South County residents are being encouraged by local water agencies to curb their water use for an eight-day period beginning Sunday because of the temporary shut-off of a major pipeline that serves most cities in the area.
The pipeline is being closed because of a state Department of Transportation project involving freeway construction at the interchange of the Santa Ana and the Costa Mesa freeways in Tustin.
The project calls for the relocation of a section of water pipeline near the interchange construction.
The Irvine Ranch Water District will temporarily supply water through interconnecting pipelines to the agencies in the South County--Tri-Cities Water District, the city of San Clemente, Capistrano Valley Water District, South Coast County Water District and the Laguna Beach County Water Districts.
"We think everyone's in good shape but we want our customers to understand that there is a potential shortage of water supply for these eight days," said Ray Auerbach, general manager of the Capistrano Valley Water District.
"Even though we think we can meet all of our water needs during this period, there are always unforeseen circumstances such as unseasonably warm weather, or a more lengthy construction period could affect us."
Auerbach said residents should reset their automatic sprinkler controllers to fewer days and shorter times during the winter months. Normally, about half of the water used at a home is for landscape irrigation, he said.
"With the recent rains, the ground should be nice and wet so people will probably need less water on their lawns anyway," Auerbach said.