g Wednesday night, Nov. 16, General Manager Leo Havener reported that Cal Trans broke a sewer line on Oct. 29 where it has been installing a culvert near Village Market, despite IWD having marked the sewer line. IWD fixed the line the same night as it has no turn-off valve, he said.
“How do we get paid for that?” asked Vice President Peter Szabadi. “They’re not done yet,” said Havener, implying that they may do it again. “These guys are bulls in a China shop.”
Havener has been developing a new method for determining conservation stages, a request the board has been making over the past year. The board reached consensus that the current system does not make sense.
Havener’s new water policy applies standards to each well individually. “Each well will have its own triggers,” he said. “[We’re] going about trying to find triggers … so we don’t have water quality issues. Each well is different.” The standards will include both water quality and water quantity triggers.
Water loss was 4% for October though Havener said he is concerned that people have been hooking up to fire hydrants who shouldn’t have. “We’re seeing more and more of that.”
He also said the U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire all can hook into a fire hydrant to fight fires without giving any reason or notifying IWD. “They’re not obligated to report it,” he said.
Havener gave an overview in his general manager’s report with photos of project work, some aerial. He said IWD has a drone it uses to check on tanks rather than climb up them, preventing safety issues. Also, if roads are washed out, IWD can use the drone to examine IWD equipment.
Projects on which he reported included the Strawberry Creek Diversion Pipeline, anticipated to be completed by Nov. 25; the administration buildings’ solar project being done; negotiations continuing on land purchase from Idyllwild Arts for wastewater treatment plant (WWTP); and WWTP sludge removal completion.
He also reported that pipeline from Fern Valley Well 1A to Foster Lake is anticipated to be completed by the end of November; and fire hydrant maintenance is in process and more than 50% complete.
Bartle Wells Associates, hired to do the rate study, is in the analysis process. “Once we approve, then we’ll set up meetings with the public,” Havener said.
The board approved $25,000 to be invested in California Cooperative Liquid Assets Securities System that is seeing about a 3% return. “If it does well, we can invest more,” said President Charles Schelly.
The board also heard from Scott Manno of Rogers, Anderson, Malody and Scott LLP regarding the audit of IWD’s financial statements for fiscal year 2021-22. Manno gave an unmodified opinion, the highest it can give, of the district’s finances.