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The AMI system will allow ACWD to further enhance current customer service and make available new services like leak alerts, online access to timely usage measurements and usage alerts to prevent surprise bills. This new class of meter reading technology will enable customers to better monitor and manage their water usage.
In the coming years, ACWD will begin to upgrade our current water meters with new, modern AMI-compatible meters. To accomplish this, ACWD will need to replace the meter currently serving your home or business requiring a short outage. This process is quick and easy. ACWD has selected an AMI technology that provides balance between customer service and responsible investment.
The implementation of AMI technology will help the District continue to improve the cost-effectiveness and value of District services. Additionally, ACWD is committed to outstanding customer service and promoting open communication with our customers, and AMI technology will further improve our ability to do just that. The District also has a long-standing commitment to stewardship of water resources and the environment, and AMI technology will also advance that tradition by further reducing the environmental impacts of our operations.
ACWD will upgrade meters in phases over the next three years. The first meters will be upgraded in March 2021, however the District and the AMI Deployment Contractor, Badger Meter Inc, are still finalizing the specific meter upgrade sequence. More details regarding phasing will be shared publicly and with you directly prior to installation.
Many of our meters are approaching the end of life and are not AMI compatible, so we will be upgrading the meters at these locations. The AMI device will attach to the meter in the meter box and be mounted to the underside of a new lid that will be installed as part of the meter replacement project.
The AMI technology employs a device that utilizes the cellular network, just like your mobile phone and also found in televisions and wireless home phones. This technology allows meters to be read remotely giving customers daily access to their water consumption data. Not only do the AMI device’s radio frequency (RF) waves fall below the level of what is recommended by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), they are also less powerful than any mobile phone. Additionally, the AMI technology inside your water meter is located outside your house, which reduces contact with the RF waves.
ACWD has partnered with Badger Meter and Professional Meters, Inc (PMI) to install the AMI devices. PMI has successfully installed more than 1 million integrated meters, just like the ones you will be receiving, and are highly skilled at the installation process.
The PMI installation team will carry a letter for our customers that will explain their work on the new meters. The PMI and ACWD Advanced Meter logos will be on their uniforms, badges, and on their trucks. You will be able to recognize the PMI installation team, as they will wear a distinct uniform that includes a:
The projects along Alameda Creek will allow steelhead trout and other threatened/endangered fish species to more easily and safely migrate upstream and downstream. At the same time, they will allow us to maintain reliable water supplies for residents and businesses in Fremont, Newark, and Union City.
We will strive to limit construction hours to Monday-Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., but construction may also occur on Saturdays and Sundays or at night, as needed. We will post notices where construction will occur and provide advance notice of construction activities so that you can more easily plan your commute and trail use.
Trail closures are not planned during the RD3 Fishway project; however; certain areas along and adjacent to the Alameda Creek Trail, such as access from Rancho Arroyo Park to the creek, may be temporarily impacted by construction projects occurring in 2019 – 2021. Construction notices will be posted online and along recreational trails and areas to advise you of impending closures and alternative routes.
All project schedules are available at www.acwd.org/Fishway
A temporary gated fence to provide for an enclosed off-leash dog area will be placed around Shinn Meadow, although the area may temporarily be closed for safety. We will utilize various media to advise you of current and upcoming construction activities.
At this time, ACWD is not operating any facilities in Alameda Creek. The current low flow conditions in the creek are a result of natural conditions.During dry years like this one, it is natural to see low water levels in local streams, ponds and lakes.
ACWD understands and shares the public’s concerns expressed about the fate of the fish in the ponds and creek beds as they dry due to weather conditions. The District has been in contact with local fisheries biologists and the Department of Fish and Wildlife about this issue. Because the impacted fish are an invasive, non-native species not protected by the Fish and Game Code, the fish will not be relocated.
Ongoing monitoring of the ponds and creek beds will continue in response to natural weather conditions.
> Customers may enroll in the new online system starting July 9. In order to make this important upgrade with the least disruption to customers, the upgraded system can’t be made available until July 9. Customers can enroll as soon as it becomes available.
> You will need to have your account information to enroll, so keep your current bill for quick reference. To enroll in AutoPay, e-Bill, and other services, you will need your account name and number, ZIP code, and the last four digits of the social security number associated with the account.
