Unexpected water supply emergencies can happen at any time, so knowing the basics of how to respond is very important. A water emergency can be as big as service and main line breaks caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or fires; or as small as a burst pipe on a hot water tank. No matter the size, it’s important for our customers to be prepared before a water supply emergency occurs.
Water District Emergencies
During Business Hours
To report a water supply emergency such as a water main break, service leak, hydrant knock-over, or an unattended flow of water from any type of water line, call the District at (831)438-2363.
After Business Hours
For after-hour water emergencies, please contact the Scotts Valley Police Department at (831)440-5670. They will dispatch our on-call field crew. If you have a life-threatening situation, always call 911 first.
Important things to know for household water emergencies:
- Where your water shut-off valves are located
- How to shut off the supply valve to your house
- That all valves in your house are in working order, and
Informing everyone in your household so they can feel confident to shut water off.
Types and locations of water shut-off valves:
- Property Side Meter Valves are located in your meter box usually found near the street or sidewalk in front of your house. The valve is located right after the meter going toward your house, inside the meter box. This will turn off all the water going to your yard and home. You will need to look inside your meter box and verify you have this type of valve as some customers do not have a property side meter valve.
- House Valves are usually located outside of your house where the main water line enters your home and is usually found just below the hose bib faucet. The valve will have a round or oval handle (gate valve), or a straight lever handle (ball valve) that controls the flow of the water to the entire house. To close the gate valve, turn the round or oval valve handle clockwise. This valve typically turns the water off slowly and will need several turns to be fully closed. To close a ball valve turn the straight lever handle clockwise a quarter turn so it sits perpendicular to the pipe. Ball valves must be closed and opened slowly and smoothly to avoid undue stress or damage to pipes and fittings. If your home does not have a house shut-off valve please consider having one installed.
- Fixture Valves are found under sinks, at clothes washers, and hot water heaters. These valves only turn off the adjacent fixture.
Locate and map all these valves, practice shutting them off and show members of your household how to do the same. Sometimes valves are old and may be stuck or just keep spinning or even break off in your hand. It is much easier to fix them now than before you are under the stress of a water supply emergency.
Keep your contact information current
It is important that we have as many ways as possible to communicate with our customers during times of emergencies. Please make sure your contact information, including all phone numbers and current email addresses, are up-to-date and on file with us.
Register for cell phone alerts
You may also choose to register for cell phone alerts with the Santa Cruz County Office of Emergency Services. Go to the link at the top that says “Register your cellular or VOIP Phone for CodeRed Emergency Notifications.” You may opt for a cell phone call or a text.