All FAQs

Customer Info

You can start service by coming into the office or by filling out an online Start Service application. Be sure to select the appropriate form for either an “owner” or “non-owner” (tenant). A $25 new account fee will be applied to your first billing invoice. Plesae see Start/Stop Service for more information.

If your water usage has increased unexpectedly, you may have a leak somewhere in your system. The most common types of leaks are running toilets, broken landscape irrigation pipes or broken main lines from the meter to your home. Please refer to Information about Leaks for tips on how to investigate if you may have one of these types of leaks.

No – you will need to fill out a form, sign it and submit it to the District office to have your service stopped. You can come into the office to fill out the form or fill out an online Stop Servie request, print it and then submit to the district in person or by mail. Please visit Start/Stop Service page for more information.

When the water in your main service line gets stirred up, it can cause the sediment that has settled in the bottom to come through your faucets. This can typically be cleared up by flushing out your system. Simply go to an outside hose bib or, if you don’t have an outside hose bib, the faucet that is the farthest from the street. Turn the cold water on and let it run for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the color has cleared up. It is important to use cold water while you flush so that the sediment does not get drawn into your hot water heater and take much longer to flush out.  If you have further questions or need more assistance, please contact us.

You will see a “Basic Service Charge” on each bi-monthly water bill. This service charge is a fixed amount based on the size of your meter. The basic service charge covers the costs of the District’s operations, including water storage facilities, pumping maintenance, water testing and meter readings. Revenue generated from water billing is directly equal to the expense of providing safe and reliable water service. See Rates and Fees

The District uses a tiered rate structure to encourage efficient water use. There are six tiers where the unit price of water changes at preset level. The District uses gallons as the standard measurement to determine water use. See Rates and Fees

No, we currently do not collect water deposit fees.

Yes, you can request an extension on your bill. We will review each request on a case by case basis. Please contact customer service for more information.

Water use varies from household to household based on the number of people living in the home, how much landscape or garden space is being watered or if there are any special needs being considered. The Department of Water Resources have urged residents and commercial businesses to reduce their water consumption during drought conditions by 20% through the end of the year.  A good average to shoot for is 75 gallons per day per person in the summer and 50 gallons per day per person in the winter (as irrigation is usually not being used). There are lots of ways to reduce your water use, and we're happy to help with suggestions, free devices and reabate.

 

 

 

 

 

Please visit our Be Water Efficient section to learn more

No, there is no additional fee to use any of these services.

Water bill payments can be made by coming into the district office, by phone, online or by setting up automatic bill payment. We accept cash, check or credit cards. Go to Pay my Bill for more information, to pay your bill online now, or to set up automatic bill payment.

Customer Info, About

The Santa Margarita Community Room (Community Room) is located downstairs at the District Offices, 2 Civic Center Drive, Scotts Valley is available for local not-for-profit groups for meetings and programs of an informational, educational or civic nature when not being used by the Board of Directors or for other District activities it.  No business promotion, sales or solictations may occur while using the room.  All meetings must be free and open to the public. The room has about 24' by 32'  of usable floor space and is furnished with rolling tables and chairs that can be configured to meet your needs.  It is  equipped with projection system, PA system and has wireless internet access.   

It is available on a first come first serve basis Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. To schedule the room, or for more information, call Customer Service at 831-438-2363 or email. A link to a printable version of the application is provided below.

Santa Margarita Community Room Application

Your Water

  • Decreases the extraction of water from sources that may be declining due to drought conditions or overuse from human consumption.
  • Recycling wastewater can decrease the amount of wastewater discharge of effluents that may damage and pollute the ecosystems of the bodies of water in which it is being discharged to.
  • Treated and processed wastewater can be used for useful purposes such as agricultural and landscape irrigation, industrial processes and replenishing groundwater sources such as basins.
  • Recycled water has been used to reestablish or create new wetlands which create multiple benefits to local ecosystems and groundwater resources.

Regulatory measures taken during the last two decades have greatly reduced human exposure to lead in drinking water.

  • In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act. This law requires the EPA to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur with an adequate margin of safety.
  • In 1991, the EPA published a regulation to control lead and copper in drinking water. This regulation is known as the Lead and Copper Rule. The EPA revised the regulation in 2000 and 2007.
  • Limits on the amount of lead that can be used in plumbing products have also been set.  These requirements were first enacted federally in 1986 and then reduced to even lower levels by California in 2006.

Recycled water in Scotts Valley is typically used for commercial, industrial, institutional, and home owners association (HOA) customers. We currently do not serve individual single family homes unless they are part of an HOA which shares one or more landscape irrigation meters and qualifies for recycled water service. For more information please visit our Recycled Water page.

