Alternating outages planned for water customers after canal break

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Local agencies are doing what they can to get full water service back to customers after a landslide caused a break in the Bear River Canal just outside of Colfax Tuesday morning. The break is anticipated to affect 4,800 Placer County Water Agency and Nevada Irrigation District customers who use irrigation or ditch water. The break is not expected to affect treated water used in the customers’ homes, representatives from both water agencies have said. Wednesday PG&E representative were still looking for answers regarding the break. “We are still investigating the cause of the slide as well as evaluating the repair plans,” said Paul Moreno, spokesman for PG&E. “We are continuing to make on-site evaluations as well as office type planning, such as using satellite images, and typography maps and other research available. It is a considerable landslide, so it will require (more) engineering than a small landslide would.” Moreno said PG&E is still working with the Placer County Water Agency and the Nevada Irrigation District to keep the companies updated and do what it can to help make up for the loss of water from the canal. Matt Young, deputy director of customer services for PCWA, said the company is already developing a plan for alternating outages for its customers. Young said for 24 hours one group of customers will receive water and the next day another group will receive water. The plan is available for customers to see, Young said. “What they will be doing is posting that on the website when they have identified that,” Young said. “It should be posted right on the home page.” PCWA is currently pumping water from the American River at 90 cubic feet per second to help make up for the shortage, Young said. Moreno said although the canal generates hydro-electric power, the break is not affecting PG&E customers, because the power created by the canal is fed into a larger transmission system, which in turn serves distribution level power lines that go out to customers. “We have a wide range of other power sources available that we can utilize,” Moreno said. PCWA customers can find more information at or call (530) 823-4850. Reach Bridget Jones at ------------------------------------------------------ If you are a PCWA or NID customer without water and you would like to comment, contact Bridget Jones at (530) 852-0235 or e-mail PCWA board meeting When: 2-4 p.m. Thursday Where: 144 Ferguson Road, Auburn