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Officials plan to pump up water pressure

Posted: January 18, 2011 8:53 p.m.
Updated: January 19, 2011 4:30 a.m.

If living with hard water is driving you crazy, then having to wait for it as it dribbles out of the tap might just be the last straw.

The Castaic Lake Water Agency has an answer to at least the latter of these water issues.

Officials said Tuesday that replacing a section of pipe located in Valencia may help the flow of water from Santa Clarita Valley facilities to faucets.

The water slowdown happens in the Castaic Conduit Bypass Pipeline, underground pipes near The Home Depot at Newhall Ranch Road and Copper Hill Drive, which runs southeast to McBean Parkway and Avenue Scott, near San Francisquito Creek.

It’s this pipe that slows the transfer of water and ultimately water pressure.

Agency engineers want to replace a narrow connector pipe with wider-sized pipe.

The agency is gathering public comment on the $10 million replacement project now. It likely won’t break ground for another two years, and will take another year to complete, officials said.

Until Feb. 18, the public is invited to review details of the pipe problem and the plan to fix it without harming the environment.

“We want to make certain we build across the San Francisquito Creek with the least amount of impact as possible,” said Jeff Ford, the agency’s principal water resources planner.

“We’re going to survey the area to make sure there are no sensitive species in the area.”

One hearty, yet federally endangered, species indigenous to the Santa Clara River and its tributaries is a minnow-sized freshwater fish called the unarmored three-spine stickleback.

“None are in the area we’ll be working,” Ford said. “There are some downstream in the Santa Clara River and some upstream.

“But, we would do sediment control around the work areas to make sure the water system is not affected downstream.”

The agency’s two water treatment plants — the Earl Schmidt Filtration Plant in Castaic and the Rio Vista Water

Treatment Plant on Bouquet Canyon Road overlooking Central Park — are connected by several large pipelines wide enough to fit a 54-inch flat screen TV snugly corner-to-corner.

The Castaic Conduit Pipeline is just 39 inches wide, or three inches longer than a teacher’s yardstick, and almost 1.5 miles long.


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