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Inside the pumping station the engines are seen as they pump water to the next station on a tour given by the Tehachapi Tehachapi-Cummings County Water District in 2017.

Reservations by Oct. 7 are requested for a tour of the system that brings water from the State Water Project to Tehachapi.

Tom Neisler, general manager of the Tehachapi-Cummings County Water District, said the popular annual tour will take place Oct. 21. For safety reasons, all participants must be at least 18 years old.

"After an 18-month, COVID-19-caused hiatus, TCCWD will conduct a tour of our pumping plants and water importation facilities," Neisler said. "We invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to see how water is imported into the Tehachapi area to serve our residents, industry and agriculture."

TCCWD imports SWP water, originating in Lake Oroville 400 miles away, from the aqueduct at the base of the Grapevine up the mountain to the Tehachapi area, Neisler said. The lift is more than 3,400 vertical feet.

"Every minute, we pump enough water to fill a swimming pool," he noted. "This task requires a lot of engine horsepower, a large-diameter pipeline, millions of dollars of natural gas and constant manpower. You are invited to join us to review our water importation system."

Neisler said the tour will leave at 8 a.m. on Oct. 21 from the TCCWD office, 22901 Banducci Road, Tehachapi, and return around noon. Transportation and a light lunch will be provided.

“We appreciate the opportunity to show our customers our system and our capabilities," Neisler said. "Most people are very surprised at what it takes to provide water to the Tehachapi area."

For reservations call the district office at (661) 822-5504.

— Claudia Elliott