Safely providing electricity, water, and gas to Catalina Island is our top priority. Below is helpful information about these services for Catalina Island's 4,100 residents, its commercial and industrial customers, and its one million annual visitors.
For more information on the recent 60-year utility anniversary, view the Energized story.
Catalina Island Water Services
Since 1962, we’ve been providing water service to Catalina Island through water storage, wells, water treatment and distribution, and, more recently, desalination. For information on desalination's 30-year Catalina anniversary, view the Energized story.
On Oct. 30, 2020, SCE filed a General Rate Case application with the California Public Utilities Commission to increase water rates. For more information, view the Notice of Application and Energized story.
Effective February 2, 2023, Stage 1 Mandatory Water Conservation is no longer in effect
The January 2023 series of rain events have resulted in a significant increase in the Middle Ranch Reservoir (MRR) level, from 456.41 acre-feet on January 9, 2023 to 737.5 acre-feet on January 30, 2023. With residual recharge expected in the coming months and operation of the desalination plant(s) to supply drinking water to customers in Avalon, water supplies are sufficient to meet the normal demands of the system and deactivate Stage 1 mandatory water conservation on Catalina Island. Stage 1 had been in effect since July 2022, after the Reservoir dropped below the 600-acre-foot level. If you would like to monitor the Middle Ranch Reservoir’s water level status, please visit the City of Avalon website for the latest update.
On February 2, 2023, SCE submitted a Tier 1 Advice Letter 135-W with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to deactivate Stage 1 of SCE’s Schedule 14.1 Staged Mandatory Water Conservation and Rationing Plan (Water Rationing Plan) for the Catalina Island water system.
SCE provided community updates of Stage 1 deactivation in February 2023, including a newspaper ad (Catalina Islander) and Avalon City Council presentation. Customers are encouraged to maintain voluntary water conservation to support a sustainable water supply on Catalina Island.
Policy on Discontinuation of Residential Water Service for Nonpayment
On September 28, 2018, Senate Bill (SB) 998, the Water Protection Shutoff Act, was signed into law. The Water Protection Shutoff Act modified public and community water system practices regarding the discontinuation of residential water service for nonpayment.
Read the full policy:
Catalina Island Water Services: Frequently Asked Questions
We will continue to make water conservation devices available to customers. You can pick up low-flow shower heads, kitchen and bath faucet aerators and automatic shut-off hose nozzles at our Pebbly Beach office located at 1 Pebbly Beach, Avalon, CA 90704 or City Hall.
We strongly encourage you to conduct a personal household water audit. An audit will help you assess how and where you use water, how much you use, and find opportunities to save. Refer to https://home-water-works.org/calculator for more information on how a household water audit can help you save both water and money.
For additional water saving tips, visit saveourh2o.org.
We guarantee that we’re providing you with a safe and dependable supply of drinking water by regularly monitoring the water supply. We’re required to test for a number of different contaminants in the water system, with the timing of the sampling varying based on the state’s requirements, from daily to annually. The company conducts more than 2,300 tests for over 150 drinking water contaminants.
In order to ensure that water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water, established regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Monitoring results are routinely submitted to the Division of Drinking Water and are subject to review and inspection by the agency.
For more information about what we test for and how it compares to California water quality standards, please refer to our annual Consumer Confidence Report.
The list of voluntary water conservation measures as outlined in SCE Water Tariff Rule 14.1 is provided below. Customers should avoid the following non-essential or unauthorized uses, including:
- Use through any meter when the company has notified the customer in writing to repair a broken or defective plumbing, sprinkler, watering or irrigation system and the customer has failed to effect such repairs within five business days.
- Use of potable water that results in flooding, runoff, or overspray.
- Individual private washing of cars, or private boats or aircrafts with a hose except with the use of a positive action shut-off nozzle or three-gallon bucket. Use of potable water for washing commercial aircraft, buses, boats, trailers, or other commercial vehicles at any time, except at commercial or fleet vehicle or boat washing facilities operated at a fixed location where equipment using water is properly maintained to avoid wasteful use.
- Use of potable water washing buildings and structures, street cleaning, driveways, patios, parking lots, tennis courts, or other hard-surfaced areas, except in the cases where health and safety are at risk.
- Use of potable water to irrigate plants, gardens, or ornamental landscaping by means other than drip irrigation, hand watering without quick acting positive action shut-off nozzles, or by use of a container or bucket not exceeding a three-gallon capacity.
- Use of potable water for construction purposes such as consolidation of backfill, dust control, mixing of cement concrete (except at an established cement or concrete plant), preparation of mortar, curing, site clean-up, or other uses except where such construction is minor and does not require a permit or is required for safety and health reasons.
- Operation of commercial car washes without recycling at least 50% of the potable water used per cycle.
- Use of potable water for the filling or refilling of swimming pools, spas, hot tubs and decorative fountains. Water level in existing pools, spas, and hot tubs that circulate water may be maintained to ensure continued operation of recirculation equipment only if they are equipped with a specifically designed cover in good working condition when not in use.
- Service of water by any restaurant except upon the request of a patron.