Multiple first email notifications scheduled for the same day, including for different bill types, are grouped into one email rather than sent separately. Payment receipts are sent individually. Editing account information such as changing an email or password will go across all linked accounts; however, changing settings such as AutoPay or paperless is only for the accessed account.
2. Monitoring for total trihalomethanes at representative locations throughout the distribution system as required by State and federal regulations.
3. Reviewing the latest regulations and health effects information, and employing improved treatment strategies to ensure that facilities are operated to further limit the formation of chlorination byproducts.
The property owner is generally responsible for all pipes and plumbing on the "customer side" of the water meter. This includes the interior plumbing of the home, the outside irrigation system, and the area where the property's water system connects to the water meter.
Since water meters are mechanical devices, their accuracy decreases over time which means a corresponding loss of potential revenue. To gain additional accuracy, however, would mean replacing the meters at additional cost.
How old does a meter have to be before it makes economical sense to replace it? To answer this question, the District used statistical sampling methods to determine meter accuracies over time. An economical analysis was then performed to determine an optimal replacement age. Together with operational factors, the optimum age at which to replace plastic meters in the District was found to be approximately 15 years old.
The Alameda County Water District has a long-term financial obligation as a member of the State Water Project and collects a portion of its state water costs on the property tax bill. The amounts collected are adjusted each year based on the District’s state water costs. The State Water Project provides about 40% of the District’s water supply in a typical year.
To report water waste, please call ACWD Customer Service during regular business hours at (510) 668-4200. You may also use our online reporting form.
2. If the water does not clear after a few minutes, wait another hour and repeat the process until the water is clear at the outside front hose faucet.
3.Flush the cold water faucets throughout the house. Start by flushing the cold water faucet in the bathtub. If you are concerned about wasting water, water the backyard from the backyard hose bib for several minutes or until the water clears.
4. After the tub or backyard faucet runs clear, flush all of the other cold water household faucets; starting from the front of the house (nearest the street), then the rest of the cold water faucets within the home.
5. If necessary, remove faucet aerators and clear any particles and then reinstall them.If the water still fails to clear, contact ACWD at (510) 668-6500.
Disinfecting the drain will remove the bacteria in the drain that are causing these foul odors.
Caution: do not mix any drain cleaners or detergents with bleach; certain combinations can create toxic fumes.
1. Run the cold water for about 15 seconds into the drain that is to be disinfected, then turn the water off.
2. Pour approximately one to two cups of liquid chlorine bleach (laundry bleach) down the drain. Pour the bleach slowly around the edges of the drain so that it runs down the sides of the drain. Be careful: bleach may cause eye damage, skin irritation, and may damage clothing.
3. If the odor is coming from a sink with a garbage disposal, turn the disposal on for a few seconds while the bleach is being poured. This will disperse the bleach around the inside of the disposal. Caution: take care to avoid splashing for the few seconds the disposal is turned on. Bleach may cause eye damage, skin irritation, and may damage clothing.
4. Allow the bleach to remain undisturbed in the drain for about 10 minutes. Caution: prolonged contact with metals may cause pitting and/or discoloration.
5. After 10 minutes, run hot water into the drain for a minute or two to flush out the bleach. If a garbage disposal was disinfected, thoroughly flush it as well.
6. Repeat this procedure if the odor returns.
Heat disinfection is used to eliminate the bacteria. It involves draining the water heater, maximizing the temperature in the water heater, and then draining the water heater again. If you do not feel comfortable doing this work yourself, hire a licensed plumber to do it for you.
1. Select a time to drain the water heater. We recommend an evening since this will minimize the impact your typical use of hot water.
2. Turn the thermostat on the heater off so that only the pilot light remains on. If the heater is drained while the heating flame is on, the heater may be damaged.
3. Turn off the water supply to the water heater. There may be a valve to do this right at the inlet to the water heater, or the water supply to the entire property may need to be shut off at the house valve.
4. Open one or more hot water faucets inside the house. This allows air to enter the heater as the water drains out in step 6.
5. Attach a garden hose to the draincock located at the bottom of the water heater. The draincock usually looks like a regular hose bib (garden faucet) or a round dial with a threaded hole in the middle.
