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Grand Jury Investigates Status of Air Vacuum Air Release Valves on South Coast Conduit

Based on a citizen’s request, the 2015-16 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury has completed an investigation of the status of replacement of air vacuum air release valves (AVARs) in the water delivery system through the South Coast Conduit, which provides water from Goleta to Carpinteria.

Although the United States Bureau of Reclamation owns this water conduit, it is maintained by the Cachuma Operations and Maintenance Board (COMB).

 A 2012 inspection by the United States Bureau of Reclamation found that all 26 of the valves needed to be replaced. The jury found that 20 AVARs have been replaced and that COMB is currently ahead of schedule.  

The remaining six identified AVARs have not yet been replaced, but are on a project work agenda. Per testimony by officials, now is not an opportune time to replace these valves.

The jury has written a report on its investigation titled “Water Valve Safety, Status of Air Vacuum Air Release Valves on the South Coast Conduit.”  The report may be found at www.sbcgj.org.

The Santa Barbara County Civil Grand Jury is a basic part of government within the judicial branch. The Grand Jury acts independently, yet is under the general control of the Superior Court Presiding Judge to assure that it acts in accordance with the Penal Code of the State of California.

Maria Millsaps is the foreperson of the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury.

 

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