The Crescenta Valley Water District was formed as the Crescenta Valley County Water District on December 14, 1950 by the vote of local residents. Organized under the provisions of Division 12 of the State of California Water Code, the District operates as a political subdivision of the State. The term "County" was officially deleted from the District's name in 1996.
In the early 1950's, the newly-formed District purchased the assets and consolidated the infrastructure of several small private water companies then in existence. This was made possible by voter approval of two capital improvement bonds with a value of $1.35 million. By 1953, with rapid growth in the Crescenta Valley and surrounding foothill communities, it became apparent that the local groundwater supply was not going to be sufficient to meet the increasing demand. Residents from La Crescenta to Altadena voted to form the Foothill Municipal Water District (FMWD) to purchase and distribute imported water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). By 1955, the District was augmenting its local well water with MWD water from the Colorado River. In the 1960's, MWD increased its supply by also contracting for Northern California water with the completion of the State Water Project. This blend of imported water which fluctuates from 40% to 60% groundwater versus imported water continues today as the source of supply for District customers..
In the 1970's, District officials were becoming aware of potential problems with private wastewater disposal systems (septic tanks) in the vicinity and potential impacts on the local groundwater supply. With federal funds available through the Clean Water Act, the District created two sewer assessment districts in 1979 and sold bonds for the construction of 64 miles of mainline sewer and 27 miles of house-connection laterals. Approximately 75% of the $35 million cost was satisfied with federal grant money and the remainder through direct assessment of local property owners. The project also included the purchase of treatment plant capacity from the City of Glendale and the construction of 7 miles of large-diameter sewer interceptor through the City of Glendale. All sewer system construction was completed in the mid-1980's.
The District is located in the Crescenta Valley area of Los Angeles County in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, between the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. The District provides water distribution and sewage collection within its boundaries to the unincorporated communities of La Crescenta, Montrose, and Verdugo City as well as a small portion of the City of La Canada-Flintridge.
The District serves an area of approximately 4 square miles in relatively steep terrain ranging from 1,200 feet to almost 3,000 feet above sea level. The customer base is primarily residential with some light commercial along Foothill Boulevard in La Crescenta and Honolulu Avenue in Montrose. The District currently provides water to over 8,000 accounts representing a population of approximately 32,000. Customer growth is steady although the Crescenta Valley area is nearly built-out. Residential growth is occurring through increased housing density in the multiple-unit zoned areas (primarily Montrose) as well as limited in-fill housing development on random parcels in La Crescenta.