We don’t necessarily understand or see the inner workings of water delivery from the source water to your tap. We all too often take that process for granted.
It’s more complicated than you actually might think. Our water comes from several sources: 1) in the Colorado River; 2) up in northern California from the state water project; 3) from desalinated water in Carlsbad; and 4) we’re blessed here in the Helix Water District to have several reservoirs and a treatment plant.
We’re very fortunate in that we own Lake Cuyamaca up in the foothills in the Lagunas, and when we do get rain in the area, we take advantage of that. We capture the water in Lake Cuyamaca, run it down into Lake El Capitan where we share rights with the city of San Diego, and from there we draw water into our treatment plant.
So when the water falls from the sky, we’re actually able to treat that water and put it through our distribution system through our pump stations, and our pipes, and our treatment systems right to your tap.
The water delivery system is quite complex. It starts from your raw water coming into the system through major transmission lines. Those transmission lines feed into our treatment facility. The water is treated to an incredibly high level that meets and or exceeds oftentimes, state and federal mandates. From there it goes through a series of pump stations to feed up to pump water reservoirs or tanks, the stuff that you see in your community, the big steel structures, and then from there the water gravity feeds to the actual houses. And I like to kind of compare that to somebody’s individual irrigation system where if we have a sprinkler system watering your plants, there’s a lot just involved in maintaining and repairing those things. So this water system is on a much larger scale, 733 miles with a wide variety of materials. So we have to be prepared to really respond, assess, maintain all of that in a moment’s notice. It’s quite a complex process but we, we love what we do.
Our pipeline is distributed throughout the neighborhoods. Our pump stations make sure those pipelines are always under pressure. The tanks make sure we always have adequate supply and can and serve our customers, and every customer has a small pipeline that’s tapped to our mains in the streets. So when you open your faucet you’re always receiving water, really from our tanks and distribution system.
The Helix Water District is a, is a large agency. We serve over 270,000 customers, you know through 56,000 connections. We have a lot of infrastructure. The infrastructure in today’s dollar amounts to about $1.6 billion. We have over 700 miles of pipelines, 25 tanks, 25 pump stations, and about 56,000 services that we feed.
As public servants, our job is to make sure that your water is delivered. As part of that goal, you never know we’re here and that means we’re doing a great job.