FAQ's

Water Quality

Hard water is simply water that contains two harmless minerals - calcium and magnesium.  Water is considered "hard" if it measures more than 120 parts per million or 7.0 grains per gallon.

Although hardness does not affect the safety of the water, some customers may find it to be inconvenient. The minerals may make the water hard to develop a sudsy lather. Hardness minerals may also contribute to scaling in teapots, spots on dishes and residues on plumbing fixtures and glass shower doors.

The white film is the residue of hardness and other minerals in the water. When the water is heated or evaporates, the minerals leave a white coating on items such as showerheads, shower doors, glasses, coffee pots, etc.

Although harmless, most people don't appreciate a white film on these household items. Many customers install a water softener unit.  In terms of cleaning hard water spots, there are several cleaning products on the market made specifically for its removal. A "green" alternative is warm vinegar. Soaking in vinegar can help dissolve the spots. Make sure you rinse the items carefully after the vinegar "bath" before using them. This method is less practical for shower doors. In the case of shower doors, prevention is the best medicine. Wipe down the doors with a sponge or towel after every shower.

There is naturally-occuring flouride groundwater. In the Capitola-Soquel area, the average amount is 0.22 milligrams per liter (mg/L) and in the Aptos-Rio Del Mar-La Selva Beach area, the average amount is 0.13 mg/L.

The District does not add any additional fluoride to the water.

Some possible causes of problems with water which appears dirty, has an unusual color, or sediment/particles include:

Sediments or pipe materials from breaks in water mains or hydrants. Water mains in the distribution system can fail due to age, corrosion, high pressure surges, or damage by construction work. Hydrants can also be broken off by vehicles.
High flows can occur in water mains due to fire fighting, water system tests, or maintenance. Unusual high-flow conditions can stir up sediment or scale from water mains.
Construction activities: the customer's service connection from the distribution main to the water meter is sometimes disturbed by construction activities of contractors or other utilities.
Aging galvanized plumbing: rust particles or scale from galvanized steel home plumbing can also produce reddish-brown water or rust particles, particularly noticeable when a tap is first turned on.

Since there are many causes of dirty water, the District investigates each complaint carefully. Please be prepared to answer the following questions when reporting this problem to 831.475.8500:

What is the location of the premises where the dirty water occurred?
When was the dirty water first detected?
What does the water look like? Does it have color?
Are both the cold and hot water dirty?
Is the water dirty at all faucets?
Are the particles large, small, or colored; does the water look milky or contain air?
Have you had plumbing work done recently on either hot or cold water lines?

The answers to these questions will assist us in finding the cause of the dirty water and may also suggest corrective steps to take. District Customer Service Representatives respond to calls regarding water which appears to be dirty, colored or has foreign particles, within one business day.

If your service was impacted by a water main break, please check out our Customer Flushing Guide to learn more about the steps you can take.  

It is very difficult to separate taste from odor because these two human senses are so closely related. Most occurrences of a peculiar taste or odor in the water can be grouped into one of the following three categories: (1) chlorinous, bleachy, chemical, and medicinal; (2) sulfurous (rotten egg-like), decayed, and sewage-like; or (3) musty, moldy, or earthy.

A common cause for a chlorinous, bleachy, chemical, or medicinal taste or odor in the water: the small addition of chlorine to the water by the District to make sure that the water is clean and safe to drink.
Two common causes of a sulfurous decayed, or sewage-like taste or odor in the water are bacteria growing in your drain or bacteria growing in your water heater.
A common cause of a musty, moldy, or earthy taste or odor in the water is bacteria growing in your drain.

Causes of tastes or odors in water must be carefully investigated. Please be prepared to answer the following questions when reporting this problem to us at 831.475.8500:

What is the location of the premises where the taste or odor occurred?
When was the taste or odor first detected?
Is the taste or odor in the hot or cold water, or both?
How would you describe the taste or odor?

The answers to these questions will assist us in finding the cause of the taste or odor and will also suggest corrective steps to take. A customer service representative should respond to calls regarding taste and odor within one business day.

Cloudy water could be a result of dissolved air in the water, which is a common and harmless condition. To verify this, place the cloudy water in a glass and observe whether it clears from the bottom up (you may be left with bubbles on the side of the glass and a small surface layer of bubbles). If this occurs then you have dissolved air in the water.

If the cloudy water persists, or if you are noticing unusual tastes or odors, please call 831.475.8500 and give us your address and a telephone number so we can have a customer service representative contact you.

