PG&E Pays $1.6M to help Cover Canal Break Costs to Water Agencies

PG&E will pay two Northern California water agencies $1.6 million to help cover additional costs because of a canal collapse last month.

Placer County Water Agency and Nevada Irrigation District asked the utility company for financial help after the canal along the Bear River outside of Colfax in Western Placer County. The canal provided 80% of the raw and treated water to the Placer County Water Agency, and gets pumped to areas of Auburn, Loomis, Newcastle and Lincoln.

The canal was runoff from a hydro-electric plant, and since the landslide and collapse on April 19th, the plant has had to slow or stop and PCWA and NID have faced water emergencies. About 30,000 customers face power problems if the plant does not get back up and running.

The $1.6 million agreement made Monday night with PG&E will be used to help the two agencies cover pumping and administration costs. PG&E told FOX40 that money will not come from rate-payer funds, instead the money will come from insurance coverage the utility has for infrastructure problems and from their profit reserves.

To help out, PG&E has been trucking about 320,000 gallons of water a day to Lake Arthur Reservoir to be used downstream.

The Placer County Water Agency is meeting Tuesday night to discuss a continuation of their water emergency plan. They are currently asking customers using treated water to reduce their usage by 10%.

Also this week, crews out at the canal poured about a quarter of the concrete needed to stabilize the area. Once the concrete is in place and the hillside is stable, crews can begin building a new canal system on top of it. The temporary fix should be in place by early June, and the permanent fix set about 4 weeks after that.

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