Sativa Los Angeles County Water District (Sativa) is a small special district serving the retail water needs of the Willowbrook community located in unincorporated Los Angeles County in the vicinity of Compton, California. Sativa sought Civiltec’s assistance to satisfy a number of technical requests originated by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) regarding the water system’s capacity to meet the current local requirements of a fire emergency. Specifically, CDPH wanted a professional engineer’s evaluation of the District’s fire flow capacity at all hydrant locations within the service area and a strategic plan for bringing the system up to current fire code, as necessary. This type of information is vital to construction permitting and other types of development requirements.

SativaBased on historical construction documents, water production records and pumping facility efficiency reports, Project Engineer Anthony Herda, P.E., Civiltec’s Planning Services Manager, constructed a computer model of the distribution system. The model was calibrated against system performance data collected in the field to assure that modeling results corresponded to actual field conditions. Finally, the model was programmed to simulate the worst-case scenario for a fire emergency, known as Maximum Daily Demand plus Fire Flow (i.e. the water demand on the hottest day of the year plus the flow to a hydrant required to support a firefighting effort). Evaluation results were calculated in terms of available fire flow for every fire hydrant in the system and compared to the Los Angeles County Fire Marshal’s current requirements.

The evaluation revealed that system improvements would be needed to satisfy the current fire flow requirements. Through an iterative process, Mr. Herda developed a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to bring water storage, groundwater production and distribution pipelines up to code at the lowest possible cost. A comprehensive report on the computer model and system evaluation process was prepared and published as the Sativa Los Angeles County Water District 2014 Water System Master Plan. Civiltec is now assisting Sativa in securing state grant funding to begin implementation of the recommended capital improvements.