Water Pipeline Will Soon Reach Campus

Quick Summary

  • Night work planned at intersection of Russell Boulevard and A Street, at northeast corner of Toomey Field
  • Contractor will flush distribution lines to prepare them for new water supply
  • Project also includes restrooms in vicinity of Russell Field and Marya Welch Tennis Center

A construction company estimates it will start work Sunday, July 10, at Russell Boulevard and A Street, trenching across Russell to lay the last section of pipe that will deliver a new supply of drinking water to the campus.

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Ghilotti Contruction Co. is working south on A Street, north of Russell, laying a 16-inch pipeline that will hit campus property after crossing Russell. The contractor plans to make the crossing at night to minimize traffic disruption on the busy thoroughfare. Hours will be 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. for three nights, into Wednesday morning, July 13.

Once under Russell, Ghilotti will have met its contract to bring the pipeline to the campus’s northeast corner, just outside the Toomey Field fence.

From there, another contractor takes over. Division 5-15 Inc. is responsible for extending the pipeline to connect with the campus’s water distribution system, and flushing the distribution lines to prepare them for the introduction of the new water supply. The water is coming from the Sacramento River, by way of a new treatment plant that serves Woodland, Davis and the campus.

UC Davis has joined up with the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency on this project, which includes an intake structure on the Sacramento River, the new treatment plant and the main distribution lines. The project is providing the cities and the campus with their first-ever treated surface water, to replace and supplement well water that has declined in quality.  

Woodland and Davis have already introduced the new water supply in their systems, but the campus will not be ready to tap into the supply until Nov. 1 at the earliest. Here’s what’s happening in the interim:

Pipeline construction — From Russell Boulevard and A Street, the pipeline will go west along the outside of Toomey Field’s northern fence, adjacent to Russell. Bicycle and pedestrian traffic will be detoured to the north side of Russell, and one lane of eastbound traffic could be restricted during this part of the pipeline work.

The pipeline will continue west along the northern edge of Howard Field, go south along the western edge of Howard Field, cross under Howard Way and continue west across the southern edge of Russell Field to California Avenue, where the tie-in will be made, underground, to the water distribution system.

Pump —  The water will need a pressure boost before going into the distribution system, so the campus will install a pump on the south edge of Russell Field, near Parking Lot 15 and the Marya Welch Tennis Center.

Restrooms — In conjunction with the pipeline and pump work, Campus Recreation and Unions is taking the opportunity to build restrooms at Russell Field.

Pipeline flushing — This will be done without wasting water. In various locations around the campus, the contractor will link two fire hydrants via a hose line that runs through a filter. Water will come out of one hydrant, go through the filter and go back in the other hydrant. This reverse flow will dislodge sediment and corrosion in the pipes, so that those substances can be filtered out. Flushing will begin in July, and may result in reddish or cloudy water coming from taps in the vicinity of the hydrants that are being used — but the water should clear up by letting it run for a while. If you have concerns with the water (e.g., odors, red hue, poor taste), contact the Facilities Management Customer Support Center by phone, 530-752-1655, or email.

The campus is further ensuring the safety and quality of the water supply by adding a corrosion inhibitor to water lines and adjusting the pH of the treated surface water to closely match the existing groundwater, thus reducing the likelihood of corrosion or discolored water.

As pipeline construction progresses and preparations advance for the safely introducing the surface water into the campus’s distribution system, more information will be shared in Dateline and on a website being developed to communicate news and information about this project. In the meantime, surface-water questions can be sent by email to surfacewater@ucdavis.edu.

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Dateline Staff, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu

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