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Quite simply, it’s time. Currently, 90% of PV Peninsula residents are served by one drinking water pipeline that is more than 60 years old, and a single pumping mechanism. Drinking water for the other 10% of the Peninsula is dependent on a separate aging water pipeline that is more than 80 years old and located dangerously close to homes. This project will help guard against the significant risks of prolonged drinking water service outages caused by an aging infrastructure and natural disasters — and also ensure the Peninsula is better prepared for the future.
The new drinking water pipeline will serve the approximately 90,000 people on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and will help ensure the Peninsula is better prepared for the future.
PV communities will see two major benefits from the Palos Verdes Peninsula Water Reliability Project. The first is service reliability. The current drinking water pipeline is difficult for repair workers to access, but the new water pipeline location will be much more accessible, which will increase overall service reliability in the event of an earthquake or major power outage. The second is safety. This new drinking water pipeline will be located farther away from homes and other structures, ultimately minimizing the risk of property damage.
You can review the project construction timeline here. Please note that this timeline is based on current estimates and will be updated on an ongoing basis to reflect project progress.
Similar to the way most homeowners purchase their homes through a mortgage, Cal Water funds major projects up front by securing financing from investors. Once the project is complete, Cal Water recovers the cost of the project by applying to the California Public Utilities Commission for a rate adjustment that will be recouped over the lifespan of the project – typically several decades.
As the first step in the rate adjustment process, the California Public Utilities Commission approved an initial project budget of about $60 million. Similar to paying off a mortgage, payments will end once the full cost of the project is recouped. The costs are recovered in small increments over the lifespan of the project – typically several decades – to avoid drastic increases to monthly water bills. It is important to note that Cal Water can only recoup the project costs once the California Public Utilities Commission determines that the costs incurred were prudent and justified. Based on the existing project cost estimate, the rate increase is projected to end in approximately 40 years. There will not be an impact to rates until 2020 or later, and the exact amount and length of the repayment will depend on the final costs.
Based on an average monthly bill of $125, we expect our typical residential customer to see their monthly bills increase by about $1 per day. Ultimately, the impact of the project on water rates will depend on several factors, including the final project cost, how much water a customer uses in a given month, and the size of a customer’s water meter. Commercial customers, who typically use higher volumes of water, will experience the same proportional impact as residential customers, working out to an estimated increase of approximately $5 per day.
The majority of the new drinking water pipeline has been routed through the City of Rolling Hills Estates. You can view the project route here.
This project was in the planning phase for about 15 years, and a multitude of options were evaluated in collaboration with the City of Rolling Hills Estates. With the completion of the most recent analysis, our goal was to develop a balance among all of the analyzed routes. The current route strikes the right balance and has the lowest overall impact on the community. To learn more about the project, please visit our Project Overview page.
Approximately seven miles of new drinking water pipeline have been
Cal Water is building the new pump station to help prevent service interruptions in the case of a disruptive event. The new pump station will be on a separate electrical grid and will have a generator, making it less likely to experience a power outage at the same time as the existing pump station. Additionally, there will be a new, separate drinking water pipeline to feed the system. The combination of the additional drinking water pipeline and pump station will help guard against potential risks and ensure the Peninsula is better prepared for the future.
Cal Water is working closely with individual horse owners and local equestrian groups to ensure that all horses along the water pipeline route are safe during construction. We partnered with local equestrians to develop efficient boarding plans for all affected horse owners and are paying the full cost to temporarily relocate horses for comfort and safety. For more information regarding how Cal Water is working with the equestrian community, as well as anticipated bridle trail closures, we encourage you to visit our equestrian page.
The majority of the new drinking water pipeline is routed through the City of Rolling Hills Estates and required temporarily closing the Rolling Hills Little League field from August 2018 to January 2019. As part of these improvements, Cal Water has repaved the ballfield parking lot and will finish paving the access road at a later date, which will enhance access to the field for families and players.
The new pump station will be located off of the west side of Crenshaw Boulevard, between the curb and hillside, just north of Silver Spur Road.
A rendering of the completed pump station can be found on the Project Overview page. The pump station’s exterior design was informed by residents and will be constructed in a Mediterranean style to blend in with nearby homes.
Landscaping will consist of native plants and vegetation along the side of the pump station that faces Crenshaw Boulevard, and along the hillside. This landscaping will help the pump station blend in with the surrounding environment, and will be maintained regularly. Final landscaping plans will be reviewed and approved by the City of Rolling Hills Estates.
The pump station was designed to maximize the safe entry and exit of vehicles on Crenshaw Boulevard. This includes the creation of a safety shoulder that will allow cars entering the pump station site to safely decelerate without impacting other lanes of southbound traffic.
The pump station site was designed in consultation with acoustical experts to ensure that sound generated from the pump station during operation will have a less than significant impact on nearby residential areas. Sound attenuation measures will be installed within the pump station to reduce any noise to the lowest levels possible. For more information regarding the detailed sound modeling conducted as part of the environmental review process, please review the PV Peninsula Water Reliability Project Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration on the City of Rolling Hills Estates' website.
All work hours and traffic control plans were determined in collaboration with the City of Rolling Hills Estates and the City of Rancho Palos Verdes to balance the overall project timeline, construction noise, and traffic congestion. Due to the impact of noise on residents nearby, nighttime work was restricted unless necessary. While the majority of work on Crenshaw Boulevard will take place during the day, there was a portion of work that was conducted at nighttime – the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and PV Drive North – to accommodate the high volume of traffic in this area.
As of March 2020, all of drinking water pipeline along Crenshaw Boulevard has been installed – a significant project milestone. There will continue to be smaller, periodic daytime closures along Crenshaw Boulevard, between Crest Road and the Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, until mid-2020 as crews continue finishing work for the new drinking water pipeline and pump station. These closures are needed to give crews access to the manways to conduct activities like welding and grouting.
Yes, Cal Water has completed a geotechnical investigation and site-specific analysis to ensure the new drinking water pipeline and pump station site will be built to withstand seismic activity.
We have been working very closely with all Palos Verdes Peninsula cities and Los Angeles County – including the LA County Sheriff and Fire departments, the California Highway Patrol, and the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department – to ensure that all first responders are aware of the upcoming construction on Crenshaw Boulevard and can accommodate accordingly. Crews are also fully trained on how to safely assist first responders in traveling through active work areas in the event of an emergency. As part of traffic control, there will be signs placed throughout and beyond the project area to alert all drivers of upcoming work and suggested detours.