- The use of fresh water from fire hydrants, at any time, for any purpose other than fire suppression is prohibited.
- Use of potable water to irrigate ornamental turf on public medians.
- Use of potable water to irrigate outdoor landscapes during and within 48 hours of measurable rainfall.
- Use of potable water to irrigate landscapes outside of newly constructed homes and buildings in a manner inconsistent with regulations or other requirements established by the California Building Standards Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development.
- Operators of hotel, motels or similar business establishments providing overnight accommodations shall provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily. The operators of these establishments shall prominently display notice of this option in each guestroom using clear and easily understood language.
- The watering of plants, gardens, or ornamental landscaping by drip irrigation or hand watering with a quick acting positive action shut-off nozzle or turf and lawns with sprinkler systems shall be limited to the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., during the period Pacific Daylight Time is in effect, and 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., during the period Pacific Standard Time is in effect. Watering by use of a container or bucket not exceeding a three-gallon capacity will be permitted at any time.
For further information, please visit www.sce.com/notices.
SCE is planning infrastructure replacement and an associated remediation effort for the Two Harbors Pipeline. The pipeline has been in place since the late 1960s and was built to industry standards. This included using materials that in later years were identified as containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at concentrations that are no longer allowed by regulation. Learn more about the program here.
Catalina Island Gas Services
We also provide commercial and residential customers on Catalina Island with gas services. Below are answers to some questions you may have related to your gas service.
Catalina Gas Services: Frequently Asked Questions
If you smell propane gas or suspect a leak has occurred, follow these important rules:
- Do not touch, breathe, or make contact with leaking propane gas
- Get everyone out of your home or building, and open doors and windows to ventilate the area
- If outside, leave the area immediately by walking into the wind and away from the propane gas
- Do not light a match, start an engine, use a cell phone, or do anything that may create a spark as the leaked propane gas can ignite
- Turn off machinery and equipment, but never approach equipment that is surrounded by a gas cloud
- FROM A SAFE LOCATION, CALL LOCAL EMERGENCY RESPONDERS AT 911 AND SCE AT 800-367-8851 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
- Provide a description of the propane leak and its location
- Warn others to keep away
Propane gas is supplied to our customers via a pipeline system- the safest, most reliable and most efficient way of distributing propane gas. Pipeline failures on Catalina Island are rare because our pipeline system is designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained according to strict standards used by us, the pipeline industry and those required by local, state, and federal government agencies.
We continuously monitor the pipeline system through a combination of safety programs:
- Patrols of the pipeline system
- Visual ground inspections and leak surveys
- Computerized system reports and records of line pressure 24 hours a day
- Construction practices that help prevent rusting and minimize corrosion
Everyone can contribute to the safety and security of the pipeline system on Catalina Island. Any activity near or on a pipeline route—even something as simple as planting a tree or building a fence—can potentially damage a pipeline.
A gouge, scrape, dent or crease to a pipeline or its coating may cause a break or a leak in the future. If you plan to dig, drill, or engage in any other activity that could damage a pipeline, call Dig Alert at 1-800-227-2600 at least 48 hours before you dig or excavate.
When you call Dig Alert, our personnel will come out and mark the pipeline route for you. When excavating near propane gas piping, the excavation must be done with hand tools until the propane gas line is found.
If you know of even minor damage to a pipeline, please contact us immediately at 800-367-8851 so we can investigate.
Usually, an underground “main” pipeline located in the middle of the street in front of your home or business supplies propane gas. Additional underground piping runs from the main pipeline to the propane gas meter that supplies propane gas to your home or business. In open areas, main pipelines are marked with aboveground signs to indicate the general location, our contact information, and that the pipeline contains propane gas. Markers do not provide information on the depth or number of pipelines in the vicinity and the markers do not indicate the exact position of the pipeline.
Pipeline routes must be kept free from structures and other obstructions. If a pipeline crosses your property, please do not plant trees or high shrubs along the route. Also, do not store or place anything on or near the pipeline route without first contacting us so we can explain the company’s construction guidelines to you. Call us during normal business hours at 800-367-8851 if you have any questions.
Always follow these important safety tips:
- Never use a propane gas oven or stove burners for heating
- Only use indoor-use portable heaters when inside
- Don’t use an outdoor barbeque grill indoors
- Always keep propane gas appliances well-ventilated
- Have propane gas appliances tested regularly by qualified technicians
Catalina Island Electric Services
We generate electricity for Catalina Island using six diesel generators and 23 propane-powered microturbines, and we distribute that power using three distribution circuits that serve the entire island. Learn more about Catalina Island Repower Feasibility Study to replace the current diesel generators. Here are some useful ways to help you manage your electricity usage:
- Helpful tips: Low- to no-cost ways for you to maximize your savings.
- Get to Know Your Rate: Learn how residential rate plans work
- Rebates & Incentives: Get paid for purchasing energy-efficient appliances or participating in energy-saving programs
- Make your home more energy efficient
Still, have questions?
Commercial and residential customers on Catalina Island can call our dedicated customer support at 1-800-367-8851. For dedicated Catalina support, call Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.