Residents of Benicia may have noticed a recent message from the city telling residents to cut back water usage. The exact message sent out claimed it was requiring everyone to “conserve water by 30% due to a pipeline break at the Benicia Water Treatment Plant”. It was discovered that a 24-inch pipeline had bursted in the basement of the treatment plant. The message was immediately sent out while repairs on the pipe began.
A statement from the city was released a few days later saying, “Repairs have been completed at the Benicia Water Treatment Plant and the 30% water conservation mandate is now lifted,” the city announced in a statement. “Benicia is very thankful for the understanding and response by residents and businesses to the city’s request to conserve water while repairs were underway. Customers conserved 4.5 million gallons over the last four days, allowing staff time to make repairs and return to treating water at full capacity.”
The break of the pipe brought the issue of poor maintenance of infrastructure to the forefront of people’s minds. City Manager, Erik Upson, addressed these concerns in a statement released to the public. Addressing the pipe break he said: “This is devastating, as it inhibits our ability to get projects done, stay up to date with maintenance projects, or otherwise be the high performing organization that our community deserves. We are beginning to see good applicants in many key vacant positions (mostly in Public Works), including some vacancies that have been advertised for over two years. We have more initiatives coming to help address this issue.” If the city is able to fill positions in these fields, they hope that breaks like these can be prevented in the future.