Water System Reliability Enhanced for Southern Bakersfield

Customers in the southern portion of Cal Water’s Bakersfield District now have improved water pressure and water supply reliability, following the utility’s installation of nearly a half-mile of a large transmission water main. The new main is critical to ensure that the local water system can meet increasing demand from new housing developments.

The new 16-inch ductile iron main, installed along Wible Road from Panama Lane to Berkshire Road, will move water to the southern part of the system. Crews are also installing two new fire hydrants to increase fire-fighting capabilities and avoid potential road closures, since hydrants were previously only installed on one side of Wible.

What would have been a standard main installation was complicated by the need to go nearly 20 feet underground to get under Panama Lane, which required a jack and bore, according to District Manager Rudy Valles. Jack and bore is a construction method where crews drill a hole underground between two points without disturbing the surface. Crews also needed to find a way to install the main over the Arvin Edison Canal and, ultimately, utilized free-span pipes. The project began in December 2015.

“Cal Water is committed to responsibly upgrading our local infrastructure and ensuring that we have a reliable water supply around the clock, so our customers don’t have to think twice when they turn on the tap,” Valles said. “Installing this transmission line was critical to ensuring we could fulfill our promise of quality, service, and value to our customers and keep up with the increasing demand in this area.”