with only minor tweaking to the system, if that.
"A lot of improvements in the system relate back to sweeping
changes after the  fire," said Renae Hinchey, general manager
of the district.
The district has already begun work on the assessment, which will
be due toward the end of 2003.
"We did an immediate assessment after 9-11 and prepared a confidential report for the district's commissioners and the board of
directors [City Council]," said Dennis Hoffer, district operations
manager. "Our telemetry is flawless, including back-up computers. We
are absolutely emergency ready."
A consultant will be hired to deal with the federal requirements
for reporting the assessment, according to Hoffer.
The district's alarm system was improved after Sept. 11. If an
alarm goes off, the district's telemetry automatically dials a cell
phone of a person at operations.
"An emergency call-out guy is available 24/7," Hoffer said. The
system doesn't stop calling until it reaches someone.
The district responds to every alarm.
"We don't make assumptions," Hoffer said.
The system also alerts the district if someone gets inside one of
the 23 reservoirs in Laguna.
"We monitor everything, all the time." Hoffer said. "Before 9-11,
we were concerned about kids wanting to play on the tanks or vandals,
not terrorists." Laguna Beach does not have a sufficient indigenous
water supply. The district was formed when the wells in Laguna Canyon
were tapped out. It was an independent entity until it became a
special district of the city.
Water is piped in through supply lines in Laguna Canyon and on
North Coast Highway, unfortunately well publicized before Sept. 11.
The water gets pumped to the reservoirs, one of which sits at the
highest elevation in Laguna. There are back-up generators, three
mobile, and two mobile pumps.
The system is designed to feed the 23 tanks. Isolating one of the
tanks does not affect the rest of the system, except to put more
demand on the functioning reservoirs.
In the event of a short-term disruption of service, such as a
broken water main, some residents may be without tap water for up to