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Lincoln residents asked to conserve water

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A major break on the Pacific Gas and Electric Company Bear River Canal on April 19 has cut water flows to The Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) and its customers. PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno said the incident was reported about 5 a.m. on April 19, at a remote location near Colfax below the Rollins Resevoir. The canal was flowing at a rate of about 400 cubic feet per second when the break occurred, according to Moreno, and flows to the canal were stopped directly following the report. “PG&E has advised PCWA that it was unknown at this time how long it will take to reparir the PG&E canal and how long the water shortage would last,” PCWA Director of Field Services Mike Nichols said. Moreno said the company is still assessing damages but it appears a section of the large canal ruptured after a supporting earthen berm collapsed. Before PG&E can begin to make repairs, it will need to engineer the repair work and get permit approvals from state and federal agencies. PG&E is expediting this process so as to resume water deliveries as soon as possible, Moreno said. Water from the canal ran about 100 feet down the steep canyon wall into the Bear River, according to PCWA general manager David Breninger. “The canal system was inspected by foot patrol on April 1,” Moreno said. “No potential issues were identified at that time. It is not known at this time if heavy recent rains may have contributed to the earthen berm failure. PCWA receives most of its water supply through the PG&E canal system, Breninger said, and worked under emergency procedures to re-route water supplies to the agency’s network of canals and to water quality plants in order to serve its treated water customers. “Treated water customers will be impacted to a lesser extent,” Breninger said. Up to 4,000 customers who use raw water from the PCWA canal system will be impacted by shortages and rolling 24-hour outages, according to Breninger. “PCWA is urging all water customers, those using treated, metered water, as well as those using canal water, to please conserve water and to use it efficiently and wisely during the emergency,” Breninger said. To make up for water shortages, PCWA opened interties with the Nevada Irrigation District and the City of Roseville began pumping water from the American River to make up for some of the water shortages, according to Breninger. -Staff Report