Santa Clarita Valley Water Shares Disaster Plans for Short and Long-Term Emergencies

By on November 10, 2019

In light of the many fires and other disaster events in California, plus the ever-evolving realities of climate change, Santa Clarita Valley Water (SCVW) has reviewed its operational plan in the event of an emergency and recently shared it with the district’s customers. A seven-point plan has been developed should it be needed.

“SCV Water staff have spent countless hours to develop and fine-tune an operations plan that can prepare us for short and long-term emergencies,” stated SCV Water Board President Bill Cooper. “It’s reassuring to know preparedness is a high priority, and one we can better manage now as a single, regional water provider.”

SCVW’s emergency operational plan includes the following:

  • During Red Flag Warnings, the district operates its tanks at their highest level and keeps them full so that they maintain as much water as possible in the system.
  • The water district uses a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system (networked computers and sensors) to view and monitor all of its tank levels throughout the valley.
  • Pinpoint notices are received from Southern California Edison to identify when and where power is expected to go down in high wind or emergency situations allowing district to move generators to those specific facilities and have personnel available to monitor the situation closely.
  • Should power go out, SCVW has large generators available to deploy to key booster stations to keep water flowing. The generators can run up to 12 hours before refueling is necessary.
  • SCVW has staff on-call after regular business hours every day should they be needed for an emergency.
  • The Rio Vista Water Treatment Plant (RVWTP) has back-up power and can continue to operate for four to five days without power, and then monitor and refuel as necessary.

In addition to being prepared to assist its own customers in emergency situations, SCVW is also an additional source of water that Los Angeles County Fire Department has at its disposal, when and if needed.

“In addition to the fire hydrants you see throughout the valley, we also help aerial firefighting efforts with two helipads, two dip tanks, and another helipad planned at the new Castaic High School,” stated Mike Alvord, director of operations. Helipads are locations where helicopters can fill from hydrant-type connections. Dip tanks are hard or soft-sided open tanks that are available to aircraft from which they can “snorkel” water.

For Santa Clarita-area residents, up-to-date emergency information is available from the city’s website at: https://santaclaritaemergency.com/.