To our valued Customers,
Please find attached 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
From John Morrill, Westport County Water District Operations Manager
To our valued customers,
The May district total water produced was 489,105 gallons. This was an 8.3% increase from the 2020 May total.
The good news is that the estimated June total water produced is 484,332 gallons. This is a 15% reduction from the 2020 June total. This a great step in the right direction toward the voluntary reduction goal of 20% requested by Mendocino County.
When you get your June bill, please review it and consider what you can do to reduce your water consumption, especially if you went over your baseline.
Derek DiOrio deserves recognition for running the Westport Community Garden on just 1050 gallons of water in May and 1300 gallons in June. He is obviously doing everything right!
Finally, you may have noticed the sprinklers running at our Wastewater Facility. We do this every year to dispose of the waste water we have collected, treated and stored since last summer. While this looks like we are wasting water understand this is non-potable water, not fit for human consumption. I estimate we will only run the spray fields for 2.5 weeks this year. A normal year finds us running the spray fields for 7 or 8 weeks. This reduction is due to the drought and warm weather. Rainfall has not made it into our storage lagoon as it does during normal years and evaporation has steadily reduced our level for the last 2 months.
Community: Drought is Here Help Save Water with Us
Post Date: 05/24/2021 3:30 PM
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors passed a Drought Declaration on April 20, 2021 due to worsening drought conditions across the region. The drought declaration requests all local water suppliers to implement their local water shortage contingency plans and urges all residents to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20%.
The majority of residents within the County of Mendocino rely on groundwater to meet their residential, agricultural and industrial needs. Surface water diversions from the Eel River through the Potter Valley Project and Russian River are also used to meet water demands. Both sources are currently vulnerable due to the current and forecasted ongoing drought conditions and we ask everyone to do their part to reduce their water use.
Some simple water-saving ideas you can practice at home:
For more water conservation tips as well as a detailed guide on how to identify and measure leaks in your home please visit the County Drought and Water Conservation Website: www.mendocinocounty.org/droughtwaterconservation
If you have any further questions, please call the Drought Hotline: (707) 234-6363.
From John Morrill, Westport County Water District Operations Manager
To our valued customers,
As of this writing the May water usage numbers are not in. I am hoping that everyone is taking the drought seriously and planning for robust conservation this fall, when our water supply will be strained.
We have opted to not do our scheduled tank cleaning and our twice-yearly distribution system flushing to conserve water. We are working to finalize our Drought Emergency Plan as well.
Thanks in advance,
The Westport County Water District has been diligently working to find better and more efficient methods of serving our Community and providing our customers timelier communications.
On the 1st of every month, our Community’s water meters are read to record and report water usage. For many previous years, we have mailed out the WCWD invoices around the 15th of each month. This creates a two-week gap between the time your meter is read and the time you receive your invoice that sometimes results in unnecessary confusion to you as our customer and also does not provide more timely information to you on your personal water usage.
With the impending drought upon us now, we are asking everyone to do their part to best reduce water usage and consider enhanced water conservation practices. We believe that being able to monitor and report usage to you a little closer to the water use recordation date will help bring enhanced awareness to all of our customers. When you receive your monthly invoice, kindly have a look at your actual meter usage and then consider steps to reduce water usage to benefit the Community as a whole. We will be speaking quite a bit about enhanced water conservation in the coming months during this drought. We need your help!
Starting for the May 2021 billing, we will be mailing the invoices out during the first week of the month. Your due date, which is the 10th of the following month, will remain the same. So, your May 2021 invoice will be due June 10, 2021. And the June 2021 invoice will be due July 10, 2021 (and so on). We trust that this minor invoicing adjustment will be helpful in bringing more up to date information to all our customers on a timelier basis.
In 2017, the WCWD Board of Directors approved a budget with rate increases spread out over a 5-year period. Last year, due to COVID-19, the WCWD resolved to skip that July 2020 rate increase in the interest of providing all of our customers a little break of temporary financial relief.
In order to consistently provide you with clean and safe drinking water, and to keep the sewage out of the streets (!), we must stick to and respect our budget of revenues and expenses. We have annual operating costs, capital improvement costs, various governmental fees and permitting that needs to be planned and addressed on a continual basis, which is why this budget was put into place.
