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City of Santa Cruz Faces Short-Term Serious Water Shortage
The recent storm caused damage to critical water infrastructure and the City of Santa Cruz faces a short-term serious water shortage. All water customers are asked to cut back water use by thirty percent for the next week. Conditions for a serious water shortage exist when the water supply is unable to meet normal water demand, but can supply enough water for basic public health and safety needs.
The Newell Creek Pipeline, a major artery of the City's water supply system, sustained damage early Monday morning causing a leak of approximately 1,500 gallons per minute. As a result, the pipeline has been shut down, with repairs expected to take several days to a week. In the meantime, the City will only be able to produce about two-thirds of its normal drinking water supply.
Residents are urged to cut back on their water use by thirty percent for the next week. "We ask our customers to please cut back when using water for essential uses like bathing and cooking," said Water Director Rosemary Menard, "and to postpone any non-essential uses like laundry or automatic dishwashers for the next several days."
The Water Department has been producing between five and six million gallons of water per day for the past several days, which is typical use for this time of year when customers are not irrigating landscapes. The Department projects their production ability for the next week to be at only four million gallons per day, or at about thirty percent less than normal.
All of Santa Cruz' water supply is local, with ninety-five percent coming from flowing sources like rivers and streams. In powerful storms like this past weekend, water from some flowing sources becomes too turbid to treat and is unusable. When that happens, the City relies on water from the Loch Lomond Reservoir. The damaged Newell Creek pipeline is the main artery from Loch Lomond to the Graham Hill Water Treatment Plant. "Losing the Newell Creek pipeline at this time of year is a significant loss to our water supply," said Director Menard. "This kind of event again underscores our community's need for infrastructure redundancy and additional supply reliability."
Repairs to the Newell Creek pipeline are expected to take several days to a week, during which another storm front is expected. Santa Cruz water customers are asked to cut back use through next Monday, January 16th. The Water Department will notify customers should system repairs be completed prior to Monday.
For more information, contact the City of Santa Cruz Water Department: 809 Center Street, Room 10, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (831) 420-5010.
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Posted by phippsa on Jan. 10, 2017 at 7:37 a.m.