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Additional Water Restrictions Sept. 6-20

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West Basin Calls for No Outdoor Watering for 15 Days in September to Repair Pipeline 
Published August 27, 2022, at 3:30 p.m.

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 6th, residents and businesses in portions of greater Los Angeles County are being called on to suspend outdoor watering* for 15 days as a critical imported water pipeline is shut down for emergency repairs. This will impact Topanga.

Because our water purveyors realize that this is a sub-optimal time to impose just a restriction, they do want residents to know that, if necessary, hand watering of trees/habitats/gardens is permissible. That said, they urge residents to be as judicious as possible in their outdoor watering because we will be living almost entirely off our water reserves/savings during this two-week pipeline shutdown.

The 36-mile Upper Feeder pipeline is an important part of Metropolitan’s regional water system, delivering Colorado River water into Southern California. It is one of only two pipelines that deliver water to our area. After a leak was discovered in the pipeline earlier this year, Metropolitan quickly assessed the situation and installed a temporary repair that would allow the pipeline to remain in use at a reduced capacity. Metropolitan has carefully monitored the pipeline since then to make sure the temporary repair was holding. It does not appear to be holding up as well as hoped, and they believe the risk is currently too great of a serious or total failure between now and the off-peak winter season to continue limping along in this manner. If the temporary repair fails, the impacts of an emergency repair would be much more severe, with no time for the member agencies and their customers to plan and prepare. As a metaphor, consider an oil leak in your vehicle which suddenly progresses from a minor leak to a "Check Engine" level of urgency. You cannot hold off on getting it repaired at that stage without risking the integrity of your engine.

*Topanga Town Council note: We asked the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) why the repair was scheduled to take place during the hottest month of the year and why the repair was not postponed until Winter. MWD stated that they had hoped and planned to do the repair during the off-peak season but that conditions had worsened and that the repair date had to be pushed up because the risk of a serious failure of the temporary fix was simply too great.

An additional note, the Resource Conservation District is postponing one of their Trippet oak watering events during the MWD repair and asking instead that folks carry an extra water bottle to give the trees a sip as they walk by. *Water conservation is now part of our lives and is not going away, so fall is a great time to transition from thirsty plants and trees to drought tolerant landscaping.

Regarding trees, the TTC confirmed that you can hand-water trees (or plants) that might become distressed during this water restriction. Drip watering is also considered okay. Other landscape watering is not allowed. They encourage using water that is saved when warming up your shower.

The shutdown will greatly reduce water supply while that portion is offline. Water will continue to flow to your home and the West Basin Water District is asking everyone to maintain their current conservation habits in the midst of the drought, but this action only affects outdoor watering. If they accomplish the repair more quickly, the restriction will be lifted sooner.

Residents and businesses who want to know more about how the shutdown will affect them should contact their water provider or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Updates on the shutdown will be available at: mwdh2o.com/shutdown.

West Basin also reminds its recycled water customers that recycled water use is not subject to the temporary suspension of outdoor watering or the ongoing potable water conservation restrictions. Its exemption is a major benefit of recycled water, which helps the entire region save drinking water for drinking, especially during a major drought and in urgent circumstances, such as this emergency infrastructure repair. Collectively, West Basin and its recycled water customers have saved nearly 250 billion gallons of water.


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PRIOR TO SHUTDOWN

General Landscaping

- Delay new plantings until after Sept. 20.
- Avoid fertilizing lawns and plants prior to the shutdown.
- Weed your garden to help make more water available for your plants.
- Set your sprinkler timer to the “OFF” position on the evening of Sept. 5.

Lawns

- Aerate your lawn and add compost two weeks prior to the shutdown.
- Set mowers for a higher cut or avoid mowing. Longer grass helps reduce evaporation.
- Do a normal watering of your lawn according to your agency’s watering schedule.

Shrubs/Flowers/Ground Covers

- Water deeply and early the morning of Monday, Sept. 5, or on the last day hand watering is allowed in your community before the shutdown.
- Add mulch around your plants three inches from the stem. Do not irrigate mulch, pull it away while watering then put back into place
- Shade your plants where possible with a sun cloth, canopy tents or umbrellas.
- Water succulents and other desert plants as normal. Overwatering could harm them.

Trees

- On Monday, Sept. 5, or on the last day hand watering is allowed in your community before the shutdown, deep-water your trees and shrubs by hand watering, setting soaker hoses or watering with a regular hose on a slow trickle. Water until soil is soaked to a depth of 8-12 inches.
- Surround the tree with mulch before watering for added moisture retention. Make sure the mulch is three inches from the trunk.

DURING THE SHUTDOWN (Sept. 6-20)

Outdoors

- Eliminate all outdoor watering.
- Remember, two weeks of no watering will not kill your lawn. Though you will see a noticeable yellowing, it will improve once your previous watering schedule resumes.
- Do not mow your lawn. Minimize the use of your lawn for playing, parking vehicles.

Indoors

- Put a bucket in your shower to collect water as the shower warms up. Use for houseplants, sensitive outdoor plants and areas of the lawn that may show excessive stress (hot spots).
- Take short showers (5-minute max).
- Do not leave water running when washing dishes. Fill a small bin or bucket with water to wash your dishes in. When you’re done, use that water for trees and grass.

For more water-saving tips, visit bewaterwise.com.



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