First Aqueduct Maintenance Shutdown Runs Feb. 27-March 8

February 22, 2023

Member agencies and Water Authority collaborate to minimize impacts for water users

The final shutdown for scheduled maintenance of the San Diego County Water Authority’s First Aqueduct is scheduled to begin February 27. The shutdown will run through March 8, allowing crews to reline portions of the historic aqueduct and perform regular maintenance work that ensures a safe and reliable water supply for the region. Portions of the First Aqueduct were shut down earlier this year for similar work, as part of a proactive approach to saving on future maintenance or replacement costs.

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.

Customers of these affected retail agencies during the final planned shutdown should check with their local water utility if they have questions about localized impacts: Fallbrook Public Utility District, Rainbow Municipal Water District, Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, Vallecitos Water District, Valley Center Municipal Water District, Vista Irrigation District, Helix Water District, Yuima Municipal Water District, and the cities of San Diego, Poway and Ramona. 

“Taking care of this critical infrastructure during the shutdown season extends the life of the First Aqueduct and helps to avoid both water emergencies and the high costs of emergency work,” said Eva Plajzer, the Water Authority’s director of operations and maintenance. “Maintaining 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.”

Maintenance work on pipelines is scheduled during low-demand periods to minimize impacts on water service.

The historic First Aqueduct was constructed in the 1940s (Pipeline 1) and in the 1950s (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.

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. 

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 23 retail water providers, including cities, special districts and a military base.

    Media Contact Information

    Grace Sevilla

    Phone: (619) 855-5135

    Email: GSevilla@sdcwa.org