By Martin A. Kropelnicki
President and CEO
Every day, about two million Cal Water customers turn on their faucets and know they can rely on us to deliver safe, clean water. Across our service areas, we’re working hard to continually invest in our water system infrastructure and make sure residents and businesses don’t have to give a second thought to turning on the tap.
Filtering out contaminants, transporting water to users, and creating systems to fight fires are crucial utility services. Robust infrastructure networks with strong distribution systems and treatment facilities are key components for achieving these expectations, and they are built into plans Cal Water has had in place for years—long-term plans that continue to guide our operations.
Replacing aging infrastructure is one way we’re able to provide high-quality water and ensure our systems stay safe and reliable. We constantly assess our distribution networks and have recently replaced key infrastructure, such as 1,220 feet of water main in Marysville and all individual customer service connections served by that main, and 3,560 feet of new 8-inch water main in Torrance. These upgrades allow us to deliver water more reliably, efficiently, and safely during both normal and emergency use.
Water treatment infrastructure upgrades, such as our new East Los Angeles PFAS treatment facility, support the work our employees undertake across the state to ensure the water we deliver to customers will meet all current and future water quality standards for existing and emerging contaminants. This new treatment plant in Montebello, which was put into service in January 2022, is the first in the Central Basin and Water Replenishment District of Southern California area to be constructed specifically to treat PFOS and PFOA in the water. The installation of this plant allows us to return the Montebello well site to active service, also enhancing water supply reliability for our East Los Angeles District customers’ everyday and emergency needs.
To increase the resiliency of our water supplies, we’ve also worked over recent decades to diversify our supply sources. By providing more recycled water for irrigation needs, such as in our Tesoro Viejo District and at the Apple 2 campus in Cupertino, we free up precious potable resources for our customers’ other needs. We also partner with neighboring water agencies on regional groundwater recovery projects to help ensure we have additional supplies available during drier years.
This enables us to strategically manage our current and future supplies. We vigilantly monitor demand changes and adapt to them through sophisticated, localized forecast modeling across our districts, which incorporates long-term customer population expectations, precipitation and drought, temperature, new plumbing codes, and other factors. This is especially critical in managing and extinguishing forest fires, which can immediately require large amounts of supply and the systems in place to reach expansive areas.
These are just some of the many ways Cal Water works every day to provide a reliable supply of safe, clean water to our customers. Through robust planning, infrastructure and treatment investments, and a diversification of supplies, we can continue to deliver on our promise of quality, service, and value.