The Fern Valley Water District directors agreed last Friday to participate in maintaining Forest Haven Drive. Since FVWD uses the road to access several wells, a storage tank and aeration plant, the agency has participated in the street’s maintenance in the past, General Manager Steve Erler told the board.

Jim Mead, on behalf of the Tahquitz Shadows Property Owners Association, approached Erler with several options for routine maintenance.

“I talked to five contractors and we agreed to the option of filling the larger cracks and then applying two coats of sealer,” Erler stated. “There are six properties on the road and our portion (one-sixth) will be [about]  $1,800.” The project’s total cost will be about $11,000.

Work began around Sept. 23 and will be completed the first week of October, Erler added. The board’s vote was unanimous, with Director Robert Krieger absent.

In water business, Erler reported that Strawberry Creek is dry and Tahquitz Creek’s flow is only 30 gallons per minute. Consequently, he is “augmenting the district’s water sources with its wells,” which provided nearly 70 percent of FVWD’s water in July and August, compared to about 15 percent a year ago.

The extensive use of wells requires active pumps, which caused a large increase in the August electric bill — nearly $5,300. “We’ve had two to four wells in operation nearly 24/7,” Erler told the board.

Nevertheless, he reported that the water supply is more than adequate and foresees no problems.

The July and August production was 9.5 million gallons, about 340,000 gallons less than the 2012 usage. Since January, the district’s production has been 27.1 million gallons, which is 950,000 more than the same period in 2012, but about 850,000 gallons less than the first eight months of 2011.

In other business, Erler reported that the pipeline construction work along Fern Valley Road was completed last week. He estimated the total cost to be under the original projections. The district’s consultant, Webb Engineering, is assessing the work and will provide him with a report for the October board meeting.