Customer Service

We offer our customers free water-saving faucet aerators, hose nozzles, toilet leak detection tablets, shower timers and toilet flappers. Just stop on by to the District's main office during business hours at 5180 Soquel Drive in Soquel (we are closed for lunch between 12 and 1 p.m.), or schedule a FREE water-wise housecall and we will bring them to you and in some cases even install them for you. 

The Online Bill Pay Program allows you to use the internet to access, view, and pay your water bill with your Visa, MasterCard or electronic check 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from wherever you have internet access.

No, there is no transaction fee to use the Online Bill Pay Program. However, your financial institution may have a charge.

Online payments made through our website post to your billing account immediately.

If you have received a 48 hour notice of discontinuance, online payment must be made prior to 5:00 pm on the date indicated on the notice to avoid additional delinquent fees.

The information provided through the Online Bill Pay Program is not as comprehensive as the tiered billing and 3-year consumption history available on your paper billing statement.  For this reason you will continue to receive your billing statement by mail.

Yes, payments can be made online using Visa, Mastercard, or an electronic check.

You may still make your payments by mail, phone or in person while enrolled in the Online Bill Pay Program. You may cancel your enrollment in the Bill Pay Program at any time.

You may reset either or both at any time. For security reasons passwords are not disclosed to District personnel, so you will be sent a new password at the email address you designated during enrollment in the Bill Pay Program.

Your personal data is protected through network and database security using industry standard Secured Sockets Layer (SSL) to encrypt information to and from the site and other firewall and intrusion protections.

Conservation

Many people are surprised when they see their water use in gallons per day. On average, Soquel Creek Water District customers use about 70 gallons per person, per day while conserving households use about 53 gallons per person, per day or less. If your meter detects 24 hours of continuous water use, we will notify you to check for leaks. Outdoor irrigation have a large impact on your water use, as well as your household's fixtures, appliances and water use habits. To help you understand how your household is using its water, sign up for a free Water Wise Housecall and get a customized meter read report and survey of your fixtures and landscape to see where you could save more water.

Many of our customers are working hard to do their part and protect our community's water supply by using water efficiently. We thank you for your efforts and the difference they make while we continue actively searching for new sources of water. Read your monthly water bill and know how many gallons, on average, your household uses daily. If you're already using 75 gallons per person per day, or less, you're doing great and will likely stay under your water budget when they take effect in early 2015 under the new CONSERVATIONplus program.

If your water bill indicates you are using more than 75 gallons per person, per day (or 85 gallons per day for single-occupancy homes), and you're not sure what more you can do to bring your water use down, our Conservation Specialists on staff are happy to give you some free advice and water conservation hardware if you schedule a Water Wise Housecall with them.

You may get some inspiring ideas from your friends and neighbors who have generously shared the many creative ways they have made water conservation a daily way of life.

Also, be sure you are aware of and following the year-round water use that are always in effect and enforced through our water waste ordinance. Thank you for saving water!

 

In order for a new residential or commercial building to get water service from the Soquel Creek Water District, they must first reduce water use elsewhere in our community through our Water Demand Offset program. Requiring permanent water conservation gains to be made before new water connections are granted actually reduces the overall demand on our water supply. The Soquel Creek Water District's board of directors voted against declaring a water connection moratorium at a public hearing held June 3, 2014. They directed District staff to restructure the Water Demand Offset Program so that the water expected to be used by any new connection is offset through conservation elsewhere (such as toilets at public schools) by at least 200%.

Most people aren't wasting water on purpose, they simply don't know the rules. By reporting water waste, you're helping Soquel Creek Water District educate your neighbors and the community about what is and what isn't allowed in a friendly and non-threatening way. Here's how you can help.

 

We know we are asking a lot of our customers when we urge continued water savings due to our serious long-term groundwater shortage. We're doing our part internally as well. Water tank maintenance is done without draining tanks. Flushing of water mains, which is required to maintain health standards, is only done when absolutely necessary. The District piloted a new flushing technology that filters the water and sends it back into the system, and is looking into purchasing this technology. We are working to replace and repair outdated pipes and leaks within our system.

No, it is purely informational and not associated with your bill. It is simply a tool to help you better understand your water use. Log on to correct your household occupancy and see adjusted comparisons. The way you are billed for water has not changed. Water budgets based on household occupancy are NOT being implemented.

Finance

We are a local public agency, specifically a California Special District. We get all of our funding through water rates and some grant funding.

Visit our online transparency center for details on our financing and budget.

Engineering

Visit our construction page to determine if the project you are working on requires a new water meter, and what you'll need to do to receive one.

Human Resources