The extremely cold, freezing weather at the beginning of last week took its toll on the water supply in Pine Cove when warmer temperatures arrived Thursday and Friday.
Water usage was significantly higher than normal for this time of year, said Pine Cove Water District General Manager Jerry Holldber.
Total system demand approached 125 gallons per minute, when the normal for winter is 40 gpm during the week and perhaps 50 to 55 gpm on the weekends or holidays, according to Holldber.
While one large leak (about 25 gpm) has been repaired, Holldber said the problem is the unexpected freezing temperatures, and part-time and weekend visitors being unprepared.
“People left the mountain and left their water lines on,” he believes.
Through Sunday, he and staff have found only one small leak in the pipeline system.
On Monday, the PCWD staff was going from house-to-house examining water meters to find running water in vacant homes. If the unexpected demand continues into next week, he is prepared to employ a leak detection firm to help identify where the escaping water is located.
Neither Idyllwild nor Fern Valley water districts suffered any major water losses due to the recent cold weather.