Pipeline 5 Will Return to Service After April 16 – 25 Work

April 13, 2023

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

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Pipeline 5 will be returned to full service after five months of rehabilitation work that runs from April 16 through April 25. The work is necessary to extend the useful life of critical water infrastructure that delivers reliable supplies for the region.

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 should check with their local water utility if they have questions about localized impacts of the shutdown: Olivenhain Municipal Water District, San Dieguito Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, Ramona Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, Sweetwater Authority, and the cities of San Diego, Oceanside, Poway and Escondido.

“Proactively 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,” said Eva Plajzer, the Water Authority’s director of operations and maintenance. “Taking care of this critical infrastructure during the shutdown season extends the life of critical water supply lines and reduces the cost of replacement.”  

Rehabilitation projects and corrective maintenance work on pipelines are scheduled during low-demand periods to minimize impacts on water service.

Constructed in 1982, Pipeline 5 is a vital component of the Water Authority’s regional water infrastructure system. It delivers untreated water supplies from Lake Skinner in southwest Riverside County to San Diego County’s eleven local treatment plants.

Last October, Pipeline 5 was isolated from the rest of the regional water system with bulkheads to allow more than 5,000 feet of 96-inch diameter prestressed concrete cylinder pipe to be rehabilitated. This was done by inserting and securing a steel pipe liner, as part of the project to reline approximately 50 miles, or 61%, of the Water Authority’s prestressed concrete cylinder pipe. This month, crews will remove bulkheads that were in place before the relining work. Once the bulkheads are removed, Pipeline 5 will be returned to service.

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 – that promotes water affordability by avoiding costly unplanned disruptions in service.

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. Identifying potential issues early avoids more costly fixes later.

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