Conservation Efforts Ease LA Water Pipe Repair

Two days ahead of schedule, the major pipeline that carries imported water to much of Los Angeles County was returned to service on June 30 after around-the-clock repairs were completed.

"We sincerely appreciate the assistance of consumers throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties who took extra steps to save water at their homes and businesses since we shut down 12 miles of the Sepulveda Feeder June 21 and asked the public for its help," said Debra C. Man, Metropolitan Water District's assistant general manager and chief operating officer.

Metropolitan returned the 45-mile Sepulveda Feeder to service at 5 a.m. after water quality in the pipeline was tested following the repairs. During the shutdown, consumers and businesses in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Torrance, Fullerton, Compton, Santa Ana, Anaheim, and cities served by Central Basin Municipal Water District, West Basin Municipal Water District, and Municipal Water District of Orange County were asked to cut their water use to help meet demands and maintain reserves.

"Despite temperatures reaching over 100 degrees early on …, no one in Los Angeles or Orange County—or elsewhere in our six-county service region, for that matter—was without water due to the pipeline shutdown and repairs," Man said.

"The public water agencies we serve in the affected areas decreased their calls on us for wholesale water by effectively managing local supplies and system storage, and at the local retail level it appeared that—despite the hot temperatures when water use usually increases—conservation held levels constant," Man said.

"While the Sepulveda Feeder repairs are now completed, and we appreciate everyone's help over the past 10 days, we need to remind the region that Gov. Schwarzenegger has officially proclaimed that California is in a drought and urged everyone to conserve water every day," Man said.

Metropolitan's 8-foot-diameter Sepulveda Feeder pipeline, much of it made of reinforced concrete, carries water from Metropolitan's Joseph Jensen Water Treatment Plant in Granada Hills south to the Palos Verdes Reservoir. Electric-current testing last March showed three areas in the Westside where the reinforcing wire imbedded in the concrete pipe had deteriorated, causing concern that internal pressure could cause the weak spots to rupture.

Replacement sections of welded steel were fabricated at Metropolitan's shop at La Verne to repair deteriorated sections of pipe under Sepulveda Boulevard adjoining the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood, and in Ladera Heights at 64th Street and Le Doux Road. Another section of pipe, under Slauson Avenue at Hannum Avenue adjoining Fox Hills Mall, was repaired with layers of carbon fiber lining.

"Metropolitan especially wants to thank the neighbors near these repair sites for their patience and understanding over the past 10 days," Man said. "Their understanding of the urgent necessity for these repairs, and their patience throughout the around-the-clock work, has been exceptional.

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