Our Future After the Fire: Paradise water plan unveiled by Irrigation District

A plan has been unveiled by the Paradise Irrigation District that could bring free-flowing water for those who are living in the Camp Fire burn scar.

Posted: Apr 18, 2019 6:59 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - A plan has been unveiled by the Paradise Irrigation District that could bring free-flowing water for those who are living in the Camp Fire burn scar.

For Chris Young, having lived in Paradise for 60 years, currently not having water service is frustrating. Yet, it pales in comparison to other realities he now faces.

"We lost everything, my sister, my daughter," said Young. "I come by here and I get five cases of water a week. You don't have a choice. I just put up with it."

Those who did not lose their homes or businesses, or who want to rebuild in Paradise, will have to wait for clean and safe water to be restored.

"We're hoping that 50% of the standing homes will be cleared for potable service by the beginning of next year," said Kevin Phillips, the Paradise Irrigation District Manager.

Phillips said the agency is working in collaboration with a host of departments to craft a plan forward. The District will begin isolating each main distribution line, then testing for contamination. If contamination is found, that line will be turned off and eventually replaced.

"FEMA requires that you show damage to the structure for it to be replaced. And with contamination you can't see damage, you can't smell damage, you can only test for the damage of contamination," said Phillips on why they do not simply replace the entire system.

"Something like this has never happened before so we have a lot of unknowns," said Jackson Webster, an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering.

"What we're struggling with is contamination within the distribution system, and this came from melting plastics that are now stuck to the walls of the distribution pipes, slowly being released back into the water. You can't just flush water out and have it go back to being clean water, because it will continue to re-absorb contaminants into the new water," said Webster,

Phillips says monitoring and testing is the closest the Agency can come to answering an unknown.

"When we say this line is good, we want to certify this line is good and it's not good for today, but for tomorrow and through the years to come," said Phillips.

About long-term legal ramifications of deeming water lines safe to then have them turning out to be not safe, Phillips said that is something his team has discussed with Cal OES and FEMA. He insists that the Paradise Irrigation District will push for new lines in as many cases as possible to ensure public safety.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 271035

Reported Deaths: 6441
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1165703534
Riverside20555486
Orange17882366
San Diego16726387
San Bernardino15345269
Imperial7190117
Alameda6855140
Fresno611077
Santa Clara5408164
Kern536982
Tulare5009136
San Joaquin447455
Sacramento423669
San Francisco399250
Contra Costa387885
Ventura378950
San Mateo3599108
Santa Barbara326129
Marin280921
Kings267333
Stanislaus266045
Monterey215115
Solano147625
Sonoma135911
Merced127211
Placer91111
San Luis Obispo7652
Yolo67726
Madera5785
Santa Cruz4593
Napa4364
San Benito2732
Sutter2523
Lassen2420
El Dorado2260
Butte2063
Shasta1544
Humboldt1444
Nevada1291
Yuba1282
Glenn1220
Lake961
Tehama881
Mendocino850
Colusa700
Del Norte581
Calaveras530
Mono471
Tuolumne430
Amador330
Inyo331
Siskiyou320
Mariposa311
Plumas110
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 86°
Oroville
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 87°
Paradise
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 86°
Chester
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 71°
Red Bluff
Clear
92° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 92°
Willows
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 86°
More heat and sunshine for our area today, and thankfully weaker wind for our dry region. The highs will get hotter, but the wind will also get stronger late in the forecast.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events