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Catalina Island



IMPORTANT NOTICE: Increased Water Conservation and Rationing Now Required for Catalina Island.

Safely providing electricity, water and gas to Catalina Island is our top priority. Below is helpful information about these services for the more than 4,000 year-round residents and over 700,000 visitors Catalina Island hosts every year.


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, a desalination plant. Download our fact sheet to learn more about the water system.

Faucet with drop of water

Stage 3 Water Rationing Is Now In Effect

Southern California continues to face extreme drought conditions. With limited rain fall this season, Catalina’s drinking water resources have been deleted to near all-time historic low levels. All Catalina residents and businesses are now required to cut back on water use even more to preserve our water resources.

Stage 3 Mandatory Water Conservation and Rationing, activated on September 6, 2016, requires either a 40 percent or a 50 percent reduction in baseline water use. Download our fact sheet for an explanation of how individual monthly water allotments are calculated.

Water Supply Status and Stage 3 Results

  • As of January 19, 2017 the Middle Ranch Reservoir water level was 137 acre feet.
  • In December, 2016, water use declined 41.97 percent; 14 acre feet of water was used compared to 24 acre feet in December, 2012.
  • Between October, 2016 and December, 2016, water use declined 51 percent even with a 71 percent increase in visitors to the island; 44 acre feet of water was used compared to 90 acre feet in October, 2012 – December, 2012 (baseline).



Catalina Water Quality & Mandatory Rationing: Frequently Asked Questions

When will Stage 3 water rationing be implemented?

Stage 3 Mandatory Water Rationing (Stage 3) may go into effect when the water level in the Middle Ranch Reservoir (“Reservoir”) falls below 200 acre-feet. Currently, the water level is significantly below 200 acre-feet, prompting activation of Stage 3 on September 6, 2016.

How is water allotted during Stage 3 Mandatory Water Conservation and Rationing?

For customers within the Avalon city limits, with the exception of Hamilton Cove Villas, Stage 3 will require a 40 percent reduction from your baseline water usage. In other words, your water allotment will be 60 percent of your corresponding monthly baseline water usage.

For customers not able to be served by the desalination plants (i.e., outside of the Avalon city limits and Hamilton Cove Villas), Stage 3 will require a 50 percent reduction from your baseline water usage. In other words, your water allotment will be 50 percent of your corresponding monthly baseline water usage.

Individual baselines for any given billing period are calculated by actual water use during the immediate 12-month period prior to the most recent Stage 1 Water Conservation period. This time period is used so that any conservation efforts you implemented after Stage 1 are not included into your baseline usage. The most recent Stage 1 Water Conservation period began in June 2013. Therefore, the baseline period is June 2012 to May 2013. For example, your water allotment for the month of November, 2016 would be 60 percent (or 50 percent depending on the applicable rationing level detailed above) of the amount of water you used (your baseline) in November 2012.

Why isn’t SCE implementing the same percentage of rationing for all customers?

Recent updates to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved Schedule 14.1 allows for a more targeted approach to mandatory rationing as opposed to a mandated 50 percent reduction in water use for all customers during Stage 3. This change in SCE’s tariff was due largely to customer feedback received during implementation of Stage 2 in August 2014. Under the revised tariff, Stage 3 mandatory rationing levels can be activated at a percentage below 50 percent and vary amongst customer classifications or water systems. This approach allows the percentage of rationing to be determined by data including, but not limited to, water system, drought impacts to water resources, volumetric water use, and water use within specific customer classifications.

What happens if I exceed my water allotment?

1. The first time you exceed your water allotment, we will send you a warning letter informing you that you exceeded your allotment.

2. The second time, we will install a flow-restricting device on your water service line. (This device will decrease the water pressure you receive by 50 percent or less. Any tampering with a flow-restricting device can result in fines or discontinuation of water use at our discretion.). We will remove the flow restrictor after a three business day period has elapsed, and upon payment by you of a $200 flow restrictor device removal charge.

- Or –

We will impose a $250 fine if a flow-restricting device cannot be installed due to a dual water service/fire protection system or a meter size that does not accommodate such flow-restricting device.

3. The third time, we will reinstall the flow-restricting device if previously removed and impose a $50 fine. You will still be responsible for a $200 flow restrictor device removal charge. We will impose a $50 fine if the flow-restricting device is already installed.

- Or –

We will impose a $100 fine if a flow-restricting device cannot be installed for the reasons identified in item #2 above.

4. Each additional offense, we will reinstall the flow restricting device if previously removed and impose a fine $50 more than previous fine imposed, not to exceed $500.

- Or –

We will impose a fine $50 more than previous fine imposed, not to exceed $500, if a flow-restricting device is already installed.

- Or –

We will impose a fine $100 more than the previous fine imposed, not to exceed $500, if a flow- restricting device is not able to be installed for the reasons identified in item #2 above.

Are there additional restrictions on water use?

Stage 3 requires certain prohibitions and additional restrictions on the use of drinking water, subject to future changes if directed by the California Public Utilities Commission. The CPUC-approved Schedule 14.1 Sections C.3.a.-b. explains the requirements and restrictions that are part of Stage 3 Mandatory Water Rationing.

Does SCE offer programs and services that can help customers reduce their water use without sacrificing comfort?

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 http://www.mde.state.md.us/assets/document/ResAudit.pdf 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.

Where can I get more information about my drinking water?

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.

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


What should I do if I suspect a propane gas leak?

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
  • Provide a description of the propane leak and its location
  • Warn others to keep away

How is propane gas delivered safely to my home or business?

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

How can I help keep gas pipelines on Catalina Island safe?

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 1-310-510-4301 so we can investigate.

Where are the underground gas pipelines?

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.

What can I do above ground to keep underground pipelines safe?

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 1-310-510-4312 if you have any questions.

Is there anything else I need to know?

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. Here are some useful ways to help you manage your electricity usage:

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.