Pine Cove Water District’s Jeremy Potter welds a Stone Creek Water water main along Highway 243 Friday night. It was the final repair needed to bring water back to Stone Creek residents after a week of unusual difficulties.
Photo by Jerry Holldber

Stone Creek Water was hit by “an avalanche” of difficulties last week, as related by Dr. Leonard and Carolyn Weston, the owners of Stone Creek Water Company, Inc.

First, they had allowed firefighters working a house fire near Azalea Trails to use water from Stone Creek’s tank, which drained it. Next, the pump lines froze. Then, when the pumps came back on line, a major leak was discovered, and then a second major leak in a water main along the highway.

During recent frozen nights in the community of Stone Creek — about 2 miles north of Pine Cove and about a mile north of the Stonewood development on Highway 243 — these difficulties left Stone Creek residents with virtually no water in their homes for nearly a week.

With no onsite employees to address the problem, the Westons first attempted repairs through a handy Hill resident, but subfreezing nights had done more damage than at first was realized. So, they turned to General Manager Jerry Holldber of the neighboring Pine Cove Water District.

Although there is no formal arrangement between the two water companies, Holldber and two of his crew, Jeremy Potter and Matt Wheeler, addressed problems in Stone Creek Water’s pump house and in a water main along the highway, spending hours Friday evening in freezing rain. “We are doing this for all of you [folk in Stone Creek],” Holldber said when asked about his crew’s involvement.

With Holldber on the backhoe and Potter doing the welding in a tight, 6-foot deep hole, repairs to the main were effected Friday night within hours. Stone Creek Water already had all the necessary parts and equipment, so nothing had to be specially ordered.

In addition to supplying Stone Creek residences, Stone Creek Water also supplies the U.S. Forest Service’s Alandale Guard Station and the community’s fire hydrants.

Unlike the Pine Cove, Idyllwild and Fern Valley water districts, Stone Creek Water Company Inc. is not a governmental entity. It is a privately owned corporation overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates only privately owned public utilities.

Holldber wished to assure Pine Covers that Stone Creek Water will be properly billed by Pine Cove Water for his crew’s equipment, parts and services.

For the record, Jack Clark is a Stone Creek resident. He can be reached at [email protected].