Benicia Residents Urged to Conserve Water as Crews Race to Fix Broken Pipeline

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The city of Benicia is still trying to permanently fix a broken water pipe that forced an urgent request for residents to cut water use by 30%.

City officials want residents to conserve water use and avoid washing cars and watering lawns, for example, until the issue has been resolved.

"As of now, we have multiple crews piping water and chemicals through the facility to ensure we can continue the safe operation at the treatment plant," Director of Public Works Kyle Ochenduzko said.

The issue was first discovered at 3 a.m. Sunday.

Nicole Geiss, who just purchased a home in Benicia, said the request to conserve water is alarming.

"I think we should be aware no matter what. I think we should control our water and be more aware of it," she said.

City officials said a deepening drough is not the only thing they are worried about.

"We do have some serious issues with aging infrastructure - this is one symptom of that," Ochenduzko said. "We need to make thoughtful investments so these type of things don't happen for future generations."

Ochenduzko said the city council and residents recently adopted new rates that will hep with a five-year plan to address the long-standing infrastructure needs.

For now, the city is counting on residents to cut their usage voluntarily.

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