Water officials thank ratepayers for a week of no lawn-watering

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Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency officials sent a message of thanks to their ratepayers Monday for not watering their lawns last week as requested.

From March 4-10, water from Castaic Lake was unavailable for use while repairs were made to a pipeline called the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Foothill Feeder system.

SCV Water officials asked ratepayers to refrain from watering their lawns during that time and, on Monday, issued a news release thanking them for a job well done.

“Our community did a great job with increased conservation efforts,” Matt Stone, General Manager of SCV Water, said Monday in a news release.  “Homeowners, businesses and large institutional water users were all very cooperative. Water demand was down by an average of more than 31 percent from the prior week.”

Of course, it also helped that Santa Clarita Valley lawns received more than a half-inch of rain Saturday, according to David Sweet, weather specialist with the National Weather Service.

The Foothill Feeder Connection which draws on water from Castaic Lake connects two of the agency’s water efficiency projects to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. It is part of the system that delivers water to the SCV Water for treatment and distribution for urban use.

This annual shutdown insures time for routine maintenance and needed repairs as proactive measures to prolong the life of the infrastructure.

Gary Haggin, Operations and Maintenance Superintendent for SCV Water said: “With the public’s help, we were able to maintain a buffer of stored water, just in case a local emergency arose, or if the project took a little longer than expected.”

During the shutdown, the SCV was unable to access supplies from Castaic Lake and relied exclusively upon local groundwater and treated imported water already stored at reservoirs throughout the Valley.

“The maintenance is done and customers can resume outdoor irrigation,” said Keith Abercrombie, Chief Operating Officer for SCV Water. “However, we encourage a continuing conservation mindset, especially when it comes to outdoor water use.”

“The northern part of the state is abnormally dry for this time of year and rainfall is below average,” Abercrombie said. “Southern California is also experiencing below-average precipitation, and we are seeing the early stages of drought conditions despite a few winter storms.”

Matt Dickens, Resource Conservation Manager for SCV Water said, “During these spring months, most landscape can be irrigated just once or twice a week.

“Now is a good time to check your irrigation timer settings to ensure optimal operation. Additionally, spring rain showers offer a great opportunity to shut off the sprinklers for a few days to let Mother Nature do the irrigating.”

Dickens added that the State of California has permanently prohibited the following water wasting practices: allowing water to run off your property onto sidewalks and gutters; washing down driveways and/or sidewalks; washing a vehicle using a hose without a shut-off nozzle; the use of non-recirculating fountains; and irrigating your landscape during and 48 hours after receiving measurable rain.

“We know customers sometimes wonder why they are still being asked to conserve water when we receive a few winter storms, but the efficient use of water in California is an ongoing priority given the large variability between wet and dry years in the west,” Abercrombie said.

“So, in the meantime, we simply want to thank all SCV Water customers for their cooperation and conservation, not only last week, but as a way of life in the Santa Clarita Valley.”

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