Salinas Area Benefiting From New Water System Improvements

Cal Water recently completed a lengthy and logistically complex water main replacement project for the area around Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. During the infrastructure improvement project, Cal Water crews installed nearly 2,800 feet of new main in 10 weeks to serve the hospital, other health care facilities, and residents and businesses nearby.

Before the project began, employees hand-delivered letters to residents and business owners who would be affected by the construction, so that employees could address any questions and concerns, according to Cal Water Interim District Manager Brenda Granillo. Installing new water mains in such a sensitive and varied service area required careful planning, as well as notifying the public and all county and city agencies of the construction schedule and progress.

According to Granillo, the chief concern during planning was how the construction would affect Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, a five-story building with 269 beds and 2,132 employees and volunteers. The hospital, however, was one of many considerations Cal Water and contractor West Valley Construction worked through to complete the project. Cal Water provided weekly status updates about the construction schedule to residents, city officials, police and fire departments, city services, and all others impacted.

“Nearly 2,800 feet of new pipe was installed in an area that included 46 homes, four businesses, a large hospital, a convalescent care center and rehabilitation center, and numerous medical and dental offices,” Granillo said. “We performed tie-ins and shutdowns of water main at night, in order to reduce service interruptions during normal business hours. This important water system improvement project will enable us to continue providing our customers with a reliable, high-quality supply of water for generations to come.”

As part of the construction, crews installed the new eight-inch main on Los Palos Drive from Abbott Street to East Romie Lane, along with six- and eight-inch main on Fairmont Drive and Fairmont Circle. Cal Water replaced the smaller, aging existing main with larger mains made of PVC, a longer-lasting, more cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative that generally does not rust or corrode. Crews also installed two new fire hydrants and four replacement fire hydrants.

“We wanted to reduce the impact to customers and motorists as much as possible during construction, so we worked hard to make sure we completed the project as quickly as possible and also communicate to those in the area and city officials often to make the process as smooth as possible,” Granillo said.