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Per Federal and State Law Carmichael Water District has implemented a program to set rules and procedures to eliminate, monitor, protect, and prevent cross-connections in the public water supply.
A cross- connection is an unprotected actual or potential connection between a potable water system used to supply water for drinking purposes and any source or system containing unapproved water or substance that is not or cannot be approved as safe, wholesome, and potable.
Backflow is the undesirable reversal of the flow of potentially contaminated water into the potable water supply. The two types of backflow are backpressure and back siphonage.
Backflow can be prevented by the installation of an Air Gap or an approved backflow prevention assembly installed on the service line.
Through surveys and inspections, Carmichael Water District will determine which properties are required to install backflow prevention assemblies. If an installation is required you will receive a letter outlining the steps you need to take to be in compliance.
The installation, maintenance, and repair of the backflow prevention assembly are the responsibility of the customer. The assembly may be installed by a property owner, plumbing contractor, or general contractor subject to Title 17 of the public health code and Carmichael Water Districts Construction Standards and Specifications. Contact the County Of Sacramento for any permit requirements.
Generally, the backflow prevention assembly must be located as close as possible to the service connection. Contact Carmichael Water District for consideration of any variance on the location.
Yes, backflow prevention assemblies are equipped with internal seals, springs, and moving parts that can wear or break. Assemblies must be tested annually to ensure proper operation.
Testing shall be performed by a certified tester employed by Carmichael Water District.
Carmichael Water District will provide an annual backflow test to customers as per the District’s Cross-Connection Control Program. See the current fiscal year fee schedule for the cost which will show up as an adjustment to your monthly bill. In the event, the assembly fails the initial test one re-test shall be performed at no additional charge.
Yes, often backflow assemblies are damaged beyond repair by the winter freeze. Carmichael Water District strongly recommends you consider freeze protection for your backflow assembly.
Bill's consists of two components, a Fixed Service Charge and a Usage Charge.
Example: 1-inch meter with 20 CCF water usage in one month (using 2021 rates)
View the current water rate and the rate studies.
All customers are billed on a monthly basis, which means you will receive your bill each month. Bills are typically processed on the first of the month. You can expect your electronic bill notification by the next day, and for paper bills around the 5th day of the month, depending on the mail service. For more detailed information about the billing schedule, or for specific details about your account, please contact Customer Service at 916-483-2452.
Bills are due and payable at the time of presentation and are delinquent if not paid by the due date printed on the bill (which is the last day of the month the bill is prepared).
No, the billing zones are used to divide the District into manageable and efficient billing groups. CWD has implemented staggered billing by geographic zones so that the billing and corresponding workload is spread evenly over a two-month period. CWD will not consider customer requests to change billing zones or bill dates.
The CWD ratepayers are charged for water based on the cost of providing service to our customers. Revenue from water rates covers the cost of operations, maintenance, infrastructure replacement, customer service, and other necessary programs. The money collected from rates is used to pay for expenses directly related to providing water to your home or business.
The current state law, as modified by Proposition 218, prohibits us from collecting from any customer more than the amount required to provide water service. By providing a reduced rate other ratepayers would subsidize the low "reduced rate" ratepayers. Those paying the subsidy would be paying in excess of the cost of service to their parcel, which is in violation of Prop. 218. This prevents CWD from offering a low-income rate program or a Customer Assistance Program (CAP).
CWD offers assistance to military families of service members who are called to active duty. Contact the office and ask about the Military Families Financial Relief Program.
I purchased or sold a home:
Water service will be transferred to the new property owner of record as of the close of the escrow date if the District has been provided proof of the sale. A final bill will be generated for water use and billed through the close of the escrow date or upon notification of the sale. Final bills will either be collected in escrow or billed directly to the seller. If a seller is renting back the property, any payment for water use will need to be negotiated between the seller and the new owner, as the District transitions ownership at the close of escrow. The District makes every attempt to work closely with respective title companies to ensure a seamless transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. However, if the District is notified after the close of escrow date that a property sold, a final meter reading will be taken at the time of notification and the final bill will be sent to the seller. If the bill remains unpaid, the final bill will be transferred to the buyer's account.
One of the following items is required for a transfer of service:
State law (AB 2572) enacted in 2004 required all water suppliers to install water meters on all customer connections by January 1, 2025. All service connections within the District have meters installed.
