Pipeline 5 Repairs

About this project

Beginning March 30, 2020, a shutdown will carry out crucial repairs on Pipeline 5 in rural North County between Fallbrook and Escondido. Crews will begin by installing bulkheads in the pipeline to isolate a section for the repairs. The bulkheads allow the pipeline to continue treated water deliveries through the county in a modified fashion, restoring full service to retail water agencies. A new carbon fiber liner will be used to reinforce distressed areas of the pipe and extend the life of the 96-inch, pre-stressed concreted cylinder pipeline. Repairs will require that a section of Pipeline 5 in North County be shut down from March 30 until mid-May 2020. 

This work is part of the Water Authority’s proactive asset management program, which monitors and maintains the condition of regional water infrastructure that includes 310 miles of large-diameter pipelines. The Water Authority’s approach, coordinated closely with its member agencies, has served the region well by avoiding large-scale unexpected water outages for more than a decade.

Pipeline 5 Board Memo Page 36 - March 26, 2020

Pipeline 5 Board Presentation Pages 28-33 – March 26, 2020


The Water Authority’s second aqueduct contains Pipelines 3, 4, and 5, which crosses Moosa Creek in the northeast portion of San Diego County. In January 2020, staff conducted an internal inspection of Pipeline 5 after a leak in nearby Pipeline 4 was discovered in summer 2019. The assessment showed that a section of Pipeline 5 in Moosa Canyon was also under significant stress. The inspection revealed signs of stress in Pipeline 5 at a bend where the pipeline crosses Moosa Creek.

Constructed in 1982, Pipeline 5 is a vital component of the Water Authority’s water system, delivering untreated supplies from Lake Skinner in southwest Riverside County to the Lower Otay Water Treatment Plant in southern San Diego County. The operating pressure exceeds 400 pounds per square inch in Moosa Canyon.

The newly installed carbon fiber liner will give the pipeline several more years of service while a longer-term solution is developed and deployed. After repairs are completed, an additional seven-day shutdown of Pipeline 5 will be needed to remove the bulkheads and return the pipeline to full, normal operation.

Project area map


For more information, call (877) 682-9283, Ext. 7003, or email CIPinfo@sdcwa.org if you would like to receive email updates.