Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
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602 E. Huntington Drive, Suite B., Monrovia, CA, 91016 | (626) 443-2297

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Metropolitan Water District COVID-19 and Water Supply Fact Sheet
English Fact Sheet
Spanish Fact Sheet
Chinese Fact Sheet

 

Read Upper District’s Newsletter on COVID-19 and the Safety of Your Water Supply

Do you know where your water comes from? Most of our region’s water needs (80%) are supplied from local water sources stored right under our feet, while the other part is imported from Northern California through the State Water Project. Every time you turn on your faucet or take a shower, you are tapping into a complex and safe drinking water system. Your local water comes from snow and rain that flows naturally into the San Gabriel River Watershed and filters into the Main San Gabriel Basin known as groundwater. Both local groundwater and imported water sources undergo an extensive treatment process that makes it safe for your consumer use. Upper District’s mission is to consistently meet our region’s need for reliable, high quality and affordable water.

Drinking Water Standards and Water Quality
The novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, does not impact the quality and supply of your local tap water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is transmitted person to person, not through water. Your water is both safe and available by turning on the tap. There is no need to stockpile water bottles, for fear of restricted water supplies. Emergency preparedness encourages a 2-week supply in the case of a major disruption in water sources; however, in this situation emergency water supplies are not a concern.

Tap water is regulated for safety by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and must meet stringent state and federal drinking water quality standards. Water treatment plants that provide water must be tested multiple times per day. Every water provider within our region and the country at large is required to provide customers with detailed water quality reports to assure EPA compliance.

In the San Gabriel Valley, your water providers monitor water quality every step of the way, from source to tap. They are committed to providing its customers with safe and reliable water. They have used several treatment techniques to eliminate pathogens, which include viruses. This ensures safe drinking water for all residents and customers.

With the coordination of local water agencies and partners – San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster, and Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District – these considerable measures have been effective in providing water services that meet and exceed drinking water standards for the region.

The California State Water Resources Board warned the public to not discard “flushable” wipes, facial tissues, baby wipes, sanitation wipes, paper towels and similar products in the toilet. Only the 3p’s, pee, poo & toilet paper belong in the toilet. Wastewater treatment facilities around California may get overwhelmed and have already reported issues with their collection systems and in-home plumbing blockages.

Read the California State Water Resources Control Board News Advisory.

Water Related Links and Fact Sheets
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Water Transmission and COVID-19
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Coronavirus and Drinking Water
World Health Organization (WHO) Water and Sanitation
California Department of Public Health
Metropolitan Water District COVID-19 and Water Supply Fact Sheet

Health and Safety Tips
In accordance with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during this national emergency, Upper District encourages the public to practice the following behaviors to help prevent the spread of the disease. Currently there is no vaccine; therefore, learning how the virus is transmitted and taking steps to protect yourself is important and should be adhered.
• Protect Yourself and Your Neighbor
• Practice Social Distancing – at least 6 feet
• Clean Your Hands Often – at least 20 seconds
• Cover Coughs and Sneezes with Elbow
• Do NOT Wear a Facemask if You Are Not Sick
• Disinfect and Clean Surfaces Thoroughly
• Do Not Go Into Work if You’re Experiencing Illness
• Contact your healthcare provider before seeking medical care if you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or may have been in contact with a person with COVID-19

CDC: Know How It Spreads and What are the Steps

About Upper District
Upper District’s mission is to consistently meet our region’s need for reliable, high quality and affordable water; including water conservation, recycled water, storm water capture, storage, water transfers and imported water. Upper District services nearly one million people in its 144 square mile service territory. Governed by a five-member elected board of directors, Upper District is a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Annually, more than 78 billion gallons of water is used in Upper District’s service area. For 60 years, Upper District has been a leader in water stewardship and water conservation.

 

COVID-19_FAQ

Can the COVID-19 coronavirus get into my water? The novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, does not present a threat to the safety of Metropolitan’s treated water supplies. Metropolitan’s multi-step treatment process includes filtration and disinfection using ozone and chlorine. This advanced process removes and kills viruses, including coronaviruses, as well as bacteria and other pathogens. Ongoing monitoring demonstrates that Metropolitan’s treated water meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water standards and regulations, which require removal of over 99.99% of viruses. COVID-19 is transmitted person-to-person, not through water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Can Metropolitan continue treating and delivering water if COVID-19 spreads?
Metropolitan maintains an extensive system of reservoirs, water treatment plants, canals and pipelines to deliver safe and reliable water supplies to communities across Southern California. This system includes multiple layers of redundancy to ensure continued deliveries, even during a disruption. Metropolitan also maintains frequently tested plans and systems for emergency response and business continuity to guide operations, including responding to pandemic outbreaks.

