Member agencies and Water Authority collaborate to minimize impacts for water users
January 18, 2023 – The San Diego County Water Authority’s First Aqueduct will be shut down periodically over the next three months for maintenance projects to ensure a safe and reliable water supply for the region. Two shutdowns on the First Aqueduct are scheduled from January 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.
“Work to proactively upgrade and maintain our water delivery system in coordination with our member agencies ensures the continued safe and reliable supply that serves the region’s 3.3 million residents and our $268 billion economy,” said Eva Plajzer, the Water Authority’s director of operations and maintenance. “Taking care of this critical infrastructure during the shutdown season extends the life of the aqueduct and reduces the cost of replacement.”
Maintenance work on pipelines is scheduled during low-demand periods to minimize impacts on water service.
The other scheduled shutdown on the First Aqueduct is February 27 to March 8, which will also impact the Helix Water District and the cities of San Diego, Poway and Ramona.
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.
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.
For more information about pipeline management, go to: www.sdcwa.org/projects-programs/programs/asset-management/.
The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $268 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 24 retail water providers, including cities, special districts and a military base.