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PG&E continuing canal construction, pumping from Bear River

PCWA thanks customers for conservation, understanding
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Construction on the broken section of the Bear River Canal is continuing to move forward and representatives from Placer County Water Agency and PG&E said they are happy with the progress. On Thursday PG&E continued pouring concrete at the break site, said Denny Boyles, spokesman for PG&E. “The main news it seems like is we have been pouring the concrete that will form the bottom of the canal,” Boyles said Friday. “We poured 46 yards (Thursday). That’s the last step that has to be done before we can start building the (temporary) bypass.” The pour was expected to continue over the weekend, Boyles said Friday. “So we are hoping that pour goes well and we can start constructing the bypass next week,” he said. PG&E is also using a high-lift pump to bring water from the Bear River to the Bear River Canal. The pumping is bringing 9 cubic feet per second of water back into the canal system from PCWA and Nevada Irrigation District customers, according to PG&E. The pump and recent wet weather has allowed for less water to be trucked from Rollins Reservoir into the system. As of Friday 3.36 million gallons of water had been delivered to customers of both water agencies, PG&E said. According to PG&E, testing was completed on Wednesday that will allow PCWA to pump 110 cfs from the American River into PG&E’s South Canal near Newcastle, which will then be delivered to PCWA customers. Dave Breninger, general manager of PCWA, said he was pleased with the way construction was going. “I think PG&E has been doing and is implementing now very assertive and aggressive actions to accomplish the final fix or repair of the Bear River Canal,” Breninger said. “I would also add they have been taking very seriously finding a variety of alternatives for assisting in providing some temporary, although limited, amounts of additional water. Their actions in the previous weeks to run water trucks from Rollins (Reservoir) to the agency’s system are very impressive.” Breninger said the company will be able to relax slightly when the temporary bypass comes. “When that comes along I think we are going to all be able to at least take half a breath, a sigh of relief, that that will fortify for PCWA our supplies, and then we will be able to take the other half a breath when the repairs are completed in June,” he said. Breninger said PCWA appreciates the support of its customers. “I really compliment and thank all of our customers for their understanding and their actions to use water conservatively and wisely during this emergency,” he said. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com