If you’re concerned your home plumbing may contain lead in its pipes or fittings, you may want to have your water tested by a state-certified laboratory. Testing is the only way to confirm if lead is present or absent. For more information on testing your water, contact a drinking water laboratory. Here are three in our area:

Soil Control Lab (831) 724-5422
Monterey Bay Analytical Services (831) 375-6227
Bolsa Analytical Lab (831) 637-4590

Here are some steps you can take to reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water:

  • Run your water to flush out lead. If it hasn’t been used for several hours, run the water for three to five minutes to clear most of the lead from the water. To conserve water, remember to catch the flushed tap water for plants, cleaning or flushing toilets.
  • Always use cold water for drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula.  Never cook with or drink water from the hot water tap. Never use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
  • Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
  • Periodically remove and clean the faucet screen/aerator. While removed, run the water to eliminate debris.
  • You may consider investing in a point-of-use home water treatment device. When purchasing a water treatment device, make sure it is certified under NSF/ANSI 53 to remove lead.  
  • Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead. Brass faucets, fittings and valves may leach lead into drinking water. Products sold in California after the 2010 law went into effect must contain very low levels of lead.
  • Have a licensed electrician check your wiring. Your home electrical system may be attached to your service line or elsewhere in your plumbing.

 County of Santa Cruz Public Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program:  (831) 454‑4432 (or visit the website HERE)
National Lead Information Center:  (800) 424-LEAD (or visit the website HERE)

No, we do not add flouride to the potable water supply or the recycled water supply. 

No, the SVWD does not currently add, or have any plans to add flouride to the potable or recycled water supply.

The Scotts Valley region is experiencing a period of extended drought. Over the past three years, rainfall is a cumulative 52 inches below normal. Although groundwater level data collected in 2013 from production and monitoring wells indicate that groundwater levels are remaining within recent trends of decline and recovery, ongoing monitoring is important to better assess the long-term impact of the drought on the Santa Margarita Groundwater Basin. SVWD maintains a number of ongoing programs to support the sustainable management of the groundwater resource including water conservation and the use of recycled water.

Flushing is done for three reasons:
a) to remove sediment build up inside of pipes; and
b) to perform inspections on  valves, hydrants, and mains; and
c) to comply with California Water Resources Control Board regulations.

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that is harmful if inhaled or swallowed. Lead can be found in air, soil, dust, food, and water.

SVWD monitors water quality at the groundwater production wells for the constituents required by the Safe Drinking Water Act and under Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations. The District annually prepares and distributes the SVWD Annual Water Quality Report to keep customers informed on water quality issues. This report provides the public with detailed results of water-quality testing, a description of the water source, answers to common questions about water quality, and other useful water quality information.

The Scotts Valley Water District's annual water quality report can be found here.

Scotts Valley Water District tests for lead quarterly in source water pumped from wells and treated water as it leaves the treatment plants. Our samples are always negative for lead. Since 1993, the District also regularly has tested the water at a selected number of higher-risk homes. These homes were constructed using copper pipes with lead solder prior to the 1986 federal ban on lead solder. Our monitoring is conducted in accordance with regulatory requirements and guidance.

Drinking water standards are adopted by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Drinking Water Program pursuant to the California Safe Drinkiing Water Act.  Drinking water standards are enforced and monitored by the CDPH and local health departments.

SVWD water, which comes from groundwater wells, has continuously met or exceeded every water quality standard set by State and Federal Water Quality Standards.

The most common source of lead exposure is from paint in homes and buildings built before 1978. Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust are the main sources of exposure for lead in U.S. children. Lead-based paints were banned for use in housing in 1978.

Although the main sources of exposure to lead are ingesting paint chips and inhaling dust, lead also can be found in some household plumbing materials and some water service lines. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 10-20 percent of human exposure to lead may come from lead in drinking water.

SVWD relies on groundwater sources from the regional Santa Margarita Basin. The groundwater is stored in the Santa Margarita Groundwater Basin which is made up of the Santa Margarita Sandstone, Monterey Shale, Lompico and Butano formations. Rainfall is the source of recharge to the basin.

The District shares the groundwater basin with other users including neighboring San Lorenzo Valley Water District, Lompico Water District and Mañana Woods Mutual Water Company, as well as local businesses and residences using private wells.

Recycled water is wastewater that has received advanced treatment so that it can be safely used for irrigation and other non-potable uses. Recycled water supplied by SVWD, meets all the requirements set by the California Department of Health Services, which are the most stringent in the world. SVWD distributes disinfected tertiary recycled water, the highest of four classes of recycled water recognized in current regulations. Learn more about recycled water click here.

