Montecito Water District: Mudslide Incident Report – Recovery Update as of 1-26-18

(Montecito, California, January 26, 2018)


Below is an overview of the progress being made on repairs, and the ongoing impacts on District customers.

  • Highline Transmission Pipeline.District crews have completed emergency repairs, some temporary and some permanent to a 14-inch steel transmission main referred to as the “Highline”. An additional break in the Highline was discovered while re-pressurizing the system on Wednesday, January 24th, making a total of 8 Highline breaks to date. Repairs associated with the additional break have been completed enabling the re-pressurizing and disinfection processes to continue.District staff continues to work with consultants, regulators and state/federal officials on the process of implementing permanent repairs at four of the break locations as soon as possible. The completion of permanent repairs will result in regaining full capacity of the pipeline; restoring fire protection capacity; and further reducing the risks associated with a heavy rain event that could compromise the temporary pipeline while permanent repairs are implemented.
  • Jameson Lake/Juncal Transmission Pipeline.The dedicated 18-inch steel pipeline that delivers water from Jameson Lake to the District’s service area was compromised in 2 locations. As of late Wednesday, January 24th, both repairs have been completed and we are now receiving lake water at Bella Vista Treatment Plant.
  • Distribution System.One additional water main break has been discovered within the distribution system, making a total of 14 main breaks to date. Repair work at all critical main break locations has been completed. Four additional fire hydrants sheared off during the mudflows have been identified, making a total of 23 fire hydrants damaged to date. Contractors are actively working to repair these additional fire hydrants. The coordinated effort of searching for running water, locating leaking pipelines, valves, service lines, and fire hydrants and shutting down water to these facilities continues as the final areas of the distribution system are brought to normal operating pressures. Over 290 identified service line leaks have been temporarily shut off. In addition, all 52 pressure regulating valves (PRV) have been inspected to ensure proper operation to avoid over-pressurizing the system and causing additional pipeline breaks.


Water Availability

Water under a Boil Water Notice is available at all locations within the District. Should you not have water service at your property, please contact the District and a staff member will assist you in getting water service on at your property.

Boil Water Notice

The Boil Water Notice issued on January 9, 2018 remains in effect for most District customers. A cancellation of the Boil Water Notice has been issued for the following areas:

  1. Summerland – All properties located east of and including Ortega Ridge Road to the ocean, south of and including Hunt Drive, and west of and including Greenwell Road / Asegra Road including Freesia Drive, Caspia Lane, Marguerita Way, and the Montecito Ranch Estates. (Issued January 15, 2018)
  2. Upper Toro Canyon - All properties located on Toro Canyon Road north of East Valley Road (Hwy 192) except for 685, 693 and 695 Toro Canyon Road. (Issued January 18, 2018)
  3. North Westerly most part of the District (Sycamore Canyon Area) – West of Oak Springs Ln.; and north of Sycamore Canyon Rd. excluding Meadow Wood Ln. and 2535 Sycamore Canyon Rd. (Issued January 20, 2018)

Water Treatment information can be found on the District web site: For clarity and customer convenience, an interactive map of the Montecito Water District (with noted exceptions described) depicts the areas where the Boil Water Notice remains and has been cancelled. The map will be updated continuously to depict any change in status.

Bottled Water Distribution Centers

Three accessible Emergency Potable Water Distributions Sites are in operation from 8am to 8pm daily:

  • Summerland Post Office – 2245 Lillie Avenue
  • Montecito Fire Station #2 at Cold Spring and Sycamore Canyon Rd. (192)
  • Upper Village site relocated to: Montecito Water District office at 583 San Ysidro Road

Emergency water distribution will continue at these locations until further notice and any changes will be indicated on the District’s web site.


It is anticipated that restoration of water service will occur as soon as Sunday, January 28th. With repairs completed and the system re-pressurized, the District has begun the process of properly disinfecting the water in preparation for lifting the Boil Water Notice. Today, January 26, 2018, the District’s primary focus is super chlorinating the majority of the District’s water system, which requires system flushing. Anticipate the presence of super-chlorinated water at your tap intermittently until the Boil Water Notice is lifted. When the super-chlorination treatment has ended, a notice will be issued. Please refer to the District or County of Santa Barbara websites for more information on the use of super chlorinated water.

System flushing is a required step in the District’s disinfection process. Flushing water mains during the disinfection process helps move water with high chlorine concentration through the system, and also helps to improve water quality by removing debris and sediment that may have entered the water mains during the mudflow incident. During the flushing process, Montecito residents / District customers are likely to see crews performing flushing operations at fire hydrants and at end of water main blow off valves in most neighborhoods. Flushed water will be discharged to water trucks, storm drains or on the street. Before being discharged, the water will be dechlorinated. System flushing is anticipated to take place over the next 3-5 days.

Until water service is fully restored, we ask that you keep your water use limited to essential use only in order to assist the disinfection and flushing processes. This includes minimizing outdoor irrigation during this period.

Although water may be available at your property and you may have experienced super chlorinated water at your property, it is important to note that all District customers remain under a Boil Water Notice unless otherwise indicated on our interactive District boundary map.


Please note that the District Office is no longer inside a Mandatory Evacuation Zone and is available for public access.

The most current information is posted on our web site:
For Customer Service or billing questions call: (805) 969-2271 or email:
After Hours Emergency Service phone: (805) 969-2271

Montecito Water District's mission is to provide an adequate and reliable supply of high quality water to the residents of Montecito and Summerland, at the most reasonable cost. In carrying out this mission, the District places particular emphasis on providing outstanding customer service, conducting its operations in an environmentally sensitive manner, and working cooperatively with other agencies. For additional information visit, like Montecito Water District on Facebook, and follow on twitter @MontecitoWater.