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SMWD Assures There Will Be No Water Disruption

Maintenance on a large pipeline won't affect customers, even though the pipeline will be offline through Jan. 23.

Santa Margarita Water District in Las Flores. Credit/Martin Henderson
Santa Margarita Water District in Las Flores. Credit/Martin Henderson

Santa Margarita Water District on Tuesday said it wanted to assure customers there would be no disruption of service during an 11-day annual maintenance shutdown of the Metropolitan Water District's Allen-McColloch Pipeline that feeds south Orange County.

The Santa Margarita Water District serves Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch, Talega and Mission Viejo.

The 26-mile pipeline being serviced serves communities from Yorba Linda to San Clemente. The maintenance is part of MWD’s continuous effort to upgrade and maintain the region’s vast imported water delivery system. 

“We have planned for potential water delivery disruptions by investing in local reliability projects and expanding our water recycling capabilities," said Saundra F. Jacobs, SMWD Board President. "At the same time though, we continue to encourage conservation and water use efficiency as important components to ensuring an adequate water supply.”

With no substantial natural water resource located within SMWD’s service area, the District relies on imported drinking water from MWD. For its own part, SMWD has invested in several water reliability projects to improve local water supply reliability in the event of a service disruption or emergency: 

South Orange County Interconnection Project – SMWD is a partner in the construction of pipeline connections and a pump station from Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) facilities to regional pipelines serving south Orange County. Completed in 2010, these pipelines allow IRWD -- an agency which has access to groundwater in central and north Orange County -- to facilitate delivery of drinking water to south Orange County water agencies. 

Upper Chiquita Reservoir - In 2011, SMWD completed the 244-million gallon Upper Chiquita Reservoir which, in an emergency or service interruption, would provide drinking water to approximately 500,000 people for one week. SMWD partnered with several other south Orange County water providers to enhance the region’s water supplies and to share the costs of the reservoir, the largest constructed in south Orange County in decades. 

Baker Water Treatment Plant - The Baker Water Treatment Plant project, when completed in 2016, will provide a reliable local drinking water supply during emergencies or extended shutdowns of the MWD treated water delivery system. It will also increase operational flexibility by creating redundancy within the water conveyance system and increase the local treatment capability from a number of water supply sources, including local surface water from Irvine Lake. 

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