Hold the Water During Treatment Plant Shutdown

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Mandatory cuts in water usage will be necessary next week across parts of western Riverside County as a water treatment facility goes down for maintenance, restricting the availability of supplies, it was announced Thursday.

The Western Municipal Water District will require all outdoor water use to cease between Monday and the following Saturday, March 7.

Roughly 23,000 residential and commercial customers in the Hillcrest area of Riverside, Lake Hills, Lake Matthews, March Air Reserve Base, Air Force Village West and Mission Grove will be affected, according to water district officials.

The mandatory restriction on outdoor water usage is necessary due to a six-day shutdown of the Metropolitan Water District's Henry J. Mills Water Treatment Plant in Riverside.

The facility is overdue for repairs, and water supplies coming into the plant from the State Water Project will have to stop, leaving only stored water available for customers, officials said.

The Eastern Municipal Water District is asking for voluntary cutbacks in water usage over the same period. Customers in Homeland, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Perris, Quail Valley, Romoland and Sun City are being encouraged to scale down overall water consumption and suspend outdoor water use.

In the Western Municipal Water District, operations staff will patrol locations to verify compliance with the order to stop lawn-watering and other outdoor water consumption, according to spokeswoman Tedi Jackson.

"If someone is watering, we'll leave a warning for them or try to speak with them," Jackson said.

A written warning will be issued to a residence or business that fails to comply a second time, she said.

"If there's a third time, we'll shut them off," Jackson said. "But most people comply. A lot of people turn their neighbors in ... I think we had 500 phone calls the last time we did this."  


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