California American Water recently announced its end-of-year investment total and system improvements for 2020. More than $68 million total was invested on system upgrades and various improvement projects in the communities throughout the year. These improvements come despite the complications and challenges posed by COVID-19 public health emergency.
“At California American Water, our goal is to provide safe, reliable water and wastewater service to all of our customers under continually varying conditions,” said Rich Svindland, president of California American Water. “Our team of professionals works around the clock every day of the year to ensure these essential services operate to meet the needs of our customers. This is not possible without significant annual investment in new equipment and facilities and the efficient maintenance of our existing infrastructure. These investments will best prepare our communities for the future.”
Each year, California American Water invests tens of millions of dollars in its infrastructure, which includes both maintenance and upgrades to its facilities. This includes regular maintenance and upgrades to treatment plants, tanks, lift and pump stations, water and sewer mains, fire hydrants and valves, metering equipment and sewer collection system components.
“We were able to deliver on all of our projects despite the hinderances posed by the pandemic,” Svindland said. “We of course had to adjust our own protective equipment, how we interact with customers and our own internal operations to comply with CDC guidelines. Our crews didn’t miss a beat and delivered for our customers the same level of service and investment they have come to expect.”
For 2020, system improvement highlights include:
- Sacramento Area: Constructed a new booster pump station and piping, interconnecting our Arden System with the City of Sacramento's system to supplement our supply of potable water. Installed12-inch water main and relocated sewer services and storm drain. This new main provides in excess of 2,500 gallons per minute and solves a water supply deficit for maximum day demand while also improving fire flow.
- Monterey Peninsula: Completed six major well rehabilitations throughout the system. Well rehabilitation is the process of thoroughly cleaning the well screen, placing new gravel pack, and other elements to raise the specific total well capacity to its highest possible value. As time goes on, wells naturally degrade in performance due to a variety of issues. A programmatic well rehabilitation program improves capacity and efficiency of aging wells.
- Los Angeles and Ventura County: Finished significant water main replacement projects in Bradbury and Duarte. These projects replace aging water mains that are more prone to breaks and leakage with more durable materials. Completed construction of the Los Robles Booster Pump Station in Ventura County. Booster pump stations help move water through the system to higher elevation customers, during high demands and to help maintain adequate pressure for consumption and firefighting.
- South San Diego: On Palm Avenue in the City of Imperial Beach, replaced old 16-inch steel water main that had a history of breaks with a new durable main. This is a portion of an ongoing larger 18,480 feet water main replacement project in Imperial Beach.
The company is poised to spend more than $143 million over the next two years in infrastructure construction and important system maintenance projects.
“We will continue to invest in our communities and employees to ensure our customers have reliable and safe water and wastewater service,” Svindland said. “This is particularly important during a pandemic, where sanitation and reliability are critical.”