School Lead Testing Update

School Lead Testing Update

On October 13, 2017, AB 746 was signed into law. This bill requires community water systems to test schools for lead before July 1, 2019 and report findings to the schools.

Before the law was implemented, Helix Water District reached out to every school within the district’s service area and worked with them on a voluntary basis to determine if a school’s plumbing or water fixtures expose students to lead. Over three hundred lead tests were performed at schools within the district’s service area, and none of the results were above the action level of 15 parts per billion.

Additional information regarding Helix Water District’s compliance with state and federal lead and copper testing, and all other water quality regulations, can be found in our annual Water Quality Report. Information on the testing for lead in schools program can be found on the State Water Resources Control Board’s website.

How Puerto Ricans are treating their own water

How Puerto Ricans are treating their own water

Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico in September, devastating the island’s water and power systems and leaving the island’s residents to drink whatever water they can find.

Oxfam and MIT responded. They partnered with the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust and the University of Puerto Rico to conduct a hands-on workshop for community leaders and relief workers. They showed them practical techniques for testing the quality of water and making it safe to drink — like how to turn a 2-liter soda bottle into a water filter. Now those trainees are fanning out across the island to show residents how to use the techniques themselves.

Read more and see the photos at oxfamamerica.org

Parking Lot Open at Administration Office

Parking Lot Open at Administration Office

December 21 / There are puddles this morning on the parking deck at Helix’s Administration Office, the remnants of last night’s rainfall. Here at Helix, we are concerned that this December has been one of the driest on record, but we’re also pleased that we completed the recoating of our parking deck before the rain arrived.

The parking deck reopened on December 12, and we would like to thank our neighbors and customers for their patience throughout the project.

Happy Holidays.

Photo: the parking deck at Helix’s Administration Office before the recoating project.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

All of us at Helix Water District wish you
peace, love and laughter in the year ahead.

And snow, too.

San Diego secures use of Imperial Valley water through 2047

San Diego secures use of Imperial Valley water through 2047

Photo: Imperial Valley / New York Times

In 2003, the Imperial Irrigation District agreed to reduce agricultural water use in the Imperial Valley through the year 2047 and transfer the saved water to the San Diego County Water Authority to meet the needs of the San Diego region.

This water transfer agreement now provides 20 percent of the San Diego region’s water supply. In 2021, the amount of water transferred will reach 200,000 acre feet per year, enough water for more than 400,000 homes.

How does this actually work? Imperial Irrigation District doesn’t see the water it saves. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California pulls the water out of the Colorado River at Lake Havasu and transports it through their 250-mile long Colorado River Aqueduct to the San Diego Aqueduct.

There was, however, an issue. Even though Imperial Irrigation District agreed to share its water through 2047, the agreement with Metropolitan to transport the water ended in 2037.

Last week, the Water Authority’s Board of Directors put the issue to rest, voting unanimously to extend their agreement with Metropolitan to deliver the Imperial Irrigation District’s saved water through 2047. Now, the water from the Imperial Valley and the means to transport it to San Diego are both locked in — a big step forward in securing the long-term reliability of the San Diego region’s water supply.

Learn More

Read the Water Authority’s Media Release

Read the Water Authority’s Summary of the Agreement

 

Our 2016-17 Annual Report discusses change and accomplishments

Our 2016-17 Annual Report discusses change and accomplishments

As we approach the end of 2017, everything is changing: the weather, the climate, our water resources and water regulations.

We utilized our 2016-17 Annual Report to discuss these changes with the residents, businesses and cities we serve and answer the question, “Where is Helix now, and what lies ahead?” Read the report and you’ll come away with a good understanding of the cost of water, the debate in the legislature over taxing your water bill and new regulations, and the need to find the right balance of local control and state oversight in managing California’s water.

Read Helix’s 2016-17 Annual Report

 

Board Elects 2018 Officers

Board Elects 2018 Officers

Photo: newly elected Helix board president Kathleen Hedberg thanks outgoing president Joel Scalzittti, who will remain on the board.

Helix Water District’s board of directors elected its board officers for 2018 at the December 6, 2017 board meeting. The board unanimously elected Kathleen Hedberg as board president and Dan McMillan as board vice president. Both will serve one year in their positions.

Hedberg was first elected to Helix’s board in 2006 and represents Helix’s division 4 customers, which includes a portion of Mt Helix, Spring Valley and La Mesa south of Interstate 8. McMillan was appointed by the board in January 2017 to fill the vacant division 1 board seat. Division 1 includes areas north of the I-8 freeway in El Cajon, including the Fletcher Hills and Bostonia neighborhoods.

The board, led by Hedberg, thanked outgoing president Joel Scalzitti for his commitment to customers and leadership over the past year.

The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge Returns

The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge Returns

Image: satellite image taken December 3, 2017 shows high pressure ridge over the western U.S.

The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, a ridge of high pressure over the Western U.S., is back and is once again preventing winter storms from reaching California. Scientists studying the ridge recently announced three new findings:

  • That the formation of the ridge coincides with warm water temperatures in the western Pacific Ocean
  • That the ridge forms independently of El Nino and La Nina conditions
  • That the ridge is responsible not just for warm, dry winters in the western U.S., but also the the cold, wet weather occurring simultaneously in the eastern U.S.

The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge remained in place throughout the winters of 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16, producing one of the most severe droughts on record in California.

Today’s post, from the Weather West blog, discusses these new findings:

New insights into the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge and North American Winter Dipole