U.S. Water News Online
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A massive mechanical mole that has spent the last five years burrowing under the San Bernardino Mountains has resurfaced, marking a major step in completing a 44-mile water line that will eventually serve thirsty Southern Californians.
The Inland Feeder is expected to pipe water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta during the rainy season into the Diamond Valley Lake reservoir in Riverside County by 2010. The water will be distributed from northern Los Angeles County to the Mexican border.
Roy Wolfe, who oversaw the project for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, is hopeful the pipeline will eventually supply 1000 cubic feet of water per second — enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in less than 30 seconds.
"This has been an incredible journey, an 11-year, $1.2 billion project," said Wolfe, manager of corporate resources for the utility.
The Inland Feeder consists of 26 miles of buried pipeline and three tunnels spanning 18 miles. The machines used to bore the tunnels are longer than a football field and can bore through 10-to-80 feet per day. The tunnel is 4 miles long.
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