To bring the people and businesses of Santa Clara Valley safe, clean water, the Santa Clara Valley Water District must take good care of its existing infrastructure, much of which was built decades ago.

At the end of October of last year, the water district launched a major inspection of the Almaden Valley Pipeline, which revealed areas that needed immediate repair, requiring us to take it out of service temporarily. The pipeline, which dates back to the 1960s, runs 12 miles and carries water from Calero Reservoir in south San Jose to the Santa Teresa Water Treatment Plant and then to the Vasona Pumping Plant, where the water is pumped into pipes that feed the Rinconada Water Treatment Plant.

Our inspection showed a significant number of pipe sections that need to be repaired before the pipeline can return to service. This Almaden Valley Pipeline Rehabilitation Project work is necessary to ensuring the pipeline functions safely and reliably.

We expect the pipeline to be out of service until the end of March. Because the Santa Teresa Water Treatment Plant will not have any water delivered to it while the Almaden Valley Pipeline is shut down, the water treatment plant is also shut down. Those who usually receive water from the plant have been receiving groundwater in the service area that includes parts of Almaden and Blossom Valley, part of San Jose east of Union Avenue and south of Highway 85, as well as areas of Cambrian Park and Campbell.

A few of our percolation ponds are also affected by repair work. This pipeline is one source of water that fills our Los Capitancillos Ponds along Coleman Road, as well as Los Alamitos Pond at our headquarters campus and the Guadalupe Ponds near the intersection of Almaden Expressway and Highway 85. The other source for these ponds is water diverted from the Guadalupe River. Every year, around this time, the flashboard dam on Guadalupe River is removed during the stormy season to reduce the risk of flooding, so we cannot divert water from the river into our ponds during that period.

The good news is that our groundwater storage has largely recovered from the historic drought due to the community’s water savings and our efforts to refill our groundwater basins, so we can afford to have these ponds out of service during this critical work. We thank the neighbors that have endured the noise from the work crews working around the clock on completing the emergency repairs. Our neighbors have been patient as we installed noise barriers around the generators and blowers to help minimize the noise projecting into the neighborhoods. We’ve maximized the number of crews that can safely and quickly work on the repairs so that we may complete the project as scheduled.

If you have any questions about the emergency repair work, please call Associate Civil Engineer Katrina Jessop at (408) 915-6732 or via e-mail at kjessop@valleywater.org.

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