To address the concerns about COVID-19, Metropolitan has taken several steps to protect the health of its employees, minimize potential exposure and avoid widespread impacts to our workforce. Metropolitan has also ensured it has the necessary backup equipment, supplies and treatment chemicals in the event of disruptions to the supply chain for these items. Metropolitan also continues to build its already robust supply of water in storage.

So why are people stockpiling bottled water?
General emergency preparedness encourages a two-week supply of bottled water in the event of a supply disruption. While other emergencies may necessitate backup water sources, water supplies are not a concern in this particular situation.

Where can I learn more about COVID-19 and water?
EPA: “Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.”
https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-drinking-water-and-wastewater

CDC: “The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html

Dear Upper District Stakeholder:

The Board of Directors for the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District has announced that the 60th Anniversary Luncheon scheduled for April 7, 2020 has been postponed.  This comes following the latest CDC and Governor Newsom’s announcements regarding social protections and guidelines for the community due to COVID-19.  As stewards of our water supply, your health and well-being, as well as that of the broader community, are our top priority.

In addition, all Upper District scheduled community outreach booths, landscape classes, watershed events and sponsorships will be cancelled or placed on hold until further notice.  We will continue to engage the community through our social media and provide factual and positive messaging regarding the safety and quality of our local water supply.

Thank you for your interest in Upper District’s community outreach and please take every precaution to protect yourself and family.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Water Transmission and Covid 19 

There is no higher priority for EPA than protecting the health and safety of Americans. EPA is providing this important information about COVID-19 as it relates to drinking water and wastewater to provide clarity to the public. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.

EPA has established regulations with treatment requirements for public water systems that prevent waterborne pathogens such as viruses from contaminating drinking water and wastewater. Coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, is a type of virus that is particularly susceptible to disinfection and standard treatment and disinfectant processes are expected to be effective. EPA is coordinating with our federal partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and will continue to provide technical assistance and support, as appropriate.

On this page:

Is drinking tap water safe?

EPA recommends that Americans continue to use and drink tap water as usual. The World Health Organization (WHO)EXIThas stated that the, “presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.”1 Additionally, according to the CDC, COVID-19 is mainly thought to spread between people who are in close contact with one another. Read more from the CDC about transmission of COVID-19. Further, EPA’s drinking water regulations require treatment at public water systems to remove or kill pathogens, including viruses.

1 World Health Organization. 2020. Technical Brief. Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for the COVID-19 virus. March.
Website: https://www.who.int/publications-detail/water-sanitation-hygiene-and-waste-management-for-covid-19. Reference number: WHO/2019-NcOV/IPC_WASH/2020.1

Do I need to boil my drinking water?

Boiling your water is not required as a precaution against COVID-19.

Is tap water safe to use for hand washing?

EPA recommends that Americans continue to use and drink tap water as usual. According to the CDC, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read CDC’s handwashing guidance.

What should I do If I’m concerned about my drinking water?

WHO has stated that the, “presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.”

Homeowners that receive their water from a public water utility may contact their provider to learn more about treatments being used. Treatments could include filtration and disinfectants such as chlorine that remove or kill pathogens before they reach the tap.

Homeowners with private wells who are concerned about pathogens such as viruses in drinking water may consider approaches that remove bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, including certified home treatment devices.

Do I need to buy bottled water or store drinking water?

EPA recommends that citizens continue to use and drink tap water as usual. At this time, there are no indications that COVID-19 is in the drinking water supply or will affect the reliable supply of water.

What is EPA’s role in ensuring drinking water remains safe?

EPA has established regulations with treatment requirements for public water systems that prevent waterborne pathogens such as viruses from contaminating drinking water. These treatment requirements include filtration and disinfectants such as chlorine that remove or kill pathogens before they reach the tap. Additionally, WHO notes that, “conventional, centralized water treatment methods which utilize filtration and disinfection should inactivate COVID-19 virus.”

