Here are the steps PID is taking to restore potable water service
PID customers have been under a water advisory since December of 2018 following the destructive Camp Fire. Since then, the District has done an extensive amount of research in order to understand this first-of-its-kind water system depressurization and contamination. The District has worked with federal and state agencies, mutual aid partners -and with the aid of scientists and engineers- have a recovery plan which includes a rigorous process for lifting its water advisory on a customer-by-customer basis. Before a customer receives a letter certifying the water at their service lateral is potable, the following steps are completed:
1 - Mainline Approval
District staff and engineers perform water sampling on the large mainlines and network of mainlines that deliver water from the treatment plant to the customer’s property. The water in these mainlines is tested to ensure it meets all California guidelines for drinking water. We have tested over half of the 185 miles of mains. Currently nearly all (97%) of the mainlines which have been tested meet these guidelines and have been cleared.
2 - Service Lateral Approval
The service lateral is the small-diameter pipe that delivers the water from the mainline to your property. It’s these small pipes that have the highest likelihood for contamination. The District has two methods for approving service laterals for delivery of potable water.
STANDING HOMES: Our testing shows that the service laterals that service standing homes have a lower likelihood of being contaminated. In many cases, PID can approve the service lateral after we’ve taken tests to confirm the service lateral is free of contamination. PID needs to temporarily interrupt water service to the property for a minimum of 72 hours to gather the water sample needed to test your service lateral. Please contact PID to request testing at your service lateral. In the case your service lateral is contaminated, PID may schedule a service-lateral replacement.
BURNED LOTS: More than half of the tested service laterals at burned lots have some level of benzene detection. PID feels the most efficient way to ensure delivery of potable water to burned lots is to replace the service lateral. Currently, our staff is working closely with the Town of Paradise building department to coordinate the replacement of these service laterals on properties where building permits have been issued. Our goal is to approve the service lateral at the property before the building process is finalized.
3 - Expert Panel Approval
Every PID water service connection with mainline and service lateral approval is then reviewed by our expert panel. Panel members consist of engineers and District staff familiar with the history and particulars of the water system, its flow, and some of the intricacies that might vary from service-lateral to service-lateral.
Final Steps - Notification and Return to Pre-Fire Billing Rates
PID notifies each customer by U.S. mail when the water advisory has been lifted at their service lateral. The monthly service charge will return to your pre-fire active rate. View our rates page for more information. If a customer wishes to remain on the ready-to-serve rate they will need to contact PID and request their meter be locked. PID encourages property owners to take necessary steps to test and evaluate the customer side prior to use of water. Addresses where the advisory has been lifted can be viewed on our online map titled, “Water Advisory Lifted Map” .