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Returning Potable Water to Paradise:

Explanation of why PID provides some customers with water testing and others with service lateral replacement.

The Problem:

The November 2018 Camp Fire caused some of the underground piping to become contaminated with fire-related volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The piping can cause the water to become contaminated too.

What we've learned: After months of thorough investigation, the PID staff have a good understanding of the pipe contamination problem and how to solve it.

  • Most large mainlines are delivering water that meets California's drinking water standards.
  • Most service laterals to standing homes (the pipe between the mainline and the meter) are delivering water that meets California drinking water standards.
  • A large percentage of service laterals serving lots where homes or businesses burned have fire-related damage.

How PID is handling the problem now:

Large Mainlines: We are testing to confirm the pipes are delivering water that meets standards. Cleared pipes are shown in blue here:

Standing Home Service Laterals: Testing the water tells us if the pipe is contaminated. We allow the water to sit in the service lateral for at least 72 hours before testing. If the water that has been sitting in the service lateral and then tested meets California drinking water standards we are one step closer to lifting the water advisory for the home or business. If the water doesn't meet standards we schedule a crew to replace the service lateral with brand new material. Addresses, where the water-advisory has been lifted, are shown in blue here: Over 300 customers have had the water advisory lifted at their home or business. What happens when we lift the water advisory at your property.

 Burned Lot Service Laterals: PID wants to replace all of the service laterals to burned lots. We don't believe more testing is necessary to prove the need for replacement. We're currently in the process of going out to bid to hire contractors to get the work done quickly. Contractors will start mass service lateral replacement this fall. To support rebuild efforts, PID will start with replacing service laterals to lots where customers have building permits or power-pole permits.

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