Residents in Pasadena, Three Neighboring Foothill Communities Asked to Curtail Water Use During Pipeline Shutdown

Upgrades to major regional water line to begin Feb. 21, affecting imported supplies for up to 250,000 consumers

LOS ANGELES--()--Consumers in the city of Pasadena and three adjoining Los Angeles County foothill communities are requested to reduce their water use—including refraining from outdoor watering—while a major imported water pipeline is taken out of service for eight days beginning Thursday, Feb. 21.

Officials from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California joined with Pasadena Water and Power, Foothill Municipal Water District and local retail water agencies in making the water-saving request as Metropolitan prepares to upgrade its Upper Feeder pipeline. The outage is scheduled to last until Feb. 28.

In addition to Pasadena, consumers in Altadena, La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta are asked to contact their local water supplier to determine water-use restrictions for their area. Supplies for about 250,000 people in the affected communities will be limited during the shutdown.

Starting Thursday, Feb. 14, residents can visit www.mwdh2o.com and www.bewaterwise.com for the latest information on the planned shutdown as well as water-saving tips. During the shutdown, regular updates on the upgrade work will be posted on the websites.

One of the oldest water lines operated and maintained by Metropolitan, a portion of the Upper Feeder delivers treated drinking water from the district’s F. E. Weymouth Water Treatment Plant in La Verne to foothill cities and communities in eastern Los Angeles County from Pomona to Glendale.

In preparation for the shutdown, the Pasadena City Council declared a Level 4 water shortage during the outage. The action bans outdoor watering and requires other water-use restrictions throughout the city. In addition to the watering restrictions, PWP is asking all customers to reduce daily use by at least 30 percent to help preserve local supplies.

“Even though this temporary cut in our supply is severe, we are confident Pasadena will once again rise to the challenge and cut back on daily water use, so that we all have enough water for drinking and vital indoor uses,” said Phyllis Currie, Pasadena Water and Power general manager.

Nina Jazmadarian, general manager of Foothill MWD, which serves La Cañada Flintridge and portions of Glendale as well as the communities of Altadena, Montrose and La Crescenta, said some local agencies will access groundwater, stored reservoir supplies and other sources to meet retail demands during the shutdown.

“Conservation by residents and businesses in the affected areas will be essential in helping complete the repair work without additional water service impacts,” Jazmadarian said. “Because this is a critical upgrade, we all need to do our part to reduce water use while the Upper Feeder is out of service.”

Debra C. Man, Metropolitan’s chief operating officer and assistant general manager, said the district routinely schedules shutdowns of its facilities in the winter and early spring, when temperatures usually are cooler and demands are lower, to complete inspections and perform maintenance and upgrades with the least impact on consumers.

“One of the biggest challenges to ensuring reliable deliveries is the constant need to repair and upgrade aging facilities,” Man said, noting that more than 40 percent of the district’s water system is over 60 years old. Construction of the Upper Feeder—which is comprised of tunnels, mortar-lined pipelines, and buried steel pipelines—started in 1933 and ended when water was first delivered to Pasadena in November 1941.

In preparation for the shutdown, residents and businesses are asked to do their part to ensure reservoirs and local supplies aren’t drawn down. Depending on the availability of local supplies, water conservation steps include no outdoor watering, hand-washing vehicles, filling swimming pools or spas, or hosing down driveways and sidewalks. Other water-saving measures include running only full loads in washing machines and dishwashers, not leaving the tap running when washing dishes, keeping showers to a maximum of 5 minutes and not leaving the water running while brushing your teeth or shaving.

With the start of spring nearing, gardeners are asked to delay planting new landscaping—which typically requires continual watering to establish plants, shrubs and trees—until after the shutdown. If the weather warms prior to the shutdown, residents may want to deep-root water plants to help keep them healthy. Deep-root watering, however, should be done before the shutdown begins Feb. 21.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.

The following are helpful tips for consumers in the Los Angeles County foothill communities of Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta and Altadena as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California prepares to take a major water line out of service for eight days to make upgrades.

The shutdown begins Thursday, Feb. 21, affecting imported water supplies serving the area. Consumers are asked to contact their local water supplier to determine water-use restrictions for their area.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THURSDAY, FEB. 21

Beginning Monday, Feb. 18

  • Do not plant new landscaping, which typically requires continual watering to establish plants, shrubs and trees. Delay new plantings until after Feb. 28.
  • Set mowers for a higher cut than normal. Longer blades of grass help reduce evaporation. Or, avoid mowing altogether.
  • Avoid fertilizing lawns and plants prior to the shutdown. Fertilizer, which encourages growth, requires more water.
  • Have a deep collection dish at the base of house plants. Fill the dish Wednesday night, Feb 20, so plants can draw on that water throughout the week.
  • Fill large containers, like trash bins, and use that water for hand watering delicate plants during the week.
  • Until Wednesday, Feb. 20, deep-water trees and shrubs by either setting out soaker hoses or watering with a regular hose on a slow trickle. Water until the soil is soaked to a depth of about 8–12 inches (deeper for trees, more shallow for shrubs). Use a soil probe or a shovel to determine the depth to which the water has percolated.
  • Do all laundry before Wednesday night and avoid using the clothes washer during the shutdown.

Wednesday, Feb. 20

  • Do a normal, thorough watering of lawns, but not more than normal because the extra water will be wasted. Hand-water “hot” or dry spots on lawns.

Thursday, Feb. 21

  • Do not water landscapes or lawns.
  • Set sprinkler timers to the “OFF” position Wednesday night.
  • Do final fill-ups of any large containers.
  • Do not wash cars.

THINGS TO DO DURING THE SHUTDOWN

  • Take short showers (5-minute max). Do not use the warm shower as a sauna.
  • Put a bucket in the shower to collect the water before the shower warms up. Use this water for plants.
  • Use collected water in trash bins or bathtubs to hand-water houseplants and sensitive outdoor plants as well as areas of the lawn that may show excessive stress (the hot spots).
  • Do not leave water running when washing dishes.
  • Run only full loads in washing machine and dishwasher.
  • Do not leave water running when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Do not mow your lawns. Minimize the use of your lawn (i.e. playing on it, leaving vehicles on it) to reduce stress on the turf.

For more water-saving tips, visit www.bewaterwise.com.

Contacts

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Bob Muir, (213) 217-6930; (213) 324-5213, mobile
or
Pasadena Water and Power
Valerie Howard, (562) 298-2947, mobile
or
Foothill MWD
Nina Jazmadarian, (818) 790-4036; (213) 709-9142, mobile

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Contacts

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Bob Muir, (213) 217-6930; (213) 324-5213, mobile
or
Pasadena Water and Power
Valerie Howard, (562) 298-2947, mobile
or
Foothill MWD
Nina Jazmadarian, (818) 790-4036; (213) 709-9142, mobile