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Historic First Aqueduct-asset management-Pipeline 1-maintenance

Work Begins on Water Authority’s Historic First Aqueduct

The San Diego County Water Authority’s First Aqueduct will be shut down periodically over the next four months for maintenance projects to ensure a safe and reliable water supply for the region. A series of three shutdowns on the First Aqueduct is scheduled from December through March, when portions of the aqueduct will be relined, along with other maintenance.

The Water Authority and its member agencies are coordinating to minimize impacts to residents and businesses, while servicing pipelines that are more than 65 years old.

Customers of these affected retail agencies during the Dec. 5-14 shutdown should check with their local water utility if they have questions about localized impacts: Fallbrook Public Utility District, Rainbow Municipal Water District, Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, Vallecitos Water District, Valley Center Municipal Water District, Vista Irrigation District, and the Yuima Municipal Water District.

Proactive Asset Management Program

“Proactively managing our water delivery system in coordination with our member agencies ensures we continue to provide a safe and reliable supply that serves the region’s 3.3 million residents and our $240 billion economy,” said Eva Plajzer, the Water Authority’s director of operations and maintenance. “It requires an extraordinary amount of work each fall and winter during the shutdown season to take care of this critical infrastructure.”

Maintenance work on pipelines is scheduled during low-demand periods to minimize impacts on water service. The other scheduled shutdowns on the First Aqueduct are January 23 to February 1 and February 27 to March 8. The February 27 to March 8 shutdown will also impact the Helix Water District and the cities of San Diego, Poway and Ramona.

Historic First Aqueduct

The historic First Aqueduct was constructed in the 1940s with Pipeline 1 and in the 1950s with Pipeline 2. On November 28, 1947, the first Colorado River water flowed south from Riverside County for 71 miles into the City of San Diego’s San Vicente Reservoir via the First Aqueduct.

First Aqueduct-Asset Management-Historic First Aqueduct-Shutdown

By order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the U.S. Navy built the San Diego Aqueduct to deliver Colorado River water to San Diego. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority archives

Asset Management Program

The Water Authority’s Asset Management Program is a key element of providing safe and reliable water supplies to the region. The agency continually assesses and inspects its 310 miles of large-diameter pipelines, which provide treated and untreated water to 24 member agencies in San Diego County. The program is widely recognized for pioneering work – including a patented inspection device – that promotes water affordability by avoiding costly unplanned disruptions in service.

As assets age, the Water Authority proactively replaces and repairs them to minimize impacts to member agencies and the public. Investments in the latest inspection technologies, including electromagnetic scanning, robotic inspections and 3D tunnel inspections help the Water Authority’s asset management team detect defects in pipelines and related facilities. Identifying potential issues early avoids more costly fixes later.

(Editor’s Note:The Fallbrook Public Utility District, Rainbow Municipal Water District, Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, Vallecitos Water District, Valley Center Municipal Water District, Vista Irrigation District, and the Yuima Municipal Water District are seven of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

San Diego County Water Authority And its 24 Member Agencies

First Aqueduct Maintenance Shutdown Runs Dec. 5-14

November 30, 2022 – The San Diego County Water Authority’s First Aqueduct will be shut down periodically over the next four months for maintenance projects to ensure a safe and reliable water supply for the region. A series of three shutdowns on the First Aqueduct is scheduled from December through March, when portions of the aqueduct will be relined, along with other maintenance.

Progress on City of San Diego’s Pure Water Pipeline to Temporarily Impact Water Activities at Miramar Reservoir

SAN DIEGO – As the City of San Diego continues to make major progress on one of the largest infrastructure projects in the City’s history, there will be temporary impacts to some water activities at Miramar Reservoir. For the safety of residents and visitors, water activities at Miramar will be suspended beginning next week through early 2023 due to pipeline construction work for the Pure Water Program. Shore areas, including picnic and barbecue areas, paths and shore fishing, will remain accessible to the public during the project.

Water activities will also be suspended in mid-2023 during a second phase of the pipeline project. During these two construction periods, boats, canoes, kayaks and float tubes will not be allowed. The 1-mile pipeline at Miramar Reservoir will include pipeline assembly on barges on the surface of the reservoir before being sunk and permanently installed underwater. The first phase of construction includes the completion of tunneling into the reservoir (mid-November 2022 to early 2023) and the second phase, starting mid-2023, will include the construction of the pipeline on the reservoir.

“This pipeline project is a crucial part of the Pure Water Program that will be vital to providing drinking water in the future,” said Juan Guerreiro, Director of the City’s Public Utilities Department. “We are focused on limiting the impacts to our facilities while this work is underway, and we appreciate the public’s patience during the construction phases.”

The project team will work to minimize inconveniences associated with traffic, construction noise and large construction equipment, but please plan extra time for parking when visiting the reservoir.

Pure Water San Diego is the City’s phased, multi-year program that will provide nearly half of our water supply locally by 2035. Pure Water will use proven purification technology to clean recycled water and produce safe, high-quality drinking water. The program offers a cost effective investment for San Diego’s water needs and will provide a reliable, sustainable water supply.

Three Winter Aqueduct Shutdowns Lie Ahead

Valley Center Municipal Water District and its customers are long accustomed to dealing with periodic aqueduct shutdowns which allow the district’s sole wholesale water supplier, the San Diego County Water Authority, to inspect, repair, and make improvements to our imported water aqueduct system. 

However, this coming winter will be especially challenging, as there will be three consecutive aqueduct shutdowns in fairly rapid succession: (1) December 4 –14, 2022, (2) January 22 – February 1, 2023, and (3) February 26 – March 8, 2023.