6. Extend the garden hose to a place where the water can be disposed of (e.g. a drain, the driveway, etc.).
7. Open the draincock and allow all of the water to drain out of the water heater. This can take anywhere from five minutes to half an hour or more depending on the capacity of the heater and the size of the draincock. Caution: the draining water will be very hot. Also note that if the draincock is made of plastic and the water heater is several years old, it may be difficult to open and may break easily if forced.
8. When the water heater is empty, close the draincock and remove the garden hose.
9. Turn the water supply to the water heater back on. Leave the hot water faucet(s) inside the house turned on. This will allow the air in the water heater to escape as it refills with water. There will likely be "hissing" sounds and/or "spitting and sputtering" as air and water begin coming out of the hot water faucets. When the water flow from the faucet(s) returns to normal, shut them off.
10. That night (before going to bed), turn the thermostat for the water heater to its highest temperature setting for one night. Caution: make sure everyone who uses the water is aware that the hot water is going to be hotter than usual.
11. The next morning, turn the thermostat on the heater off so that only the pilot light remains on. If the heater is drained while the heating flame is on, the heater may be damaged.
12. Drain and refill the water heater by repeating steps 2 through 8.
13. Return the thermostat on the water heater to the normal setting (usually around 130°F).
If you do not feel comfortable doing this work yourself, hire a licensed plumber to do it for you.
1. Do not shut off the gas or the water supply to the heater.
2. Attach a garden hose to the draincock located at the bottom of the heater. The draincock usually looks like a regular hose bib (garden faucet) or a round dial with a threaded hole in the middle.
3. Extend the garden hose to a place where the water can safely exit the heater (e.g. a drain, a driveway, etc.).
4. Open the draincock to allow the water to exit the heater. Caution: the water leaving the heater will be hot and under normal household water pressure. Also note that if the draincock is made of plastic and the heater is several years old, it may be difficult to open and may break easily if forced.
5. After five minutes of flushing, fill a bucket with the still flushing water.
6. Allow the water in the bucket to stand undisturbed for a minute and see if the water has cleared or if any sand-like material settles to the bottom. If the water has cleared and no sand-like material is observed, go on to step 7. If the water is discolored and/or sand-like material is observed at the bottom of the bucket, repeat steps 5 and 6 until the water is completely clear and free of sediment.
7. Close the draincock and remove the garden hose.
How do I contact ACWD if I have a question about or a problem with my drinking water? You can call us at (510) 668-6500.
To learn more about the main cleaning program, please visit: www.acwd.org/maincleaning.
To learn more about the main cleaning program, please visit: www.acwd.org/maincleaning.
Yes, voters required the addition of fluoride in the early 1970’s and ACWD began fluoridating drinking water in 1976.
Local, state, and national health organizations emphasize the benefits of fluoridation for community prevention of tooth decay and maintain that fluoride poses no health threat. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention proclaimed fluoridation to be one of the top ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
Senate Bill 96, passed in 2004, further reinforced community water fluoridation as a statewide public health priority and preempted local regulations.
ACWD delivers water to over 80,000 service connections and is required to fluoridate in order to stay compliant.
The most effective whole house filtration method for removing fluoride is reverse osmosis which has up to 80-90% efficiency. Water distillation systems remove up to 100% of fluoride, and bottled water does not generally contain fluoride.
The following products or procedures will NOT remove fluoride: - Activated carbon filters- Water softeners- Boiling water - concentrates fluoride rather than reduces it. - Refrigerating or freezing water - has no effect on the concentration of fluoride in the water
As part of our compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead and Copper Rule, these results are compared to the Action Level of 15 parts per billion (ppb). ACWD is in compliance with the Lead Action Level because 90% or more of our samples are below the 15 ppb Action Level. In 2015, 90% of our samples were 8.1 ppb of lead or less.
- Use only water from the cold water tap for drinking, cooking, or preparing baby formula.
- Run the water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using it for drinking, cooking, or preparing baby formula. This water is great to use for watering plants!
- Consider using a certified water filter to remove lead. Be sure to check that it is certified for lead removal.
- Replace old plumbing or fixtures that may have lead. Lead pipes will have a dull gray look and can easily be scratched by a key.