Lead can cause a variety of adverse health effects when people are exposed. These effects may include increases in blood pressure for adults; delays in normal physical and mental development in babies and young children; and deficits in the attention span, hearing, and learning abilities of children.

The recycled water distributed by SVWD may be used for many non-potable uses including construction purposes, irrigation of schools, parks, golf courses, HOA common landscape areas and commercial landscapes, and irrigation of all types of food crops (including those eaten raw).

Lead is rarely found to naturally exist in water supply sources, like surface water or groundwater. More commonly, lead leaches into water over time through corrosion—a dissolving or wearing away of metal caused by a chemical reaction between water and your plumbing. Lead can leach into water from pipes, solder, fixtures, faucets (brass) and fittings. Lead service lines and pipes have not been found to be used in construction in the Scotts Valley Water District. Therefore, sources of lead in our drinking water are primarily limited to lead-based solder and fixtures located at residential and commercial sites where water is received. The amount of lead in your water depends on the types and amounts of minerals in the water, how long the water stays in the pipes, the water’s corrosivity, and water temperature.

Conservation

Most people are not even aware that they are wasting water or simply don't know the rules around water waste. By reporting water waste you are helping the District educate your neighbors and the community about water waste and you may be helping your neighbor to save water too!

Contact us About Water Waste

There are many ways to be more water efficient both inside and outside of your home.  A good place to start is knowing what the top five biggest water wasters are:

  • Leaks, check for leaks and fix them quickly! The most common leaks are irrigation, toilets and faucets.
  • Overwatering your landscape
  • Irrigation used for lawns
  • Toilets that flush more than 1.6gpf
  • Taking long showers, more than 5-10 minutes

Visit our "Be Water Efficient" section of the website to learn more about our Rebate programs, Request a Water-wise House Call or get free Water Saving Devices and see our list of 100+ Ways to Save Water!

Beyond the wasteful or inefficient use of water, you can use the amount of water that you're willing to pay for in non-drought years.
Our Water Waste and Irrigation Scheduling Policies were passed by our Board of Directors to further community norms that support a sustainable water supply for Scotts Valley.
For example, watering is done on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays only (Recycled Water exempt) and no irrigation is done between 10am and 5pm.

We offer many rebate programs and free water saving devices to help you be a smart water user. To learn more about our Rebate program click here. To learn more about our free water water saving devices click here. If you want to learn more about ways to save water you can request a FREE water-wise house call here.

Not only are there many plants of all shapes, sizes and colors that are low to ultra-low water users, they also create beautiful landscapes! You can start by looking at California native plants, Mediterranean climate plants, many of the Australian varieties and succulents. Most of our local garden stores and nurseries carry a wonderful variety of all of these plants.

800 Low Water Using Plants.

The length of time that you water your lawn and plants varies greatly by time of year, type of soil, how much shade or sun they receive and the type of irrigation you have. Installing a Smart Irrigation Controller is a great way use technology to make your job easier. Read more about Smart Irrigation Controllers and apply for a rebate! You may also request a free landscape audit by our Conservation advisor. 

About

Board members are elected to four year terms and have no term limits. Elections are staggered, every other November two to three director seats are up for election. Interested applicants may submit a letter of interest and a resume to the Board President. See Board of Directors for more info.

The Board of Directors has oversight over Scotts Valley Water District and appoints the General Manager to handle day-to-day operations. The directors have the power to set water rates, establish policies that support the vision and the mission of the district, and to provide direction to the General Manager on matters within the authority of the Board. The operation of the District requires that the directors remain objective and responsive to the needs of the public they serve, make decisions within the proper channels of governmental structure and not use the public office for personal gain.

Regular meetings are scheduled for the third Thursday of each month at 7pm at the Scotts Valley Water District board room, 2 Civic Center Dr. Meeting dates are subject to change, please contact the District for date confirmation at (831) 438-2363.

Customer Info, About

The Santa Margarita Community Room (Community Room) is located downstairs at the District Offices, 2 Civic Center Drive, Scotts Valley is available for local not-for-profit groups for meetings and programs of an informational, educational or civic nature when not being used by the Board of Directors or for other District activities it.  No business promotion, sales or solictations may occur while using the room.  All meetings must be free and open to the public. The room has about 24' by 32'  of usable floor space and is furnished with rolling tables and chairs that can be configured to meet your needs.  It is  equipped with projection system, PA system and has wireless internet access.   

It is available on a first come first serve basis Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. To schedule the room, or for more information, call Customer Service at 831-438-2363 or email. A link to a printable version of the application is provided below.

Santa Margarita Community Room Application