At play is the fact that the three tunnels on the 1st San Diego Aqueduct (“1st Aqueduct”) need to be relined to protect the quality of the treated water traveling north to south through the enclosed aqueduct, and restore its operational integrity. The 1st Aqueduct serves five of VCMWD’s seven Aqueduct Connections, spanning the full length of the District’s 100-square-mile service area. Although VCMWD does have a connection to the 2nd San Diego Aqueduct (“2nd Aqueduct”), the 1st Aqueduct provides water to approximately 85% of the District’s service area. Completed in the early 1950s, the 1st Aqueduct began serving the fledgling Valley Center Municipal Water District soon after its formation election in 1954 and has served the district continuously for 67 years.    

Water Authority Board Approves Landmark Project Labor Agreement

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on Thursday approved a Project Labor Agreement to govern most of the agency’s future construction contracts, ensuring projects deliver a range of community and worker benefits while continuing to be built to the highest standards.

By setting the bar for the Board to consider PLAs at $1 million, the Board embraced a strategy designed to foster a well-trained local workforce; enhance the Water Authority’s ability to compete for state and federal construction grants; prevent work stoppages and similar disruptions; and expedite resolution of contractor/labor disputes

Rainbow MWD Certifies PEIR for Water and Sewer Master Plan

The Rainbow Municipal Water District certified the Programmatic Environmental Impact Report for Rainbow’s water and sewer master plan.

“Shutdown Season” for Regional Aqueducts in San Diego County

Sections of the regional aqueducts in San Diego County will be shut down over the next six months for maintenance projects to ensure a safe and reliable water supply for the region. The San Diego County Water Authority and its member agencies are coordinating on the annual “shutdown season” to minimize impacts to residents and businesses, who are not expected to face service disruptions.

Pipeline 5-Shutdown-Shutdown Season-Asset Management

“Shutdown Season” for Regional Aqueducts in San Diego County

Sections of the regional aqueducts in San Diego County will be shut down over the next six months for maintenance projects to ensure a safe and reliable water supply for the region. The San Diego County Water Authority and its member agencies are coordinating on the annual “shutdown season” to minimize impacts to residents and businesses, who are not expected to face service disruptions.

Starting October 16, a portion of Pipeline 5 will be out of service for 10 days to accommodate annual maintenance on the entire untreated water system and to prepare for rehabilitation of other sections of the pipeline. The Water Authority has worked for months to coordinate with the affected retail water agencies: Olivenhain Municipal Water District, San Dieguito Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, Helix Water District, Sweetwater Authority, and the cities of San Diego, Oceanside, Ramona, Poway and Escondido. Customers should check with their water utility if they have questions about localized impacts.

Proactive asset management – regional aqueducts and Pipeline 5

The Pipeline 5 work will rehabilitate about 5,000 feet of 96-inch diameter prestressed concrete cylinder pipe by inserting and securing a steel pipe liner. This portion of the pipeline is within the City of San Marcos, between North Twin Oaks Valley Road and the Water Authority’s Twin Oaks Water Treatment Plant. When completed, approximately 50 miles, or 61% of the Water Authority’s existing prestressed concrete cylinder pipe will be relined.

“Proactive asset management and coordination with our member agencies ensures that the region’s major water infrastructure reliably serves the region’s 3.3 million residents,” said Eva Plajzer, the Water Authority’s director of operations and maintenance. “We have worked with our member agencies for several months to minimize any impacts to residents and businesses.”

Safe and reliable water supplies

The Water Authority’s Asset Management Program is a key element of providing safe and reliable water supplies to the region. The agency continually assesses and inspects its 310 miles of large-diameter pipelines, which provide treated and untreated water to 24 member agencies in San Diego County. The program is widely recognized for pioneering work – including a patented inspection device – that promotes water affordability by avoiding costly unplanned disruptions in service. Maintenance work is scheduled during low-demand periods to minimize impacts on water service.

Constructed in 1982, Pipeline 5 is a vital component of the Water Authority’s regional water infrastructure system, delivering untreated supplies from Lake Skinner in southwest Riverside County to the Lower Otay Water Treatment Plant in southern San Diego County.

In addition to the October upgrades on Pipeline 5, a series of three shutdowns on the Water Authority’s First Aqueduct is scheduled from December through April, when portions of the aqueduct will be relined, along with other maintenance.

(Editor’s note: The Olivenhain Municipal Water District, San Dieguito Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, Helix Water District, Sweetwater Authority, and the cities of San Diego, Oceanside, Ramona, Poway and Escondido are 10 of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

San Diegans Could Soon Pay Much More for Water, Now That a Long-Delayed Rate Analysis is Moving Forward

San Diego officials say they will complete a long-delayed comprehensive analysis of city water rates this year that could lead to sharp increases to pay for major infrastructure projects such as the Pure Water sewage purification system now under construction. The last time San Diego completed such an analysis in 2015, city officials voted to raise water rates by 40 percent over a four-year period.

Mel Katz Elected Board Chair of San Diego County Water Authority

New officers for the San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors were elected today, with Mel Katz starting his two-year term as Board chair on Oct. 1. Katz, vice chair of the Board for the past six months as a representative for the City of Del Mar, will serve with incoming Vice Chair Nick Serrano, a Board representative from the City of San Diego, and incoming Secretary Frank Hilliker. Katz will serve as the 27th board chair since the Water Authority’s founding in 1944.

Gary Croucher, who represents the Otay Water District on the Water Authority’s Board, served as chair the past two years. His term ends on Sept. 30. Croucher has served on the Board since 2001.