June 15, 2020
Valley Water is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 emergency to ensure we continue our essential work in providing safe, clean water, flood protection, and environmental stewardship on behalf of our community.
As Santa Clara County eases restrictions from the shelter-in-place order first issued by the Public Health Officer on March 16, businesses and buildings across the region are starting to reopen.
Valley Water would like to remind building owners and managers that while the valley's water supply remains safe, after any extended period of closure of a building there may be internal water quality issues that emerge upon reopening of the facility.
- The closure of a building may result in significant reduction in water use throughout the building, which could result in degradation of water quality
- Water-borne bacteria may have grown in the stagnant water in a building's internal plumbing system
- Buildings and large service connections that shut down or significantly reduced water use have an increased risk of Legionella growth in pipes, refrigerators, water heaters, and/or onsite storage tanks, and an increased potential of leaching of lead and copper
Building water systems may need to be flushed before reopening. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact your water retailer.
Here are some additional resources to assist you in preparing your water system to ensure that high-quality, safe and reliable water service can be restored.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), May 2020: Checklist to assist customers in restoring water quality in buildings for reopening
- Water Works Association (AWWA), April 2020: Notice on returning homes to service
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), April 2020: Guidance for Building Water Systems
- Environmental Science, Policy & Research Institute (ESPRI), April 2020: Building Water Quality and Coronavirus: Flushing Guidance for Periods of Low or No Use
- California State Water Resources Control Board, May 2020: Reactivating Service and Operations
- Water Research Foundation (WRF), May 2019: Flushing Guidance for Premise Plumbing and Service Lines to Avoid or Address a Drinking Water Advisory
We hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe during these challenging times. As we overcome this public health emergency together, know that your drinking water will continue to be clean, safe and available.
May 15, 2020
As Santa Clara County remains under a shelter-in-place order issued by the County Health Officer, Valley Water continues its essential work in providing safe, clean water, flood protection, and environmental stewardship on behalf of our community.
At Valley Water, we are making sure that the COVID-19 virus is not impacting the safety of your drinking water supply, or our ability to supply water in Santa Clara County. Current operations remain healthy, and we continue to meet or exceed all applicable water quality regulatory standards.
You may see Valley Water’s essential work crews and contractors working in the field during the stay-at-home order. As a public works agency, we are continuing to construct vital flood protection projects, provide maintenance to our critical water delivery systems, and reduce potential flood and fire hazards along creeks or trails through vegetation removal.
Please rest assured that we are enforcing all public health protocols to maintain safe working environments during construction, for both crews and community members. If you are utilizing recreational open spaces and trails, please follow the construction signage designed to inform and keep you safe, and please do not enter active construction sites.
In adherence to current social distancing guidelines, we’re reminding everyone not to approach staff working at project sites. If you have questions, please contact us via our customer service system, Access Valley Water: https://www.valleywater.org/AVWapp.
To support health care workers in our community, Valley Water recently provided 300 N95 masks and 400 Tyvek suits to Valley Medical Center to help fulfill a demand for personal protective equipment in the healthcare system.
This donation represented a sizable percentage of Valley Water’s inventory. We gave what we could to support our community while ensuring we maintained our agency's continued operations with adequate levels of Personal Protective Equipment for our own essential staff.
- Some of our workers have shared their stories on the “frontline” while delivering crucial services during this health emergency. We invite you to read their stories here https://bit.ly/2xqq81P.
- This public health crisis has resulted in the cancellation of some of our activities, such as National River Cleanup Day, which was scheduled for Saturday, May 16. Although the event is canceled this year, we can still do our part in protecting our waterways and the environment, once the stay-at-home orders are lifted and it’s safe to do so. Join Valley Water’s more than 50 Adopt-A-Creek partners and adopt a section of the 275 miles of creek in Santa Clara County owned by Valley Water. Partners commit to at least two cleanups a year and help to monitor trash in their adopted sections of the creek.
If you are a teacher looking for new virtual learning opportunities for students of all ages, or a parent seeking to enrich your child's distance learning experience, please visit our Education resource page.
