Public water supply in Lakeside remains safe to drink due to robust treatment processes. There is no evidence that coronavirus is transmitted through water.
For more information about virus prevention and treatment, see the following websites for up to date information.
As you know on March 4, 2020 Governor Newsome issued Executive Order N-28-20 proclaiming a State of Emergency in California as a result of the threat of COVID-19. The Order set into motion responses related to economic conditions whereby Californians may not be able to pay normal bills due to business closures, and loss of wages due to layoffs. In addition, the State Public Health Officer issued an order to all “Individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of resident except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, as outlined….”
This order created many difficult decisions for our customers, community and even the District. Our first task was to ensure that District staff would remain healthy. This entailed splitting the operations staff in half and staggering start times. The potential problem for the District is if one person became infected with the virus our entire operations staff would have to isolate and quarantine themselves.
We couldn’t risk this potential problem so we split both our operations and administrative staffing starting times. To date no employees or family members have become infected with the virus.
During the emergency order we also had two pipeline replacement projects under construction. They will both be completed with the Order still in effect. The District does not have another project planned until the fall of this year.
Additionally, we know that our community has endured economic uncertainty. Because of this the Board has implemented policy suspensions that will allow services to remain on and penalty payments to be waived. In addition, on April 2, 2020 Governor Newsome issued Executive Order N-42-20 ordering;
- The authority of urban and community water systems, as defined in Health and Safety Code section 116902, subdivision (d), to discontinue residential service, as defined in Health and Safety Code section 116902, subdivision (c), for non-payment under Health and Safety Code sections 116908 and 116910, is suspended.
- Water systems not subject to the requirements of Health and Safety Code sections 116908 and 116910 shall not discontinue residential service, as defined in Health and Safety Code section 116902, subdivision (c), for non-payment.
Nothing in the Order eliminates the obligation of water customers to pay for water service, prevents a water system from charging a customer for such service, or reduces the amount a customer already may owe to a water system.
It was decided to suspend District Administrative Code policies section 2.3-3(A) and section 2.6 to allow the recommended actions to remain in effect until the reversal of the Executive Order. The Order leaves it up to the agency to develop repayment methods. Generally, it is proposed that overdue charges be paid before a next billing is sent. But if this order stays in effect longer that one billing period, a longer repayment period may be necessary.
Water Service Reactivation Procedure
When homes are returned to service after an extended period of discontinued service (e.g., weeks or months), an adult should be present in the home to ensure that the meter works, leaks are minimized, wastewater piping is intact, and the building’s plumbing is flushed. A thorough flushing process is appropriate in such situations.
Flushing instructions provided to occupants will vary depending on the structure. However, key elements of existing protocols include:
- Remove or bypass devices like point-of-entry treatment units prior to flushing.
2. Take steps to prevent backflow or the siphoning of contaminants into plumbing (e.g., close valves separating irrigation systems from home plumbing, disconnect hoses attached to faucets, etc.)
3. Organize flushing to maximize the flow of water (e.g. opening all outlets simultaneously to flush the service line and then flushing outlets individually starting near where the water enters the structure).
4. Run enough water through all outlets (e.g., hose bibs, faucets, showerheads, toilets, etc.), removing aerators when possible. Typical durations in existing protocols range from 10 to 30 minutes for each outlet (duration varies based on outlet velocity).
5. Flush the cold water lines first, and then the hot water lines. Note: the hot water tank can be drained directly; it can require roughly 45 minutes to fully flush a typical 40-gallon hot water tank.
6. Replace all point-of-use filters, including the filter in refrigerators.
7. Additional precautions may be warranted if there is excessive disruption of pipe scale or if there are concerns about biofilm development. Actions that might be warranted include continued use of bottled water, installation of a point-of-use device, or engaging a contractor to thoroughly clean the plumbing system.
Residents should be reminded that if point-of-use devices are installed, POU devices should be properly installed and adequately maintained, because prolonged building water stagnation can lead to elevated lead, copper, and Legionella levels at the tap.
Communicating to commercial customers
Fresh water should be drawn into building water systems and stagnant water flushed out before they are reopened. It’s important to note, however, that each building’s water system is unique. Building owners and operators should be aware of specific information provided in their building plans.