4 Million SoCal Residents Asked to Stop All Outdoor Watering for 15 Days

Starting September 6, a critical pipeline will be under repair and lawns will just have to yellow until the work gets done

The Metropolitan Water District has asked millions of Southern Californians to stop all outdoor watering for 15 days beginning September 6 so emergency repairs can be made on a “critical imported water pipeline,” according to CBS News.

The closedown will impact over 4 million people, including customers in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, Pasadena, San Fernando, Torrance, and those served by the Central Basin Municipal Water district, Foothill Municipal Water District, Three Valleys Municipal Water District, and the West Basin Municipal Water District.

“We need to make this urgent repair to ensure this infrastructure can continue serving Southern California in the immediate term and for years to come. While we do this work, we need people who normally get water from this pipeline to eliminate their outdoor use to stretch the limited available water supplies,” Brent Yamasaki, operations manager of Metropolitan Water System, said in a statement to the network. “We don’t take this call lightly, but it is what is needed at this time.”

The pipeline that will be repaired is called the Upper Feeder pipeline which, at 36 miles long, ferry’s water from the Colorado River into Southern California. A leak in the pipeline was found earlier this year and temporary were repairs made. The pipeline has been working at a reduced capacity ever since.

MWD’s planned permanent repairs necessitated the closing, which will run from Sept. 6 through 20.

During the closedown, MWD is asking all residents and business owners to halt all outdoor watering completely. Officials added that while lawns may yellow during this 15-day period, they won’t die. Aerating lawns, using compost, and eschewing mowing before September 6 will help.

More closedown tips from the MWD: a bucket placed in residents’ showers can serve as a handy way to collect water for watering houseplants, “sensitive” outdoor plants, and hot spots on the lawn. Showers should be taken in under five minutes, and water should not be left running when washing dishes.

“The less water we use during the shutdown, the more health and safety water is available for our neighbors that have been facing a more serious water supply shortage since June 1 of this year,” Richard Atwater, board president of Foothill Municipal Water District, said in a statement.

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