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Water Pipeline Feeding South O.C. to Be Shut Down

Maintenance begins on the pipe Monday. Residents are asked to use water more efficiently.

Map of Orange County Water Districts. Credit/MWDOC
Map of Orange County Water Districts. Credit/MWDOC

By City News Service

A large-diameter regional pipeline serving Orange County communities from Yorba Linda to San Clemente will be taken out of service for 11 days, beginning Monday, for routine maintenance, but no water service interruptions are forecast for retail customers, officials said last week.

The planned shutdown of a portion of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California's 26-mile Allen-McColloch Pipeline is part of regional and local water providers' ongoing investments in Southern California's water transmission and delivery systems, according to the MWD and the Municipal Water District of Orange County.

Consumers and businesses can check with their retail water provider for potential impacts. A map of Orange County's retail water providers, with links to each water utility's website, is available here.

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 water demands are lower, to conduct inspections and perform maintenance and upgrades with the least impact on consumers.

"One of the biggest challenges to ensuring reliable deliveries is the need to repair and upgrade aging facilities," Man said, noting that more than 40 percent of the district's water system is more than 60 years old.

MWDOC Board President Joan C. Finnegan agreed.

"Our water supply system is aging, and it will require increased investments in repair and replacement in order to keep the system operating reliably," she said.

Metropolitan's Allen-McColloch Pipeline extends from the district's Robert B. Diemer Water Treatment Plant in Yorba Linda to El Toro Reservoir in Lake Forest, typically delivering about 100 million gallons of water a day for Orange County residents.

The line is the primary source of supplemental, imported water to south county communities served by MWDOC, which relies on Metropolitan supplies for about 50 percent of its water supplies.

During the outage, Metropolitan will shut down the pipeline early Jan. 13 and drain an 11-mile portion of the high-pressure line for inspection. The shutdown is scheduled until Jan. 23.

"Throughout the shutdown, residents and businesses are asked to use water as efficiently as possible," Finnegan said.

Metropolitan is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties.   

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