DWA: Corroded connection to blame for 330,000-gallon leak at well off El Cielo Road
Crews work to clean El Cielo Road earlier this month.

DWA: Corroded connection to blame for 330,000-gallon leak at well off El Cielo Road

Turning off the well's pump didn't stop the discharge. Instead, crews had to close a valve in the street. It took roughly 30 minutes to stop the water flowing from the site.

Desert Water Agency (DWA) officials estimate more than 300,000 gallons of water leaked from a well near an abandoned golf course earlier this month, causing significant erosion near the site and some flooding.

The news: Around 3:30 p.m. on June 11, DWA crews responded to Well 29 at the abandoned Bel Air Greens course off El Cielo Road in Palm Springs. They discovered water gushing from a vault containing a well flow meter.

  • Turning off the well’s pump didn’t stop the discharge. Instead, crews had to close a valve in the street. It took roughly 30 minutes to stop the water flowing from the site.

  • DWA estimated 330,000 gallons of water discharged onto the ground, nearby El Cielo Road, and into a nearby wash.

At issue: According to a report from DWA, the cause of the incident was the failure of a connection between the well and its flow meter. 

  • The coupling that holds the meter head assembly in place was common when it was constructed in 1981, but has since been improved upon.

  • Crews worked to replace the flow meter with one that meets current standards. They are also inspecting and replacing other meters that show similar wear.

FWIW: DWA regularly reports leaks in its system. In the two-week period ending June 10, for example, there were 42 leaks reported. 

  • The most leaks reported in that period were along Berne Drive, where some of the pipes date back to 1959.

  • The oldest pipes in the system date back to 1935. The agency is replacing all pipes older than 70 years (of which there are 125,000 linear feet of them). That process is expected to take another nine years.

Sign up for news updates.

Receive vital news about our city in your inbox for free every day.

100% local.

The Post was founded by local residents who saw gaps in existing news coverage and believed our community deserved better.

Scroll to Top