From the Source to Your Tap: Meet the People Who Deliver Your Water
Cal Water is committed to providing safe, high-quality drinking water to almost 2 million people across California. To do this, our team of chemists, microbiologists, pump operators, and other field representatives closely monitor the water from the moment it leaves its source and enters our treatment plants, gets tested in our state-of-the-art laboratory, travels through an intricate network of pipelines, and ultimately reaches its final destination — your home or business.
Interested in how each drop is monitored from source to tap? We’d like to introduce you to a few of our team members who are responsible for ensuring the water you use and drink is safe, reliable, and high-quality.
Doug J., Certified Pump Operator
Our certified pump operators are constantly on-the-go, visiting Cal Water’s more than 1,000 pump stations to perform inspections, take water samples, make repairs, and ensure that all of the stations remain safe and functional. Pump operators like Doug work diligently to make sure the facilities that treat and deliver your water do their job without fail.
Jacob M., Treatment Plant Operator
Our treatment plant operators are responsible for ensuring that the plant is running as it should be and that the water produced meets all water quality standards. They conduct over 40 tests per day that include turbidity, temperature, pH, manganese, UV254 and membrane “integrity testing,” which would help identify if there are any problems that require repair or adjustments to treatment that need to be made. Our treatment plant operators also conduct daily inspections of the various plant processes. This includes reading the meters and monitoring flow to indicate how much water is entering the plant from the lake “intake” pumps, how much water the plant is currently using, and the amount of water going into the distribution system to customers. Treatment plant operators like Jacob are committed to doing their part to ensure that customers receive the highest-quality water possible.
Cynthia P., Water Quality Scientist
Protecting our customers’ health and safety is our highest priority. Cal Water’s water quality professionals like Cynthia assess the data for more than 400,000 water quality tests on more than 300 contaminants each year. Most of these tests are performed in our state-accredited drinking water laboratory. We have water-testing equipment so sensitive that can detect levels as low as one part per trillion for certain contaminants — that’s equivalent to one second in 32,000 years. Water quality test results are entered into our Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), a sophisticated software program that enables us to react quickly to changes in water quality and analyze water quality trends in order to plan effectively for future needs. The entire water quality laboratory operation is accredited by the California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program, the state environmental testing accreditation body.
Loni L., Water Quality Program Manager
Our water quality program managers like Loni oversee a range of services to ensure your water meets or surpasses all of the strict state and federal water quality standards. Program managers are responsible for ensuring each Cal Water district monitors, inspects, and samples the water, and coordinating with public health agencies so you can be confident that your water is safe and high-quality. In addition to ensuring the safety of our water, we are always looking for ways to improve how water tastes, looks, and smells.
Tim H., Cross-Connection Control Specialist
The water we send into the distribution system meets all state and federal standards, and we have a robust cross-connection control program to help prevent that high-quality water from being compromised in the distribution system by activities on customers’ properties. Our cross-connection control specialists, like Tim, make sure all existing backflow prevention assemblies are tested annually, prioritize assessment of all water connections, and enforce and manage the installation of new commercial and residential assemblies. In 2017, our specialists oversaw installation of 2,826 new backflow prevention assemblies and testing of 36,433 assemblies in our California service areas.
* * *
For more than 90 years we have been providing safe, high-quality drinking water and supporting emergency needs with employees who live and work in the communities we serve. We are proud of our service and our employees who help us maintain our commitment to our customers.