Cal Water Improvement Projects to Benefit Wildlife, Environment

Projects Coordinated with State as Part of Main Leak Settlement

Cal Water announced today that it is embarking on two major projects to improve water system reliability and enhance the environment. The projects are part of a settlement with the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board (the Board) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife and reflects Cal Water’s commitment to providing its customers high-quality drinking water while protecting the environment.

The settlement resulted from a 2013 discharge of drinking water into Polhemus Creek that was caused by an undetected crack in a large water main located 10 feet below ground in a remote area. The water was disinfected as required to meet all federal and state water quality standards and make it safe for human consumption. Drinking water, however, can be harmful to fish and the environment.

As part of the settlement, Cal Water will replace 2,000 feet of 18-inch cast iron water main with new ductile iron main along Polhemus Road and Polhemus Creek in San Mateo. While the old main still meets industry standards, the new main will reduce the potential for leaks in the future. This infrastructure improvement project is currently underway. Additionally, Cal Water will conduct a streambed restoration project in San Mateo Creek to improve conditions in the creek for native fish. This work will be performed in coordination with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“While we work to protect our customers’ health and safety, we are simultaneously committed to being a good corporate citizen and environmental steward,” said Cal Water Bayshore District Manager Tony Carrasco. “We appreciate the Board’s diligence in addressing this issue, agreeing with our process and procedures to locate and repair the leak, and working with us to develop these projects to protect the environment.”

Under the settlement, in addition to investing in these improvement projects, Cal Water will pay $504,519 to the Board and $20,000 to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The settlement was approved by the Board on Thursday, July 21.