Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 3, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 3

Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 3, 2013 
Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 3, 2013 
Water Woes 

By Susan Henderson 

This article was originally printed in 2010 and providesadditional insight into the challenges that still face our water 

Sierra Madre’s Pristine Water System is the source of great 

pride and great concern

There are few small towns that have just about everything. A clean, 

safe environment, their own fire and police departments, good 

schools, talented, dedicated city staff, a war chest of community 

volunteers and……water.

 Yes, Sierra Madre even has its’ own supply of water and doesn’t 

have to rely on surrounding purveyors of water to sustain the city. 

In1882, The Sierra Madre Water Company was formed, 25 years 

before the town was incorporated. 

 Sierra Madre’s water supply is primarily derived from four wells 

drawing from the East Raymond Basin aquifer (85%) and two 

natural spring tunnels located on either side of the county flood 

control dam in Little Santa Anita Canyon. These wells are the 

source of great pride, and once again, great controversy.

 The local supply is managed by the Water Division of the 

Department of Public works and has the responsibility for 

maintaining water quality, and pumping, treating, and distributing 

water to residents and businesses in town. The water is collected 

in a reservoir at the City’s maintenance facility and then pumped 

to other reservoirs around town. The water is then distributed 

through a network of pipelines in our streets. That, like everything 

else in this society, costs money.

 Current revenues from water users are not sufficient to continue 

operating the city’s aging water system properly. This is primarily 

due to the fact that there has been no rate increase since July 2006 to 

keep up with the escalating costs of, for example, electricity which 

runs the pumps. 

 There is also not sufficient revenue to replace aging parts or to 

match available federal funds of $10 million dollars to do major 

capital improvements. For instance, the Mariposa Reservoir was 

recently rebuilt utilizing the matching grant program with the 

federal government. Funds for matching grants come from the 

Water Revenue Reserves. Those reserves are now below acceptable 

levels and leave the city vulnerable in the event of a disaster or 


 Recently, the city council was advised of the need for a rate increase 
for water users and began the process of increasing the water rates. 
and those plans have inspired a campaign against the fee hike. As the 
result of a state proposition, (“Prop 218”), certain utility fee increases 
can be blocked through a process that allows citizens to protest the 
action. Opponents of Sierra Madre’s proposed rate increase have 

surfaced City worker in dry debris basin, March, 2013. Under normal circumstances, this basin has about five feet of 
and are water in the month of March. Photo courtesy City of Sierra Madreasking 

control of its water resources, there are those who appear to be 

residents to sign documents in “protest” of the rate hike. If they are 

opposed to paying it. 

successful and ascertain support of more than half of the rate payers 
in Sierra Madre, the city will not be allowed to raise water rates. As 

The city’s current water delivery system, which dates back to the 

of this writing, however, no other viable alternative to increasing 

early 1900’s requires constant maintenance and improvements. As 

water revenues has been found and without increased revenue, the 

recently as this week, as if a warning to the city that the system’s 

maintaining and integrity of the city’s water resources properly will 

need for maintenance is immediate, an aging water main broke in 

be in jeopardy.

the canyons. It appeared that the main (shown left) had not been 
replaced since the 1930’s. 

 Over the years, there have been many legal battles over water rights, 
but this developing modern day ‘feud’ is not over who has access 

For more information go to: 

to the water but over the costs associated with maintaining the 
water system and who should pay for them. In a city that has total 


For the period July 22-28, 2013 

Monday July 22, 2013At 4:00 pm, an officer initiated a traffic stop on a speeding motorist near 600 East Sierra Madre Blvd. 
The motorist failed to stop for the officer and a short pursuit occurred. The fleeing driver collided with a 
curb on Rodeo Rd. in Arcadia and fled on foot. A yard to yard search was conducted but the driver was 
never found. The vehicle was later discovered to be stolen from the City of Arcadia. 

Thursday July 25, 2013Between 2:30 pm and 8:00 pm, an unknown suspect gained access to a house located in the 800 block of 
Canyon Crest Drive. The investigating officer determined the suspect(s) removed a screen and entered 
through a window. Once inside, the suspect(s) ransacked the residence. A computer, movie projector 
and electronic tablet were among the items stolen. 

Saturday July 27, 2013Officers responded to a noise complaint in the 00 block of East Highland Avenue. Upon arrival, they 
contacted two male subjects sitting on the curb. The investigation revealed the men were under the 
influence of alcohol to such an extent that they were unable to safely care for themselves. Both men were 
arrested and booked at Pasadena Jail. 

Officers responded to the 400 block of East Highland in response to a residential burglary report. The 
investigation revealed that sometime between June 7 and July 26, 2013, a metal safe had been stolen 
from inside of a detached garage located on the property. It was determined that the side door to the 
garage was left unlocked, allowing the suspect(s) to gain entry into the location. 

Sunday July 28, 2013Between 9:30 pm and 5:45 am, unknown suspect(s) gained access to an unlocked vehicle parked 
in a driveway on the 00 block of West Alegria. The suspect(s) ransacked the interior of the vehicle. 
Approximately $100.00 cash, a laptop computer, and personal identification cards were among the items 

Between 5:00 pm and 10:00 am, unknown suspect(s) gained access to an unlocked vehicle parked in 
a driveway on the 200 block of West Grand View Avenue. The suspect ransacked the interior of the 
vehicle. Approximately $100.00 cash, a gym bag with clothing, and a wristwatch were among the items