TWO HARBORS— Southern California Edison has been assessing Catalina Island’s water infrastructure, and its top priorities are drinking water safety, environmental protection, and long-term reliability. Actions are underway to address aging pipeline segments in the Two Harbors water pipeline, including the removal of elements constructed in the 1960s with materials that are now regulated. Southern California Edison has been providing water service on Catalina Island since 1962 and has held two summer community meetings regarding the pipeline project. An online community meeting will also be held in the near future.
A letter was released on behalf of Southern California Edison discussing the pipe replacement.
“This remediation is focused on the soil surrounding the pipeline and not the drinking water itself; water samples confirm that the water in the system meets or exceeds California’s drinking water standards,” said Director of Catalina Operations and Strategy Anthony Hernandez in the letter.
The Two Harbors Pipeline supplies water from groundwater wells to the western part of the island via the Million Gallon Tank. The pipeline has been in place since the late 1960s and was built with materials that were commonly used across the country and met industry standards at that time. While conducting planning activities to replace components of the infrastructure that are nearing the end of their useful life, SCE identified some elements that contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at concentrations that are no longer allowed by regulation due to potential health issues.
In 2023, SCE completed a comprehensive, systemwide water infrastructure assessment. Some pipeline sections previously taken out of service as part of routine repairs and maintenance have been removed from the island. SCE has conducted extensive soil samples at various locations. As a result of these assessments, and to address the aging system and regulatory requirements, SCE is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and other local and regional agencies to evaluate options and obtain approvals for the removal, remediation, and replacement of the Two Harbors pipeline. This effort will be completed in a multi-year process.
In addition to routine compliance monitoring, as required by the California Division of Drinking Water, SCE has ensured it provides safe, reliable, and affordable water. As a precaution, SCE has installed filters and conducts extensive drinking water sampling efforts beyond state and federal requirements. To date, the water quality, including PCB and PAH levels in the drinking water throughout the system, meets or exceeds all applicable health and safety standards.
For more information, please visit https://www.sce.com/customer-service/faqs/catalina-water-pipeline-project.