving the aqueduct’s operational flexibility.

During the first shutdown between February 24 and March 5, crews isolated sections of the pipeline and took them out of service so work can be safely performed on those sections throughout the year. In late 2019, a second 10-day shutdown will allow crews to switch flows to the upgraded sections of pipe and isolate other sections for repairs.

In addition to completing the First Aqueduct structure and lining renovation project, the Water Authority also will perform assessments of 27 miles of the pipeline to determine if additional upgrades will be needed.