- Valley Water is now offering free virtual tours of the Silicon Valley Advance Water Purification Center. During this tour, attendees will learn how recycled water fits in the county's overall water supply. Virtual tours will run for one hour. To register please visit our registration page
We hope that you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe during these challenging times. As we overcome this public health emergency together, know that your drinking water will continue to be clean, safe and available.
April 15, 2020
As we all stay home to keep our families and communities safe, you should know that the Santa Clara Valley Water District (Valley Water) is strongly committed to maintaining a high level of service as our community responds to COVID-19. We will continue to provide a reliable supply of safe, clean drinking water to residents and businesses in Santa Clara County.
First, be assured that the COVID-19 virus is not impacting the safety of your drinking water supply, or our ability to supply water in Santa Clara County. Our current operations are healthy, and Valley Water continues to meet or exceed all applicable water quality regulatory standards.
Please know that our entire organization has responded to this crisis and will ensure that your water is safe as we operate our critical infrastructure around the clock. Under the state and County’s shelter-in-place order, Valley Water is considered critical and essential as an organization from a utility and public works perspective.
As many residents are now sheltering at home, we invite you to join in our new virtual opportunities for residents of all ages to learn about water resources in Santa Clara County.
Valley Water is now offering free virtual tours of the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center. During this tour, attendees will learn how recycled water fits in the county’s overall water supply. Virtual tours will run for one hour. To register please visit our tour registration page at http://tiny.cc/9hlhmz.
If you are a teacher looking for new virtual learning opportunities for students of all ages, or a parent seeking to enrich your child’s distance learning experience, please visit our Education resource page at valleywater.org/learning-center/teachers-students/distance-learning.
During the months of April and May we will be offering a live story time for young children. Families are invited to meet the Little Blue Hen and learn how she saves water every day! Children will experience new concepts and expand their water vocabulary as they discover ways to save water. This event is suitable for ages 3-5 years old. To obtain a free ticket, visit: https://www.valleywater.org/news-events/events
We are looking forward to resuming our normal operations and offering live events, tours and classroom visits. In the meantime, we look forward to meeting you virtually at an upcoming tour or story time. We hope that you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe during these challenging times. As we overcome this public health emergency together, know that your drinking water will continue to be clean, safe and available.
March 25, 2020
Valley Water is responding to the impacts of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and is following all directives from our public health officials. We are committed to maintaining a high level of service as our community responds to COVID-19. We will continue to provide a reliable supply of safe, clean drinking water to residents and businesses in Santa Clara County. We will update this web page when we have new information to report.
The Valley Water Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated at Level 1 (highest level) to support continuity efforts. The EOC is being operated virtually to support social distancing best practices and help limit the spread of COVID-19.
Please direct media inquiries to (408) 681-9265.
March 24, 2020
Safe Drinking Water Supply
The COVID-19 virus is not impacting the safety of your drinking water, or our ability to supply water in Santa Clara County. The World Health Organization has stated that the “presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.” For more information, we recommend these resources:
Valley Water is responsible for ensuring that the treated water provided to our retailer agencies is of the highest possible quality, meeting or exceeding all federal and state drinking water standards. Current operations remain normal and we continue to meet or exceed all applicable water quality regulatory standards.
Homeowners that receive their water from a public water utility like a city or water company may contact their provider to learn more about treatments being used. These utilities treat and test their water to ensure there are no pathogens before the water reaches your tap.
Homeowners with private wells who are concerned about pathogens such as viruses in drinking water may consider approaches that remove bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, including certified home treatment devices. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), home treatment systems that use reverse osmosis, ultraviolet treatment, or distillation are very highly effective in removing viruses.
Continuing Essential Services
Under the state and County’s shelter-in-place order, Valley Water is considered critical and essential as an organization from a utility and public works perspective. We are refining the definition of “essential work” to ensure that we balance the important public works infrastructure needs our community relies on, with the safety of our employees. Essential work includes those activities and processes necessary to ensure public safety; to align with Valley Water’s charter to provide safe, clean water, flood protection and environmental stewardship; to ensure viability of the agency; and work that if not performed, would have a significant impact to Valley Water.
