A recent letter raised questions about the reliability of water infrastructure, and I wanted to assure residents and businesses of our commitment to them. At California Water Service, our crews work around the clock to ensure the water system is reliable and the water supply is safe in Chico.
It is essential to invest in our infrastructure before problems arise, as emergencies lead to more expensive repairs, construction complications and potentially thousands of liters of wasted water. Each year, our team of experts evaluates Chico’s hoses and identifies those that need to be replaced. Pipelines identified for replacement are selected using a risk prioritization model; considerations include the impact a pipeline rupture would have on customers and the probability of failure (i.e. how likely is this pipeline to leak given its age, material and other site-specific conditions).
Over the past decade, we have invested nearly $90 million in Chico’s water infrastructure. Thanks to these investments, the average age of our pipes is 25% higher than the national average, according to data from the American Water Works Association. And over the next three years, we plan to invest an additional $13 million for 38,703 feet of new pipeline to prevent ruptures and avoid service disruptions.
We maintain and replace aging infrastructure or build new infrastructure to ensure the supply of safe, clean water to those we serve. Projects like this are essential to ensure the continued reliability of the water system, to address water loss, and to meet the daily and emergency needs of our customers and firefighters.
—Evan Markey, Chico