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Flume Failure Causes Severe Water Crisis In Tuolumne County

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The Tuolumne Utilities District officials are urging water customers above the Phoenix Reservoir and below Mi-Wuk to cut-back on all unnecessary water usage.

A failure on the Pacific Gas & Electric water flume just below Lyons Dam is causing the severe water shortage. Tim McCullough, TUD general manager, said this is a critical problem. If water customers don´t cut back, the water reserves will be depleted very quickly.

McCullough says the water shortage situation could last from 30-hours up to 48-hours, or at the earliest, Tuesday evening. “It could be longer than that,” he said.

They could possibly see the back-up water supply dry up, he said, adding the only way to prevent that is to curtail usage. The onset of warmer weather this week will only make the problem worse, he said.

McCullough said he was going to request the fire departments suspend all burn permits during this time.

Again, you are asked to limit water use to minimum household use, in the TUD service area above Phoenix Reservoir or Ponderosa, and below Mi-Wuk, especially in the Brentwood, Twain Harte and Sugar Pine areas.

He said Crystal Falls area is “on the ragged edge” of the outage. “I wouldn´t be surprised if we would lose service completely in that area if it goes into anything beyond 24 hours,” he said.