District Water Service
The Running Springs Water District (District) was
formed in 1958 for the purpose of providing retail water service
to residents of Running Springs. Since that time the District has assumed
the responsibility of providing Fire Protection, Wastewater, and
Emergency Medical Services. Water service, however, remains a primary
function of the District.
To establish the newly formed District, the voters of
Running Springs passed a bond measure that provided the funds necessary
to purchase and consolidate the area’s four private water companies;
Running Springs Forest Water Company, Running Springs Mutual Water Company,
Luring Pines Water Company and Rim of the World Water Company. The bond
measure also allowed the District to correct the water system
deficiencies existing at that time. The purpose of the water system
purchase, consolidation, and corrective measures was to provide water
system stability and consistent water service throughout the area.
Over the years, the District has used a number of
different water sources. Local water sources have ranged from the
discontinued practice of pumping and treating surface water from Rainbow
Lake (Deep Creek), to the continuing practice of purchasing surplus water
from the Arrowbear Park County Water District and pumping groundwater
using a variety of horizontal and vertical wells.
In the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s, the District
experienced difficulty meeting its customers’ water consumption demands
due to a growing population and increased land development in the
area. Additionally, use of several of the District’s water sources,
including surface water and certain horizontal wells, had to be
discontinued due to more restrictive State Health Department standards.
The lack of sufficient local water supplies to meet the growing demands
of the District and other San Bernardino Mountain communities prompted
the need for imported water. This imported water need was satisfied by
the Crestline Lake Arrowhead Water Agency (CLAWA).
In 1972, following completion of the State Water
Project (SWP) that brought water from Northern California into Southern
California, and completion of CLAWA facilities that brought water from
Lake Silverwood (a component of the SWP),
into portions of the San Bernardino Mountains, the District gained access
to a reliable imported water supply. This imported CLAWA water supply
continues to be an extremely important source of water for the District
and its customers.
In 1984, as part of the District’s water development
plan, the Running Springs Water District and the Arrowbear
Park County Water District entered into a joint venture to construct
facilities that connect the two agencies’ water systems. The
interconnection between the two systems provides the capability for the
two Districts to transfer water as necessary to meet the needs of each
community for both domestic water and fire flow demand. Currently, the
interconnection is primarily used as a means for the Running Springs
Water District to purchase surplus groundwater from Arrowbear Park County
Water District at a cost less than CLAWA imported water.
Also in 1984, using a
combination of local funds and a $1.5 million low interest rate loan
obtained through the State Department of Water Resources (made possible
by the Safe Drinking Water Bond Law of 1976), the District initiated a
three year water system improvement and replacement program. Approximately
eight miles of undersized and deteriorated water mains were replaced, a
one million gallon water storage tank was constructed, and a radio
frequency controlled water management telemetry system was installed.
The District’s Water Department currently operates
approximately 45.5 miles of transmission and distribution mains ranging
in size from 2” to 16”. These mains transport water for domestic use and
fire protection purposes to the 3,065 plus water connections in the
District’s service area.
The water distribution system is divided into nine
separate pressure zones. The District has 13 water
storage reservoirs that range in capacity from 650 gallons to 1.0 million
gallons, and have a combined water storage capacity of 2.73 million
gallons. The system includes 14 booster stations that pump water to
The primary local sources of water are vertical and
horizontal wells located throughout Running Springs, and approximately 80
gallons per minute of vertical well groundwater purchased from the
Arrowbear Park County Water District. The District also purchases
imported water from CLAWA.
The District’s annual
water production, which is a combination of pumped groundwater from
District wells, water purchased from Arrowbear Park County Water
District, and water purchased from CLAWA is approximately 200 million
gallons per year. The percentage of water obtained from each source
varies from year to year, based on the amount of local
groundwater available. Local groundwater is the preferred water source
since it is less expensive than purchased water. District wells are
located in fractured granite and their production is highly dependant on the amount of local precipitation, which
is collected temporarily in the fractured granite zones. Therefore,
during periods of significant precipitation, such as in 2005, local
groundwater can provide up to 70% of the total District water supply.
During periods of low precipitation, such as in 2002, local groundwater
may only contribute 30% of the total District water supply.
Future activities of the District Water Department
include: completing a Water Master Plan that will identify and prioritize
improvements needed to the District’s water system, making further improvements
to the water distribution system to improve fire flow within the
District’s service area, and developing additional groundwater sources
within the District. The District will also develop a water conservation
program that makes sense for the Running Springs community.