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San Lorenzo Valley Water District replacing surface water pipeline destroyed by CZU Fires

Dania Romero KION

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)- On Thursday morning, The San Lorenzo Valley Water District announced that they will be replacing the Peavine raw water line.

The line was destroyed by CZU Fires in 2020. The water line burned through 1,300 acres of District-owned watershed lands on Ben Lomond Mountain.

Emilia who lives in Boulder Creek says she had to evacuate during the CZU fire. When she was allowed back home, things still weren't normal.

"We were not able to use our water for, you know, for washing hands or cooking with or, you know, anything like that for a period of time," said Emilia.

During the fire, a pipeline providing clean drinking water for people living in the Boulder Creek area melted. Clean water wasn't available after that for more than a week.

"The water district did provide an outlet in town, a little spot for people to go and to fill out water," said Emilia.

The San Lorenzo Valley Water District says they lost 100% of the raw water intake structures during the CZU fire, including all three water tanks on site, which stores millions of gallons of water.

"We currently are relying pretty heavily on our wells as well as a intake that we were able to reestablish pretty much right after the fires occurred," said Carly Blanchard, acting General Manager for the San Lorenzo Valley Water District.

This week the water district approved a plan to reconstruct the pipeline.

The goal is to replace 1.3 miles of pipeline lost and would cost about $2.1 million to get it done.

The San Lorenzo Valley Water District says 90 percent of the funding for this project is expected to be reimbursed by FEMA.

Blanchard says that hope to have the new pipeline in place by Spring 2024.

The next step after the board approval would be to remove hazardous trees and begin the environmental review.

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Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.


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