History and Growth of Santa Clarita Water Company
The origins of the Santa Clarita Water Division (SCWD) began when the Bonelli family started a small water company in 1949 called the Bouquet Canyon Water Company as a public utility water company regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission. When formed, Bouquet Canyon Water Company had three service connections, 2888 feet of pipe, one well capable of producing 900 gallons per minute (GPM), and 200,000 gallons of tank storage. The original service area of Bouquet Canyon Water Company totaled 223 acres and was situated along San Francisquito Canyon Road (now Seco Canyon Road) at Bouquet Canyon Road.
The Bonelli family started a second water company in 1956 called the Solemint Water Company. The Solemint Water Company started with 78 service connections, 24,479 feet of pipe, two wells capable of producing 1,325 GPM and 100,000 gallons of storage. At that time, the Solemint Water Company service area was several hundred acres mostly in the Canyon Country, Sand Canyon and Placerita Canyon areas.
In 1973, a merger of Bouquet Canyon Water Company and Solemint Water Company was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. In the merger agreement, the name of the Solemint Water Company was changed to Santa Clarita Water Company (SCWC). At the time of the merger, SCWC had a combined total of 8,736 service connections, 650,000 feet of pipe, 19 wells capable of producing 16,000 GPM and 8 million gallons of storage.
History of Santa Clarita Valley and the Formation of Castaic Lake Water Agency
Rich in Old West history, the Santa Clarita Valley boasts tales of Native American tribes, Spanish soldiers and Mexican bandits, gold discovery and oil strikes, railroads and ranches, a horrible dam failure, and cowboy movie stars. Today, the Santa Clarita Valley is a fast growing and vibrant community.
Now, as in the beginning, the fundamental key to growth is a stable water supply. While the Santa Clara River historically provided alluvial groundwater for agriculture and livestock, this source could not provide a year round supply. At the turn of the twentieth century, the area's needs were met with the advent of the deep-well turbine pump.
While the area remained primarily agricultural through the 1950s, the local communities secured additional water for municipal growth. In 1960, voters approved the California State Water Project (SWP) to import water to Southern California. In 1980, the Castaic Lake Water Agency (CLWA) commenced delivering SWP water to the Valley. CLWA purchases SWP water from the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and treats SWP and other imported water at the Earl Schmidt Filtration Plant and the Rio Vista Water Treatment Plant. As a wholesaler within the Santa Clarita Valley, CLWA sells treated water to four retail water purveyors within the Santa Clarita Valley. The four retail water purveyors are Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 36, Newhall County Water District (NCWD), Santa Clarita Water Division and Valencia Water Company (VWC).
Santa Clarita Water Division
In 1999, the Castaic Lake Water Agency purchased SCWC, and the name was changed to the Santa Clarita Water Division (SCWD) of Castaic Lake Water Agency. The service area at the time of acquisition included about 20,000 service connections, 12 groundwater production wells and 39 storage tanks.
Today, SCWD is a retail water purveyor operating a service area that includes a portion of the City of Santa Clarita and unincorporated portions of Los Angeles County in the communities of Saugus, Canyon Country and West Newhall. SCWD supplies potable water from imported water purchased from CLWA, accounting for approximately 55-65% of supply, and groundwater wells, accounting for approximately 35-45% of supply, to approximately 28,550 active service connections. Existing land use within the retail service area is primarily residential consisting of approximately 93% of retail customers and 7% for commercial, industrial and other users including public authorities, irrigation, government, institutional, and fire services.
SCWD's staff operates and maintains a distribution system consisting of approximately 300 miles of pipeline, 24 booster stations, 14 active groundwater wells, 5 hydro-pneumatic systems (pressurized system or closed system), 26 pressure reducing stations operating 17 sub-pressure zones and 47 active storage tanks. This infrastructure is organized into 16 pressure zones and 17 sub-pressure zones.
Santa Clarita Water Division's mission is: "To Provide Reliable, Quality Water at a Reasonable Cost to our customers."