In line with the WCWD 2017 – Five Year Plan and Budget, commencing July 1st, 2021, the WCWD combined water/sewer monthly rates for this next fiscal year will increase as follows:
Residential rate of $204 will increase to $209 per month; and
Commercial rate of $320 will increase to $328.
We really appreciate everyone’s understanding (and enhanced water conservation activities) on these matters as we move forward with our Mission to continually focus on bringing safe and clean water and sewer practices to our Community. As a public entity, we are always interested in your feedback, ideas and alignment that helps us achieve our Mission.
Board of Directors
Westport County Water District
For the past 7 years, Ann Woodhead has generously committed herself to the Westport County Water District Board of Directors. She gracefully took over as Secretary of the Board when her husband, a local Blacksmith and legend, Toby Hickman passed away. Though she was very busy following her passions as a dance instructor and producer, she still managed to find time to be a great addition to the Board. Ann has decided to move on to a new creative project, so she is resigning from her position as of April 30th. We will still see her smiling face here in town, but she will be missed dearly on the Board. Thank you so much for all your help and insight over the years Ann, and good luck with your new adventure.
We now have 2 vacant spots available on the Board of Directors, and we will be accepting applications for the positions. Being a board member involves attending our monthly board meetings, which occur every second Thursday of the month at 7pm. These meetings are currently held via zoom, but we hope to have them in person at the Fire House again soon. You must be a registered voter within the Westport County Water District, and have no financial conflict of interest. If you are interested, please contact Kayla for an application. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 707-367-1057.
The Westport County Water District has officially made it into the cyber world! We are proud to announce that we have a website now, so go check it out! www.westportcountywaterdistrict.com
A Note from John Morrill, WCWD Operations Manager
Greetings. In the 6.5 years I have been involved with the WCWD Westporters have, for the most part, been very responsible with their water consumption. Most households have been consistently under their monthly base rate usage of 6000 gallons. Thanks to all.
As of now our water supply is fine but I anticipate a strain on it from possibly August until significant rainfall this coming Winter. It could become serious. We are working on Water Conservation/Drought Preparedness /Water Shortage Contingency Plans.
At his time, I am asking for voluntary water conservation. It is a great time to develop good habits and be mindful of our water use. Shutting off water when washing dishes, during showers, brushing teeth, etc. can all help without compromising hygiene or safety.
Outdoor usage can be huge and a good opportunity for conservation. Please plan your outdoor plantings with water conservation in mind and an awareness that outdoor watering may not be possible this fall.
Faulty plumbing is another potential gross waste of water. A leaking toilet can easily waste 700 gallons a day. Dripping faucets can also add up to significant amounts. Broken sprinklers or sprinkler pipes also hurt.
David Wilson, our very capable shift operator, and I daily monitor our water use from the tanks and our wastewater intake. We usually can spot bigger problems from looking at the trends. We are always available to assist if you are having a water leak emergency. We may have some plumbing supplies you might need and can shut your water off to facilitate repairs and minimize loss. You can always call my cell phone at 707-303-6677 for assistance.
Billing Date Adjustment
We have been working to find better ways of serving our community with the most up to date information. The district reads the meters on the 1st of every month and has been billing on the 15th. This two-week lag time makes it harder for the customers to monitor their usage in real time. Due to the impending drought, we will start mailing out bills as early as possible to provide more current information. We are asking everyone to do their part to keep water usage down. Starting next month (May’s billing) we will be mailing the bills out during the first week of the month. Your due date, which is the 10th of the following month, will remain the same. We are hoping that this minor adjustment will be help you conserve water during the drought.
Scheduled Rate Increase
In 2017, the Board of Directors approved a budget with incremental rate increases spread out over a 5-year period. Last year, due to COVID-19, we suspended our scheduled rate increase to provide our customers some financial relief. In order to consistently provide you with clean drinking water and properly dispose of waste water, we must now implement this budget increase. Starting July 1st, 2021, our rates will increase as follows:
Residential rate of $204 will raise to $209
Commercial rate of $320 will raise to $328
Thank you, please visit our new website at www.westportcountywaterdistrict.com