Water Authority begins San Vicente Pipeline project

July 22, 2005

The San Diego County Water Authority board members and community and labor representatives cut a ribbon on a 102-inch pipe…

The San Diego County Water Authority board members and community and labor representatives cut a ribbon on a 102-inch pipe today to officially begin the largest construction project in Water Authority history. The San Vicente Pipeline will be a large-diameter pipeline connecting the San Vicente Reservoir in Lakeside to the Water Authority’s second aqueduct west of Interstate 15.

“This is a significant event in the Water Authority’s Emergency Storage Project and its commitment to ensuring water reliability for San Diego County’s future,” said Water Authority Board Chairman James Bond. “The San Vicente Pipeline will provide the means to move water where it is needed in the county in times of emergency.”

The San Vicente Pipeline and the Emergency Storage Project are part of the Water Authority’s $3.1 billion Capital Improvement Program to enhance and increase the operational flexibility of its water delivery system. This 11-mile-long pipeline is a key component of the ESP, a series of dams, reservoirs, pipelines and pump stations. The pipeline will provide access to water set aside in the San Vicente reservoir for emergencies, such as a drought or major earthquake, that could cut off the county’s supply of imported water.

This pipeline will be built in a tunnel rather than a trench at a depth ranging from 50 to 600 feet below the surface. Tunneling will enable the Water Authority to build the pipeline with fewer impacts to land surfaces and the surrounding communities.

The Water Authority’s contractor will use two or more tunnel boring machines to excavate the majority of the tunnel, minimizing the need for blasting. A tunnel-boring machine excavates rock using a rotating cutterhead to break rock into small pieces. The small pieces of rock and dirt then exit behind the boring machine for disposal by either haul trains or a conveyor belt. The tunnel-boring machine can excavate at a rate of 50 to 130 feet a day, depending on rock conditions.

The pipeline project, at a cost almost $200 million, is scheduled for completion in 2008.

For additional information go to: www.sdcwa.org/infra/pdf/SVP_FactSheet04-04.pdf

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  • 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