Californians know that the next emergency could come at any time, from small events like a broken water main on your street, to wildfires in dry years, mudslides and flooding in wet years, and the constant, looming threat of earthquake. When emergencies happen, our focus at Helix is maintaining the water supply for our customers and first responders. Here are five steps we’ve taken to ensure that we’re always ready.

Planning

Helix recently completed a five-year update of our Urban Water Management Plan, which forecasts water demand in east county for the next 25 years, based on population growth and economic development, and explains how we will provide an adequate water supply, even during a multi-year drought. Our wholesale water suppliers – the San Diego County Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – completed their own Urban Water Management Plans, and the San Diego region has the water it needs through at least 2045.

Emergency Storage

Helix stores a 75-day water supply for our customers in Lake Jennings and the City of San Diego’s El Capitan Reservoir; the San Diego County Water Authority stores a 6-month emergency water supply for the San Diego region in Olivenhain Reservoir, Lake Hodges and San Vicente Reservoir; and, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California stores a 6-month water supply for all of Southern California in Diamond Valley Reservoir near Hemet.   Helix also collaborates with neighboring water districts and has multiple ways to access and deliver water to our customers.

Photo: Lake Jennings

Reserve Equipment

Helix maintains its own warehouse stocked with the equipment and parts we need to respond to emergencies even when supply chains break down. We also have shared resources agreements with other water agencies and cities, to make equipment and key people available when and where they are needed.

Emergency Generators

We equipped our treatment plant and pump stations with emergency generators to ensure that we can continue treating and distributing water to customers throughout a local or regional power outage.

Inside Calavo Pump Station, looking at five pumps.

Photo: Calavo Pump Station

Proactive Maintenance

We proactively maintain our infrastructure, vehicles, heavy equipment and tools so that we are always ready to respond.

We Also Have a 5-Step Plan for Customers

We want you to be ready for the next emergency, too. At hwd.com/emergencies, we present a 5-step plan to get you ready. We show you how to:

Get alerts on your cellphone when emergencies happen

Make a communications plan for your family

Assemble an emergency kit

Monitor updates during an emergency

Disinfect water yourself

Go to hwd.com/emergencies

Connect

We're on social media every day with the latest news from Helix. It's also where you'll find us, and the latest news, during an emergency.