RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Inland Empire residents were being urged Friday to suspend outdoor watering and limit indoor use through the weekend.

Officials with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) called on over 325,000 customers in Moreno Valley, Perris and south Riverside to take conservation efforts while the Mills Water Treatment Plant undergoes emergency repairs through Sunday evening.

KNX 1070’s Bob Brill reports starting at 2 p.m., the plant will be shut down to allow the California Department of Water Resources to repair a leaking valve along the Santa Ana Valley Pipeline, which delivers Northern California water from the State Water Project to the Mills plant.

With a capacity of 220 million gallons of water per day, the Mills plant is one of five treatment facilities operated by MWD and provides drinking water to more than a million consumers in southwest Riverside County, according to officials.

Officials noted that the unplanned Mills plant closure is occurring at the same time the district has shut down another treatment facility, its Joseph Jensen plant in Granada Hills, for drought-related upgrades.

The Jensen shutdown, which also is scheduled to extend until Sunday afternoon, has spurred similar water-saving calls to consumers in south Ventura and west Los Angeles counties.

Describing the scenario as a “very serious situation,” MWD manager Paul Jones said the immediate water-saving actions by consumers and businesses were key to ensuring that the stored local supplies are sufficient.

“While we have full confidence the state will complete repairs in the time allowed, our emergency reserves are limited in this portion of our service area,” said Jones. “This is a very serious situation, and we must all do our part to ensure these communities continue to have the essential water supply reliability they have come to expect.”

Along with temporarily suspending outdoor watering, MWD officials offered the following additional
conservation steps:

  • no hand-washing vehicles, filling swimming pools or spas, or hosing down driveways and sidewalks;
  • running only full loads in washing machines and dishwashers;
  • not leaving the tap running when washing dishes;
  • keeping showers to a maximum of 5 minutes; and
  • not leaving the water running while brushing your teeth or shaving.

Consumers can get more water-saving tips and other information at the MWD website.


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