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The first big storm of the season raised water levels well above what's required for pumping to the community's reservoirs, so why hasn't water been pouring into Lake Calero?

Paul Siebensohn, director of field operations, reported that the CSD ran two of its large pumps Sunday to divert water from the river.

"As this is the first big storm of the season, everything (leaves, sticks, trees, etc.) that is in the high water line gets pulled into the river. As a result, the pumps shut off this morning due to debris plugging the forebay," Siebensohn wrote in an email to CSD staff and directors Monday. "This is the 'first flush' of the river we typically endeavor to avoid, but can't due to the dire water situation. Staff removed debris and flushed the forebay and is getting the 500's running again."

Use of the 500-horsepower pumps has increased CSD energy costs for the year by catapulting the CSD into a higher Sacramento Municipal Utility District rate category.

Ten days ago, the Cosumnes River was flowing at 20-some cubic feet per second. Monday morning, the flow was 100 times that.  Flows must be 70 cfs for the CSD to divert water. 

Drought response measures were presented at the January CSD board meeting, and drought updates are available on the CSD website.


Teresa Field's picture
Joined: 08/13/2007
Posts: 110
Post rating: 82

Water Pumping

I'm so glad to see this headline.  Our family and many others in this community are extremely concerned about the water shortage.  The article mentions that the pumps were not running this morning, but they were also not running yesterday afternoon.  CSD needs to be treating the lack of water as a crisis now rather then when we find ourselves without any water because then it will be very costly to drill wells or import water. 

I was relieved to hear that CSD is using the large pumps although there is an additional cost.  We should be doing whatever is needed to get the most water we can.  Is there anything we can do to get the debris away from the pumps before it gets to the pumps?  Can we rent additional pumps?   Do we have any other pumps that can be used?  We need to take advantage of the running Cosumnes while we can. 

We would appreciate additional information on the length of time the pumps were off, how much water we lost during this shut down, and what measures can be done to prevent this in the future.  I hope that CSD is learning from this experience and taking measures before future storms (if God willing we have some) to capture every bit of water possible.  We will be so much better off as a community if we handle this as the emergency it is now rather than waiting until there is no water.

On another note, each of us can help by doing our part to conserve water.  Installing and using water shut off valves in the showers and buckets are easy ways we can all help.

Thank you. 

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