Your water meter is read every month, typically within one week prior to the scheduled bill date.
The water industry and our communities are facing several changes and challenges, including the projected impacts of climate change on our water supplies and increasing regulations that will potentially make it difficult to keep rates affordable. The goal in initiating this independent study is to explore how combining our two neighboring water utilities might encourage efficiencies, reduce costs, improve water supply reliability and enhance customer service.
The study explores trends in the water industry and our communities, such as changing water demand, pressure to keep rates affordable, regulatory change, water supply reliability, and expansion to meet regional needs, and the feasibility for addressing those trends through combination. The analysis included a top-to-bottom review of both water providers, including a comparison of organizational structures, management, customer services, billing, staffing, water operations, capital improvement projects, finances, and water supply. The analysis detailed the benefits and costs of potential combination, as well as options for next steps.
The study was developed with input from the CWD and SSWD Boards of Directors and staff. Staff provided input as part of the 2020 Sacramento Regional Water Utility Collaboration Study (conducted by CWD, SSWD, and five other water providers), which was used as a foundation for the current study.
Customer input avenues have occurred through public meetings of the CWD/SSWD 2x2 Committee, which includes leadership and management from both water providers and has been hosting public meetings since July 2021, and regular Board meeting updates.
A final version of the initial study was accepted on February 21, 2023 and is linked above under "Status" and in our Agenda Center.
The CWD/SSWD 2x2 Committee and the CWD and SSWD Boards of Directors have both reviewed the study and are considering the study is complete. The CWD and SSWD Board of Directors have also directed their staffs to begin a detailed technical analysis of questions and issues raised by the initial study.
After the technical study is completed and reviewed, the Boards of Directors will then determine whether to continue exploring combination opportunities, utilizing the information and data developed by the studies, as well as public and staff input, for continued conversations.
The costs were shared equally by CWD and SSWD.
CWD and SSWD are taking care to undergo a deliberative, public process to explore combination opportunities. To date, this has included public discussions since July 2021 through the CWD/SSWD 2x2 Committee, which includes leadership and management from both water providers, and regular Board meeting reports.
The districts also retained an independent financial consulting firm that specializes in working with government agencies and utilities, to conduct an independent, third-party analysis to explore combination opportunities. The financial consulting firm finalized a study that has been reviewed by both Boards of Directors. Any decisions to move forward will be made after an open process that explores the study’s findings and provides opportunities for input.
There is no mandate that Carmichael Water District customers would receive fluoridated water should the two districts combine.
Background: Fluoride is a naturally occurring element found in most water supplies. Water fluoridation involves increasing the natural fluoride concentration found in drinking water to the optimal level that provides the most benefit for dental health, as prescribed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, community water fluoridation is supported by the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, U.S. Public Health Service, and the World Health Organization.
SSWD has four separate service areas. Since 2007, Sacramento Suburban Water District (SSWD) has served fluoridated drinking water to the South Service Area only, that resulted from a grant received from the First 5 Commission. The agreement with the First 5 Commission to provide fluoridated drinking water to SSWD’s South Service Area will remain in place at least until 2027. In addition, SSWD has a wholesale water agreement with the City of Sacramento, which fluoridates its water in accordance with California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water standards.
Carmichael Water District is under no mandate to fluoridate its water and does not add fluoride to its water supplies.
You are invited to attend Board meetings and CWD/SSWD 2x2 Committee meetings discussing combination. Agendas and details on how to attend are available in our Agenda Center.
There are no immediate impacts to Carmichael Water District (CWD) customers from these new laws. Many details for implementing the new water use requirements will be determined over the next several years by the CA Department of Water Resources and CWD will be active in that discussion to minimize any impact on CWD customers.
No. There is nothing in the laws that specify when or how often a person may shower, do laundry, or use water for any other purpose. The new laws outline an overall framework for setting and meeting water use targets at the water provider level. While the framework outlined in the laws does include a goal for individual water use of 55 gallons per person per day beginning in 2022, this applies on an overall system-wide basis (and not an individual basis).
No. There is no requirement in the new laws that individual households must meet a specific target. The new laws provide a framework for setting targets, but those will be applied on a system-wide basis, and progress toward achieving targets will be reviewed on a system-wide basis.
