Crews are still investigating why a portion of the Nacimiento Water Project pipeline collapsed in early August.
The crushed segment of pipe is not expected to affect the distribution of the new water from Nacimiento Lake, officials said.
The $176 million pipeline project is intended to boost water supplies for Atascadero, part of Cayucos, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo and Templeton by drawing from Nacimiento Lake.
The 48-inch diameter stainless intake segment experienced “a partial crushing of the pipe at a location about 60 feet below the lake surface,” Nacimiento project manager John Hollenbeck said.
The project was originally set to be completed in December. Earlier this year, officials said work on the pipeline could wrap up six months ahead of schedule. That estimate has since moved to October or November, Hollenbeck said, because of a design change initiated by a pump supplier for equipment at the intake station.
The collapse, which officials estimate occurred Aug. 11, also won’t affect the pipeline’s startup and testing activities, Hollenbeck said, though it is an inconvenience.
“The partially crushed pipe does limit our flexibility as to what elevation we withdraw the water from,” he said.
Even so, the lake water can pump through the system and flow into the intake station despite the broken piece.
Crews are still determining how long the repair is expected to take — as well as the cost of the fix.
Touted as one of the county’s largest public works efforts, the Nacimiento Water Project has been discussed for half a century.
While Nacimiento Lake is in San Luis Obispo County, most of its water is owned and controlled by Monterey County.
Officials from both counties signed an agreement for the project in 1959, Hollenbeck said, and it wasn’t until recent years that planning moved forward.
Crews began moving dirt on the pipeline and its facilities in December 2007.
The project includes three pump stations, three water storage tanks and 45 miles of pipeline sectioned into four parts to be linked upon completion.