Author Topic: Quake could knock out water for six months  (Read 2165 times)

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Offline Wrightwood

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Quake could knock out water for six months
« on: Jan 26, 09, 10:17:57 PM »
Quake could knock out water for six months
January 26, 2009 - 8:57AM

A major earthquake along the San Andreas Fault could knock out water service to many Southern California homes, including homes in the High Desert, for up to six months, according to a new study.

"This is why water storage is such a big part of earthquake preparedness," Andy Silva, spokesman for 1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, said.

Following November's Great Southern California ShakeOut, the massive earthquake drill, experts estimate in the event of a large earthquake - much like the 7.8 magnitude simulation - there will be about 1,000 leaks along water-transporting pipes, according to a statement.

To combat those problems, water districts need to stock more replacement pipe parts near the areas that are expected to have leakage.

Several water agencies in the county will be retooling their mutual-aid agreements in order to find the most effective way to distribute replacement parts or water from other states in order to restore water service as quickly as possible, according to the ShakeOut results.

As a rule, people should store one gallon of water per person for at least three days, Silva said.

"When dealing with an earthquake of this magnitude, three days would be the absolute minimum. I would say if you can store more, then store more," Silva said.

The lack of water will also hamper firefighting efforts.

Local fire officials also express concerns over the 1,600 fires expected to erupt due to naturalgas lines bursting and electrical fires, as well as how to get to the fires.

"There are only a few spots where fire personnel can get from Apple Valley to Victorville and back," said Deputy Chief Art Bishop, of the Apple Valley Fire Protection District. "If there is damage to either Highway 18 or Bear Valley Road, it can be a very difficult situation."

To alleviate that problem, many agencies are looking into using sat ellitetele phones which do not require cables or cell phone towers to remain operational, Bishop said.

Other concerns raised by the simulation is how quickly electricity will be restored.

Some estimate it could take anywhere from 10 days to a few weeks.

"One of the biggest challenges is the ability to get down through highways and do inspections," Steve Conroy, spokesman for Southern California Edison, said. "We will have to find an alternate way to do it."

Many Edison customers can expect some sort of disruption to their service, Conroy said, and when it comes to restoration of services, the top priority always goes to hospitals and emergency services.

Experts estimate in the event of a large earthquake - much like the 7.8-magnitude simulation - there will be about 1,000 leaks in 450 miles of San Bernardino's East Valley Water District's pipe.
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Re: Quake could knock out water for six months
« Reply #1 on: Jan 28, 09, 03:47:01 PM »
While this is a recent article, the subject has been known for some time.

In Wrightwood it will probably be cheaper and faster to rebuild the system from scratch in the heavily damaged areas than to try and dig up the distribution system and patch the numerous leaks.  At least there are no sewer pipes to worry about when digging up the street!

Our water company does have a good disaster response plan in place so if something catastrophic does happen, the system should be delivering some water fairly soon after a bad earthquake.