Water providers must set new water use targets by 2022 and will be expected to begin implementing them by 2023 and every year after that.
Yes! In addition to water efficiency resources and tips located on the Districts website, CWD offers a free Water Efficiency Survey for District customers. The entire home evaluation takes about 60 to 90 minutes for most homes and businesses and offers benefits including evaluation of your water usage, free leak check using your water meter, free evaluation of landscape irrigation efficiency, adjustment of irrigation timers, and free installation of select water-saving devices. Learn more about water efficiency surveys and water-saving devices.
Carmichael Water District flushes to maintain a high level of water quality in the distribution system. Over a period of time particularly at the dead-end locations, stagnant water containing biofilm will build up in our distribution system. The only way to alleviate this build-up is by opening the hydrants to achieve high-velocity cleaning of the lines. The District's seasonal flushing program maintains system water quality.
Carmichael Water District flushes the system primarily in the winter months when water demand is low. The District also flushes lines at a customer's request. During seasonal demand variations when the District operates wells and during project or emergency shutdowns the distribution lines may be affected. At these times, you may notice a discoloration of your water. The district will schedule flushing in affected areas on a regular basis as well as on an as-needed basis.
Age and changing weather conditions create stress on our water infrastructure, increasing the chance of leaks and needed repairs. Sometimes water mains can be damaged by construction crews excavating near our facilities. The District appreciates the community's patience with any unavoidable disruptions caused by these repairs.
When a crew arrives on site, they will evaluate the severity of the leak and determine if immediate repairs are needed. They will also determine if it is necessary to shut down the water main. In many cases, the main break itself may interrupt water service or reduce water pressure for customers. The District will inform affected residents as soon as possible of any disruption of water service. Yet when there are unsafe conditions or property damage, an emergency shutdown may be necessary, giving crew members little opportunity to provide advance notice. Sometimes the presence of a crew in the area and low or fluctuating water pressure are the only initial notice that can be provided. Main breaks that leave customers without water service are given the highest priority. When a break is identified, the water is turned off in the immediate area and repairs begin. The interruption of water to customers is a decision that the District takes very seriously.
Crews work quickly to repair main breaks and leaks; however, work can take several hours. Crews will work nonstop to repair leaks and restore water service; however, unforeseen challenges can arise causing the process to take longer, including:
Repairing a leak on a water main is a challenging job. Crews must excavate deep in the ground through saturated soil in many types of weather. Having the water main on during repairs would make the operation lengthier and unsafe.
CWD does not add fluoride to its water; however, fluoride occurs naturally in CWD's water. CWD's average fluoride level is 0.11 (mg/L). For additional information on your needs for fluoride in preventing tooth decay, please contact your family dentist.
The District's water supply during the winter months is surface water which is considered soft water. The hardness increases to mildly hard during the months of May - October when the demand increases and the water supply is a combination of surface and ground waters. During the past year, CWD's water hardness averaged 77 ppb for groundwater and 26 ppb for surface water. Hard water may cause ice cubes to be cloudy and leave water spots on glasses. Hardness is naturally occurring in water, generally from magnesium and calcium, which are both important to good health.
The CWD water pressure ranges between 40 to 85 psi. The system average is 60 psi.
CWD's pH target is 8.2 with a range of 8.0 to 8.4.
Yes! CWD water is tested for more than 200 constituents on a daily, weekly, monthly, and/or annual basis. Water samples are subject to the most up-to-date testing methods and then are re-tested to verify accuracy. Samples are then measured against state and federal standards to ensure quality.
View the Annual Water Quality and CCR Reports.
The Carmichael Water District (CWD) water supply during the winter months is primarily surface water which comes from the American River; during the months of May - October when the demand increases the water supply is a combination of surface and ground waters which comes from wells located throughout the District. All water provided to our customers meets or exceeds state and federal drinking water standards.
View The Story of Our Water video series.
Thank you to the District customers that took the time to complete the survey. A total of 36% of our customers responded. The goal of the survey was to determine if the District's customers were in favor of adding fluoride to the CWD drinking water supply and if in favor of fluoridation would customers be willing to pay an additional amount on their water bill. In addition, the survey will help the staff determine how much public education we may need in the future. The final results of the survey are listed in the table: