LACSD hopes their new corporation yard building will be completed by this fall.
(Photo by Mary-Justine Lanyon)
LAKE ARROWHEAD COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT
Water usage is down, new building is going up
By Mary-Justine Lanyon
The new corporation yard being erected at the top of Torrey Road for the Lake Arrowhead Community Services District is coming along, with the exterior more than 40 percent complete.
“We are working with the county,” LACSD General Manager Catherine Cerri said on Feb. 8. “We have a cooperative agreement to bring water and sewer services to the area because there were none.”
That means there will be water and sewer for MacKay Park – where the county will install real bathrooms. And the dogs at the dog park will have water.
In addition, the county is installing a new trail which goes over a portion of LACSD property. “This is a good cooperative project for both agencies,” Cerri said.
Maintenance has been a challenge for the LACSD staff while the new building is under construction. “It’s taking longer than we had thought,” Cerri said. They sold their Willow Creek maintenance facility to UCLA. And so, Field Operations is temporarily housed at the Cedar Glen water treatment plant.
“We hope to have the new facility completed by fall,” Cerri said.
The recent storms resulted in what Cerri called “quite a bit of rain. The lake overflowed in January. That hasn’t happened since 2011.”
LACSD fared well through the storms. One water main had a leak but there were not too many problems, the general manager said. “Wastewater plants can be overwhelmed with water infiltrating,” Cerri said. “We had some issues but not as bad as in the past. We have done a lot of work to tighten up the sewer system.
“The guys spend so much time maintaining the system, they are ready.”
As for frozen pipes during the frigid weather, “there were no more than usual,” Cerri said.
Water use was down by almost 12 percent for 2022 versus 2021. COVID definitely caused a spike in water usage but it has come back down to normal, similar to 2019 levels, Cerri noted.
The district has a lot of construction projects on the horizon. They will be rebuilding the water tank on Spyglass. Over the years they have been sliplining the sewer main that runs the entire perimeter of Lake Arrowhead – the district’s largest sewer main. This winter, Cerri said, they will do the North Bay area. “We will have to move some docks but will be sure it’s done before Memorial Day.”
LACSD is looking at several locations where they can drill wells and increase the groundwater supply. “We can offset the lake draw. It’s a local source so we don’t have to rely on the state,” she said. The well by the district office in Blue Jay has been drilled. Cerri said they are waiting on the design for the treatment portion and getting the water to the distribution system. That project should be out to bid this summer.
“In dry years we can rely on the wells,” Cerri said. “And, in wet years, we can let them recharge.”
Most of the proposed wells are on property LACSD owns. “We are looking at some cooperative agreements with landowners,” Cerri said. “We would purchase water rights or enter into some kind of exchange. It can be structured different ways.”
The state, Cerri said, is paying smaller water districts to consolidate with larger ones. Skyforest is considering it. “They voted to enable the state to do a feasibility study on joining LACSD,” she said. She added the state is pushing Alpine but “that’s not something they want to do. We’re not looking to add more systems. If another water district wants to consolidate, we would look at it.”
Since the state regulates smaller water systems, consolidation, Cerri said, would reduce the state’s burden.