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15-day lawn watering restriction begins next week as Municipal Water District crews repair pipeline

Looming pipeline repairs call for 15-day stoppage of lawn watering across Southland
Looming pipeline repairs call for 15-day stoppage of lawn watering across Southland 02:05

Residents throughout the Southland will yet again be faced with additional watering restrictions as state officials work to limit overuse in the face of California's worst drought in 1,200 years. 

The 15-day shutdown is scheduled to begin on Sept. 6 as Metropolitan Water District crews work on repairing a crucial pipeline that serves more than 4 million Southern Californians, affecting areas like Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, Pasadena, San Fernando, Torrance, and those served by the Central Basin Municipal Water district, Foothill Municipal Water District, Three Valleys Municipal Water District, and the West Basin Municipal Water District.

(credit: Metropolitan Water District)

The pipeline in need of repairs is the 36-mile Upper Feeder pipeline, which delivers Colorado River water into the Southland. The pipeline was previously repaired after workers discovered a leak earlier this year, but has been operating at a reduced capacity in the time since.

United Plant Growers Nursery President Jose Gomez has been forced to make drastic changes in the face of the already active watering restrictions, but is prepared to adapt to the looming shutdown.

"We hand water all the time. In other words, we only water what needs to be watered," he said. 

While Gomez is one of the millions forced to skip out on watering their plants until Sept. 20, he doesn't plan on letting his plants die, and MWD officials echo that sentiment. 

They advise that those who don't want to see their grass turn yellow take a few steps to reduce the yellowing, including placing a bucket in their tubs when they take a shower, and using the runoff to water plants. They also suggest pulling weeds so that all water goes directly to the grass. 

Gomez also suggests drip irrigation for smaller plants. 

"It's really effective," he said. "You only water your plant the rest of the soil might be dry. But the plant is healthy."

Once the shutdown ends on Sept. 20, Glendale will return to watering outdoors two days a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

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