Thousands of residents in Riverside County are being asked to immediately suspend outdoor watering and limit indoor water use while a treatment plant is shutdown for repairs.
More than 325,000 people from Perris, Moreno Valley and Riverside will be affected by the closure, as a state-operated pipeline from the Henry J. Mills Treatment Plant in Riverside undergoes emergency repairs through the weekend.
"While we have full confidence the state will complete repairs in the time allowed, our emergency reserves are limited in this portion of our service area," said Paul Jones, general manager of the Eastern Metropolitan Water District. "This is a very serious situation, and we must all do our part to ensure these communities continue to have the essential water supply reliability they have come to expect."
Beginning at 2 p.m. Friday, May 9, the plant will close to allow the California Department of Water Resources time to repair a leaking valve along the Santa Ana Valley Pipeline, which delivers water from Northern California through the state water project to the area.
This is the second closure in the Los Angeles area this weekend. Water officials closed the Joseph Jensen Treatment Plant in Granada Hills at midnight Thursday for drought-related upgrades.
More than two dozen cities are affected in Los Angeles and Ventura counties by the shutdown that is expected to last through Sunday afternoon.
Repairs at the Henry J. Mills Treatment Plant are expected to be completed by Sunday evening.
A leak in a highly pressurized pipeline in the Lytle Creek area of Riverside was reported earlier in the week.
"This is a critical, unplanned repair coming as the temperatures throughout the region are expected to rise," said Debra C. Man, Metropolitan Water District's chief operating officer. "We all need to do our part to reduce water use while the repairs are made."
More than one million customers are served by the Henry J. Mills plant that treats up to 220 million gallons of water per day.
Water officials recommended that residents refrain from washing their cars, filling swimming pools or spas, hosing down driveway, running water while washing the dishes and brushing teeth, and to limit showers to less than five minutes.