Fern Valley Water District customers will feel no immediate effect from the statewide drought, according to General Manager Steve Erler.

“We’re easily meeting our demands now,” Erler told the FVWD Board of Directors last Friday. “If the drought persists, we’ll assess as we move into spring and summer.”

FVWD wells showed little change during January. Surprisingly, the ground-water level for Well no. 11 actually rose nearly 20 inches. However, other wells incurred moderate drops in ground-water levels.

In December, only 7 percent of FVWD’s water came from wells. With creek flow diminished, the vast majority was supplied from its storage. While concerned about replenishing this storage, Erler said, “I feel we’ll get some moisture, possibly this week. So starting in March through May, we’ll rebuild storage.”

“We can hope for a March miracle,” said President Robert Krieger. “While the forecasts are not favorable, maybe the weather will fool us and a repeat of 1991 or 1998 [will occur].”

In other water business, Erler said American Leak Detection wanted to test some new equipment and volunteered to test it in an area within FVWD’s distribution system.

“They found several small leaks, which staff had heard, but couldn’t pinpoint,” Erler said. After the repairs, several leaks totaling 7 gallons per minute were eliminated.

Krieger recommended that Erler obtain an estimate for a complete systemwide review.

Erler also reported that the district, in cooperation with Idyllwild Fire Protection District, would paint fire hydrants different colors based on their flow capacity.

“The color-code system is the most efficient means for fire personal to quickly determine which tactics they should use and how best to supply themselves with water,” he said. FVWD has about 200 hydrants.