ACWD does not test customer's water for lead on a regular basis. However, select homes are tested for our Lead and Copper Rule compliance every three years. Although testing has concluded for 2018, we will be testing again in 2021. You can have your water tested by any state-certified lab. ACWD provides as a courtesy to its customers a list of local state-certified commercial laboratories. Please click the link below to be taken directly to the list.
2) Center for Disease Control information about lead in drinking water: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/water.htm
3) US Environmental Protection Agency information about lead: http://www.epa.gov/lead
4) American Academy of Pediatrics information about children and lead in drinking water: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/Lead-in-Tap- Water-Household-Plumbing.aspx
The Main Renewal and Seismic Upgrade Program is part of the Alameda County Water District’s (District) commitment to delivering reliable drinking water supplies to more than 356,000 people living and working in Fremont, Newark and Union City. The Main Renewal and Seismic Upgrade Program will help improve water supply reliability for ACWD customers in the event of a major earthquake and will reduce service interruptions due to aging pipelines. Generally, pipelines have a lifespan of about 75 years, but the risk of a pipeline’s failure increases in proportion with its age. With twenty percent of the District’s pipelines installed before 1960, and the oldest pipelines placed underground in the 1940s, this project represents a major infrastructure improvement for more than 84,000 customers who depend upon reliable water supplies. Proactive pipeline upgrades protect the District and its customers from expensive fixes caused by leaks in the system.
The District is prioritizing construction sites in order of risk and project complexity within the overall program budget. Generally, pipelines that have the highest risk of failure in the event of a major earthquake will be prioritized and undergo construction first, as supplemented by smaller, generally less complex projects to meet program budgetary goals. An up-to-date construction schedule can be found online at www.acwd.org/MRSUP.
All of ACWD’s construction activities must comply with specific permit requirements and must take into account weather conditions and safety precautions. The staggered nature of the construction helps the District maintain reasonable working hours and reduce inconveniences to the public associated with very early and very late construction working hours.
The residents and businesses of Fremont, Newark, and Union City who, as ratepayers, contribute to these projects. We want to ensure our customers are aware of how their rate dollars are being used to improve water supply reliability and protect public health and safety.The costs for these projects are being funded in two ways:• Project costs have been factored into existing rate structures.• In 2012 ACWD successfully issued $45.2 million in Water Revenue Bonds to restructure existing debt at reduced interest rates and to help finance critical capital projects. By doing so, we are able to make investments in infrastructure while leveraging the District’s excellent AAA bond rating and take advantage of historic low interest rates.
The District is requiring its contractors to ensure that construction traffic is managed effectively and that truck traffic follows posted speed limits. We will have inspectors evaluating the project sites to ensure that rules are enforced and will address any issues that arise.
The District will ensure its contractors take precautions to ensure safety during construction, including installing barriers along construction routes, restricting travel speeds and implementing construction safety monitoring during all work. The District will provide project oversight and review during every stage of construction to ensure safety and design requirements are met, including the avoidance of gas lines and other pipelines. In the event of an emergency, the District will implement appropriate measures to ensure the safety of surrounding residents, businesses and construction crews.
The District is committed to monitoring and ensuring water quality standards at all times. During construction, water pipelines may need to be temporarily isolated to accommodate improvements. This action may cause reverse flows in the pipeline, causing iron and manganese sediment lying on the bottom of the pipeline to be stirred up, resulting in discolored water. However, water will remain safe to drink and continue to meet all state and federal drinking water standards for public health and safety. If your drinking water becomes discolored, avoid using your washing machine and dishwasher until the water clears. Please visit ACWD’s website at www.acwd.org to learn how to flush the pipes in your home to remove the discoloration.
PFAS are manmade compounds that have been used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food, electronics, personal hygiene products, and other materials (e.g., cookware) designed to be waterproof, stain-resistant, or non-stick. Of particular interest are two compounds that have notification levels. Perfluorooctanoic Acid, more commonly referred to as PFOA, and Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid, or PFOS.
In recent years people have become more familiar with the term PFAS. Although awareness of these manmade chemical compounds is recent, PFAS have been in wide use since the 1940s.
Used in many consumer and industrial products for their ability to repel stains, water and oil, PFAS are persistent in the environment and do not readily degrade. They also are prevalent in many items we encounter daily – inside and outside the home. While items imported from outside the United States may contain PFAS, its use is being phased out in the US.