EPA will also continue to coordinate with our federal partners, including the CDC, and will continue to provide technical assistance and support to states, as appropriate.

Can I get COVID-19 from wastewater or sewage?

WHO has indicated that “there is no evidence to date that COVID-19 virus has been transmitted via sewerage systems, with or without wastewater treatment.”

Do wastewater treatment plants treat COVID-19?

Yes, wastewater treatment plants treat viruses and other pathogens. COVID-19 is a type of virus that is particularly susceptible to disinfection. Standard treatment and disinfectant processes at wastewater treatment plants are expected to be effective.

Will my septic system treat COVID-19?

While decentralized wastewater treatment (i.e., septic tanks) do not disinfect, EPA expects a properly managed septic system to treat COVID-19 the same way it safely manages other viruses often found in wastewater. Additionally, when properly installed, a septic system is located at a distance and location designed to avoid impacting a water supply well.

What’s scarier than a malevolent clown under your bed? More tragic than the story of Romeo and Juliet? More offensive than a comedian with terrible jokes? Wasting water. That is the message of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s new digital and social media campaign “Wasting Water Is…”

As part of Metropolitan’s continued efforts to encourage Southern Californians to use water efficiently, the series of commercials spotlights what happens when three water-wasters get caught in the act and learn how scary, tragic and offensive wasting water really is. The video spoofs are being advertised on YouTube and connected TV devices such as Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku, targeting entertainment, lifestyle and sports shows.

Read Full Press Release…

March 2006, 14 years ago, was my first Metropolitan Board meeting as General Manager. It was one of the most important and special days of my life. Today, with more than a little sadness, I would like to announce my intent to step down as General Manager at the end of this year.

I have discussed my plans with Chairwoman Gray and we agree that it is important to the district to ensure a smooth succession. Accordingly, I am announcing my plans at this time to provide the Board with sufficient time to run a thorough recruitment and interview process.

I look forward to working closely with Chairwoman Gray and the Board on a successful transition to new leadership over the remainder of this year. Generally, it has taken about six months to recruit someone for the General Manager position. Assuming a new General Manager is brought on by late fall, I will make myself available to assist her or him in the transition process through the end of the year.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Metropolitan’s General Manager. Metropolitan is the premier public sector water utility with an outstanding work force that is second to none. People always tell me how impressed they are with Metropolitan’s staff. I consider myself so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented workforce.

I want to thank Chairwoman Gray for her strong leadership and personal support for me. She is the right leader at the right time for Metropolitan. I would like to thank the Board for always putting Metropolitan first in its thinking and for making the sound decisions that will ensure water supply reliability for Southern California for generations to come. I want to thank the member agencies and my water colleagues for their friendship and guidance.

And most of all, I want to thank all of the employees at Metropolitan for making these past years so richly rewarding on both a personal and professional level. It has been my pleasure to work with each and every one of you. We have quite a lot to accomplish the rest of this year with regards to Delta conveyance, the State Board’s Water Quality Control Plan update, our Integrated Resource Plan 2020 revision, a review of our rate structure and critical decisions on our Regional Recycled Water Project. And I intend to work hard with everyone to make progress on all of these issues and more in the coming year. Thank you.

Read Full Letter…

On behalf of Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, I am pleased to provide input for the scoping process of the single-tunnel Delta conveyance project now being advanced by the California Department of Water Resources under the direction of Governor Gavin Newsom.

The need for this project remains greater than ever. Even as Southern California continues to diversity its overall water portfolio by developing local supplies and lowering demand, high-quality supplies from Northern California will remain a vital foundation of our water management strategy. This supply makes viable new initiatives such as
recycling.

READ LETTER…

Upper District’s 60th Anniversary Newsletter 

February 2020: Upper District’s Becomes Member Agency of MWD

Daily Tribune, July 15, 1960 – Newspaper articles published about the studies seeking alternative sources of water.

Water Supply for the San Gabriel Valley, 1963 – Pamphlet distributed by Upper District and other organizations urging voters to vote YES on the March 12, 1963 election. 

Board Director of Upper District stands on USG-3 Connection in San Gabriel Canyon.

Foothill Feeder, Proposed Service connection, September 2, 1969 – Upper District accepted Metropolitan Water District plans for the construction of the USG-3 Connection in the San Gabriel Canyon. 

Agreement for construction by General Manager Henry Mills of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for the USG-3 Connection.