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Some North Coast residents asked to conserve water during intertie installation

ARCATA- A collaborative effort to improve conditions for the major municipalities of the Humboldt Bay Water District should be completed by by Thursday.

The $3.6 million Regional Interconnection Project is entirely grant funded.  The first phase of the project was completed in January.  It connected the Eureka and Arcata water systems so those municipalities can supply water to each other as a backup.  The second phase allowed McKinleyville to supply water to Arcata, and was completed in April.  The final phase is installing a new intertie under Alder Grove Road in Arcata. Construction is expected to be complete by Thursday.

"We're establishing a new and separate connection between Humboldt Bay's system and the City of Arcata's system.  So it's in the north part of their city water system, so it'll both improve supply reliability and pressure in their part of the system.  But it's also what allows Arcata down the road to serve McKinleyville via the new intertie that was also funded by this project," said Carol Rische, the General Manager of the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District.

Water officials say the final phase is important for McKinleyville residents.

"If a seismic event or other emergency or just something were to fail, especially between McKinleyville and Arcata, those communities now have a brand new interconnection that one community can serve the other.  So it's a real significant benefit for the community in making sure they stay in water," Rische said.

The main water supply from the Humboldt Bay Muncipal Water District to Eureka, Arcata, the Samoa Peninsula and the Humboldt County Community Services District will be cut off during construction.  However, those reservoirs have been filled to capacity.  Still, water officials urge residents in these areas to conserve water through Thursday.

"Don't run your dishwasher, don't do laundry today, take a shorter shower.  Especially if you're a business that uses more water, that can really help.  So if we can just get folks in those communities to use a little less water, it helps us ensure adequate supplies to those local reservoirs," said Rische.