According to the US EPA, there is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans. If humans, or animals, ingest PFAS (by eating or drinking food or water than contain PFAS), the PFAS are absorbed, and can accumulate in the body. PFAS stay in the human body for long periods of time. As a result, as people get exposed to PFAS from different sources over time, the level of PFAS in their bodies may increase to the point where they suffer from adverse health effects.
Studies indicate that PFOA and PFOS can cause reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects in laboratory animals. Both chemicals have caused tumors in animal studies. The most consistent findings from human epidemiology studies are increased cholesterol levels among exposed populations, with more limited findings related to:
In August 2019, the Division of Drinking Water (DDW) set the customer Notification Level of 5.1 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 6.5 ppt for PFOS and in February 2020, set new a Response Level of 10 ppt for PFOA and 40 ppt for PFOS.
A notification level is a nonregulatory, precautionary health-based measure for concentrations of chemicals in drinking water that warrant notification and further monitoring and assessment.
A response level is a nonregulatory, precautionary health-based measure that is set higher than a notification level and represents a recommended level that water systems consider taking a water source out of service or provide treatment if available to them.
In March 2019, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) began a state-wide PFAS investigation and issued orders to approximately 200 water utilities throughout California to test groundwater wells that are in close proximity to fire training/fire response sites (e.g. airfields), industrial sites, landfills, and/or wastewater treatment plants for PFAS. Since ACWD groundwater sources are not located in close proximity to potential sources of contamination, ACWD was not issued orders to monitor for PFOA or PFOS by DDW.
Assembly Bill 756 that took effect on January 1, 2020, authorized the State Board to more broadly order water systems to monitor for PFAs and report their detections. ACWD was not issued an order under this Assembly Bill either.
ACWD tested drinking water supplies for PFOA and PFOS compounds in 2014, as required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule. ACWD did not detect PFOA or PFOS in the drinking water in 2014.
Since 2014, advances in testing technologies since 2014 have allowed us to detect substances at increasingly low levels. Therefore, ACWD, once again, in June 2020, voluntarily sampled several water supply sources ahead of any regulatory requirement. This proactive monitoring allows ACWD to ensure the best water quality is available to our customers and take measures to treat our source supplies.
Our voluntary testing identified low levels of PFOA in our groundwater sources between non-detect and 6.3 ppt, with some sources above the customer notification level of 5.1 ppt. However, all treated water delivered to customers had no detections of PFOA.
PFOS was detected in most groundwater sources at low levels, between non-detect and 13 ppt, with some sources above the customer notification level of 6.5 ppt set by the State Board. However, all treated water delivered to customers was below the notification level or non-detectable.
Results from this same monitoring program did not detect PFOA or PFOS in surface water supplies which account for almost two-thirds of ACWD’s total water delivered to our customers.
Samples were collected by trained sampling staff from locations where other regulatory water quality samples are collected and analyzed by a State Certified Laboratory.
ACWD is working closely with the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water to develop our voluntary sampling program and could be as frequent as quarterly.
ACWD has existing water treatment facilities in place to effectively safeguard your water supply with the use of reverse osmosis technology at our Newark Desalination Facility and the blending of groundwater and surface water at our Blending Facility. Both these methods are already implemented at our treatment facilities and have managed to keep the detections below the notification levels, thereby ensuring the safety of the treated water supplied to our customers.
ACWD will post PFOA and PFOS sampling results on its website and additionally provide the sample results to the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water who will also post it on their website.
More information on PFOA and PFOS is available at https://www.epa.gov/pfas or the California Water Board Frequently Asked Questions https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/pfas/docs/pfas_general_faq.pdf
A PHG is the level of a chemical contaminant in drinking water that does not pose a significant risk to health. PHGs are not regulatory standards. However, state law requires the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to set drinking water standards for chemical contaminants as close to the corresponding PHG as is economically and technologically feasible. In some cases, it may not be feasible for SWRCB to set drinking water standard for a contaminant at the same level as the PHG. The technology to treat the chemicals may not be available, or the cost of treatment may be very high. SWRCB must consider these factors when developing a drinking water standard.
For more information, view OEHHA's website
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) is the level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals.
For more information, view EPA's website
Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) is the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards.
For more information, view EPAs website