Water Operations Return to Normal in the Area

The Las Virgenes and Calleguas water districts relied on limited stored local supplies to maintain water deliveries while a Metropolitan Water District plant was off-line.

Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo
Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo

A regional water treatment plant was back on-line today after drought-related upgrades were completed nearly a day ahead of schedule.

Officials with the Metropolitan Water District and two other districts had asked residents and businesses in west Los Angeles and south Ventura counties to reduce their water use, including refraining from outdoor watering, during the shutdown of the MWD's Joseph Jensen Water Treatment Plant in Granada Hills.

"We greatly appreciate the support from residents and businesses throughout the affected areas whose conservation efforts were instrumental in maintaining adequate supplies for the area," said Debra C. Man, Metropolitan assistant general manager and chief operating officer, after the plant was returned to service at 3 p.m.

The shutdown began early Thursday and originally had been expected to continue until Sunday. The Las Virgenes and Calleguas water districts relied on limited stored local supplies to maintain water deliveries while the plant was off-line.

"We're extremely pleased the physical modifications to the district's local distribution system were completed so supplies from the Colorado River can be delivered to the area as we enter the summer months," Man said.

West Los Angeles County cities in Las Virgenes' service area include Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills and Westlake Village as well as the communities of Agoura, Chatsworth, Lake Manor, Malibu Lake, Monte Nido and West Hills.

South Ventura County cities in Calleguas' service area are Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Port Hueneme, along with the communities of Camarillo Heights, Las Posas Valley, Oak Park, Santa Rosa Valley, Lake Sherwood, Point Mugu and Somis.

Areas affected by the shutdown usually receive imported water delivered exclusively from Northern California via the State Water Project and treated at the Jensen plant, one of five such treatment facilities within Metropolitan's distribution system.

"Because drought conditions have severely limited SWP supplies to only 5 percent of contracted deliveries in 2014, Metropolitan is making adjustments to its distribution system to deliver its Colorado River water supplies into areas of the Southland that do not typically receive them," according to an MWD statement.

Metropolitan typically schedules shutdowns of its facilities in winter months, when temperatures usually are cooler and demands are lower, to complete inspections and perform maintenance and upgrades with the least impact on consumers.

Because of the drought and the immediate need to make adjustments to Metropolitan's system, local agencies did not have the usual six- to eight- month lead time to coordinate their water supply and storage options, according to Man.

--City News Service


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