Water officials are asking Long Beach residents along with more than 3 million others in Los Angeles County to suspend outdoor watering for 15 days next month while the Metropolitan Water District shuts down a major water pipeline so it can repair a leak.
Officials discovered a leak in the 36-mile Upper Feeder pipeline, which delivers water from the Colorado River to Southern California, earlier this year. The pipeline was running at a reduced capacity after a temporary repair while officials designed a more permanent solution.
To make that fix, the pipeline will be shut down between Sept. 6 to 20. This will impact the cities of Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, Pasadena, San Fernando and Torrance. Residents in the Central Basin Municipal Water District, Foothill Municipal Water District, Three Valleys Municipal Water District and West Basin Municipal Water District will also be impacted.
“We need to make this urgent repair to ensure this infrastructure can continue serving Southern California in the immediate term and for years to come,” said Brent Yamasaki, systems operations manager for the Metropolitan Water District. “While we do this work, we need people who normally get water from this pipeline to eliminate their outdoor water use to stretch the limited available water supplies. We don’t take this call lightly, but it is what is needed at this time.”
While Long Beach gets most of its water from local wells, the city still purchases about 30% of its supply from the Metropolitan Water District.
Long Beach residents have done well to reduce their water usage already, saving 14% in July compared to last year, according to the Long Beach Water Department, but the pipeline shutdown requires a “drastic reduction” in water use across the region.
Pitching in to help meet that goal, “will help Long Beach continue to show leadership in saving water,” the department said in a statement.
Officials provided tips to help ease the cuts prior to the shutdown, including delaying new plantings until after Sept. 20, avoiding fertilizing lawns and plants and turning the sprinkler timer off on the evening of Sept. 5.
Residents can view a map of affected areas and more information here.
The Long Beach Water Department said it would notify customers as soon as the repairs are complete so customers can return to watering outdoors two days a week.