To our valued customers,
We are going to implement Stage 3 of our Drought Emergency Plan as of September 1st 2021, due to lower than normal Wages Creek flows.
For our residential customers this means a reduced baseline of 4,500 gallons per month. Amounts over 4,500 gallons will be billed at $0.02 per gallon, not the normal $0.006 per gallon. The intent of this is not to make money for the district but to get customers to reduce their water consumption.
For our commercial customers this means a reduced baseline of 9,000 gallons per month. Amounts over 9,000 gallons will be billed at $0.02 per gallon, not the normal $0.006 per gallon. Once again, the intent of this is not to make money for the district but to get customers to reduce their water consumption.
We will attempt to give all our customers timely feedback on their water usage around the middle of the month.
Please refer to our Drought Emergency Plan for additional information, it is posted at the Westport Store. It was included in your billing for July, it went out in a special mailing August 23rd, it is also on our website westportcountywaterdistrict.com
WCWD Operations Manager and Chief Plant Operator
To our valued Customers,
Below is our Drought Emergency Plan. This was recently adopted by the Westport County Water District Board of Directors. We are currently in stage 2, going to stage 3 soon.
The current drought we are in is becoming very challenging. I want to explain the quantity of water and the quality of water we will have during stage 4 of our plan.
As of now we are able to draw water from Wages Creek. When the flow gets too low to draw from Wages Creek, we will have to rely on our standby well for our water supply. This has never been done for more than a few days in the past. Last August I did some flow and recovery testing. From this data I believe we can draw 50,000 gallons per week for 12 weeks. But that was last August not this year with our continuing drought situation. This means our well water supply is not guaranteed for an extended amount of time. We will only know when we start using the well.
The well water quality has been tested every year and all required testing is up to date. The manganese levels of the well water have been very high. This is a secondary standard. The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) District Engineer and I are likely to put out a health advisory regarding this water. This will happen before we start using it and after some more testing.
Stage 3 is designed to get us into the conservation mode and prepare us for stage 4.
Stage 4 will be very challenging for us. If all our residential customers use only 50% of their baseline that will be 195,000 gallons. If all our commercial customers use 50% of their base line that will be 128,000 gallons based on October 2020 numbers. This total is 323,000 gallons, 123,000 gallons more than our well will give us. This demonstrates that the mindset must be to use as little water as possible and not the mindset of using up to your allotted amount. With this said I still believe the plan will work.
If the fire protection levels cannot be maintained in our tanks, more restrictive measures will be needed.
We are all in this together and everyone’s help will be needed. We do not want to restrict or shut off anyone’s water.
Water is a necessity and also has become a luxury in our society. We need to reduce the luxury usage to maintain the water we need for good health.
WCWD Operations Manager and Chief Plant Operator
Stage 1- Drought Advisory l
Less than 60 % of yearly average rainfall as of May 1st. The yearly average is 43 inches, so stage 1 is implemented at less than 25.8 inches measured at the Water Plant.
1. Voluntary conservation advocated by WCWD
2. Outdoor gardening with conservation in mind
3. Repairing any faulty plumbing that may be wasting water
Stage 2- Drought Advisory ll
Wages Creek flows less than 5 cubic feet per second over minimum
In addition to Stage 1 items above:
1. Only Baseline usage encouraged; overages would be billed at normal rate of $0.006 per gallon; and
2. No outdoor watering would be permitted between 10AM and 6PM every day.
Stage 3 -Extreme Conservation Measures Mandatory
The WCWD primary source, Wages Creek flows less than 1 cubic foot per second over minimum.
In addition to Stage 2 items above:
1. No overhead watering is permitted, reasonable drip irrigation systems only;
2. WCWD Customers will be permitted to use only 75% of the standard baseline allocations previously established, overages over 75% billed at an additional $0.02 per gallon;
3. No water sales from fire hydrants;
4. WCWD goal of 50% of monthly usage totals compared to previous year totals. WCWD Customer baselines can be adjusted down or up to help meet the WCWD goal of 50% monthly usage total;
5. More frequent meter reading may be needed to identify possible non-compliant customers and to provide timely notice of WCWD concerns;
6. WCWD customers that are not in compliance of Stage 3 Conservation Measures and are considered excessive water users with Stage 3 may have water flow restriction valves installed on their property access for the remainder of the month(s) or be shut off for the remainder of the month(s) if their non-compliant use of WCWD water is reasonably placing the WCWD water conservation goals and targets in jeopardy to the detriment of the WCWD as a whole.
Stage 4 -Grave Water Emergency Status
Unable to draw or access water from Wages Creek, the WCWD primary source of water:
In addition to stage 3 and other items above:
1. No outdoor watering using WCWD water.
2. Use of WCWD standby well would be considered for all WCWD water needs. Estimated capacity of 50,000 gallons per week for the entire District. Probable health advisory notices would be issued due to compromised water quality.
3. Weekly water meter reading. More frequent if water storage levels are declining.
4. Non-essential commercial customers will be shut off for the rest of the month if they go over 50% of their baseline. These are the commercial vacation rental properties paying commercial rates, the wedding venue property, the hotel, the inn and the deli. This means they have 6000 gallons allotted to them to use, after exceeding the 6,000 gallon allocation that they will be shut off for the rest of the month.
5. Residential customers will have flow restrictors installed for the rest of the month if they go over 50% of their baseline. This means they have 3000 gallons of water allocated to them to use, and after exceeding the 3,000 gallons of residential water use, then flow restrictors will be installed for the rest of the month.
6. Wages Creek Campground will be shut off if they exceed 50% of their 2020 monthly totals.
7. All of the baseline percentages stated above may be decreased to lower percentages as determined by the WCWD if Fire Protection Levels for emergency water volumes are approaching minimums required by law. This means that customers baselines can be lowered, and restrictors or shutoffs initiated to a lower baseline percentage as determined by the WCWD. Such action could also occur if the District is using more than the standby well can produce and the WCWD reasonably determines that this is in the best interest of the District as a whole.
Procedure for Restricting or Shutting off Customers
1. All WCWD Customers will be advised in writing if their water usage is trending towards or going over their percent of their relevant baseline. This notice will be with a note on their door, phone notification (with subsequent writing) or email notification.
2. The Westport County Water District Board of Directors will set up a formally noticed hearing, either in person or via Zoom, with the Customer to discuss the matter and issues that impact the WCWD as a whole, listen to their response and then determine if shutting off or restricting their water usage is warranted. The Customer must first be in good standing with all water invoice payments to the WCWD to have standing.
3. The Board of Directors will then order District Staff to take appropriate action after hearing the evidence as presented at the hearing.
4. These measures are designed to be implemented if the relevant WCWD Customers usage is not in compliance with this Drought Emergency Plan and is determined by the WCWD Board of Directors to be placing the WCWD in jeopardy of placing the WCWD below the State mandated fire protection minimum water reserves for managing possible fires in the
The Westport County Water District is in need of your help. As of July 8th, our Board of Directors is down to three active members. In order to be a full functioning Board, we need to have five active members. These are volunteer positions that we need to fill so we can continue providing great services to the community.
To be a board member you must be a registered voter within the Westport County Water District limits. You must attend our monthly board meetings which take place every second Thursday of the month at 7pm. Currently these meetings are being held via Zoom, but we will hopefully be transitioning back to in person meetings at the Westport Volunteer Fire Department Fire House soon. You also must be able to sign a Form 700, which states that you have no financial conflicts of interest.
If you are interested, and would like more information, please contact Kayla Cooper via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 707-367-1057.