These critical operations are continuing:
- Operations and maintenance of Valley Water treatment plants, pumping plants, groundwater recharge and related water infrastructure
- Capital public works and construction projects that renew and rebuild the infrastructure essential to meeting the mission of Valley Water
- Flood protection maintenance work: We are continuing all flood protection maintenance work, including activities related to stream access, the removal of obstructions to maintain flow capacity, vegetation management, fire suppression, etc. Due to regulatory agency requirements related to stream maintenance, mitigation planting also continues.
- Warehouse open for deliveries: Our warehouse at Winfield (5905 Winfield Boulevard, Building E, San Jose, CA 95123-2428) is open from 7 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, to accept supplies and deliveries to continue our essential services.
The safety of our employees is our priority and we are supporting our employees in the implementation of our state and County’s public health directives of shelter-in-place and social distancing.
- Implementing social distancing: Since March 13, all employees who are able to, began working remotely. Employees are directed to drive separately to job sites and are provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if they aren’t able to maintain social distancing in the field.
- Increased and enhanced janitorial cleanings: Enhanced janitorial cleaning scope and frequency of cleanings of Valley Water facilities and buildings have been increased and in place as of February, which includes cleaning techniques as outlined by our public health officials. At that time, all employees were provided with hand sanitizer and extra cleaning supplies, such as sanitizing wipes and sprays, were available at common areas.
- Flexible schedules and time off: We are encouraging our employees to work with their managers to implement flexible schedules, especially during the time all County schools are closed.
- Clear communication: We are committed to keeping our team informed of the situation and updates as they come. We hold a weekly virtual Town Hall meeting for all employees, send regular communications via email, host an internal web page and continually update a frequently asked questions document.
- Board Meetings and Committee Meetings cancelled until April 28: The next regular Board meeting is scheduled on April 28. No committee meetings have been rescheduled to date. For more information, visit https://www.valleywater.org/how-we-operate/board-meetings-agendas-minutes
- Valley Water Headquarters closed to visitors: Our headquarters building (5750 Almaden Expressway, Building 5700, San Jose, CA 95118) and Santa Teresa building (6850-10 Santa Teresa Blvd., San Jose, CA 95120) remains open for essential staff only and closed to visitors due to the shelter in place directive and social distancing guidelines.
- Main phone lines open: Valley Water continues to be accessible to members of the public at our main phone line at (408) 265-2600, which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Cashiering services for walk-in customers suspended until further notice: We are not accepting any walk-in customers during the shelter-in-place directive. We will accept payments over the phone at (408) 630-2270, which is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Non-essential creek maintenance suspended until further notice: This includes homeless encampment cleanups conducted in partnership with local agencies, including the City of San Jose.
- Vendor payments and processing invoices continues: Accounts Payable continues to accept invoices at [email protected]. Please submit in a PDF format and reference your company name and invoice number. For more information, contact Christine Hernandez at [email protected] or (408) 630-2495.
- Recruitments continue: This includes interviews and new employee onboarding, which are now being held virtually using video conference tools. For more information regarding opportunities to join Valley Water, visit https://www.valleywater.org/careers-and-job-openings.
- Water 101 Academy continues online: The 2020-21 Academy is continuing using video conferencing tools for ambassadors to participate remotely. For more information, contact [email protected]
- In-person public engagement activities cancelled until further notice:
Public tours: During the time tours are cancelled, staff is developing a virtual tour for you to experience at home. For more information, visit valleywater.org/tours
Education programs, such as classroom visits and library puppet shows: While in person visits have been cancelled, staff is working on virtual content to share with students who are studying from home. For more information, contact [email protected].
Volunteer opportunities, including National River Cleanup Day: These activities have been cancelled, which includes the Adopt-A-Creek program. We advise Adopt-A-Creek partners to halt creek cleanups until further notice. For more information, contact [email protected].
Public events: In response to the local, state and federal guidance regarding COVID-19, Valley Water staff has been pulled from all booth/community events through March, and will re-assess at the end of March whether to begin participating in events in April.
Community meetings: Staff continues to update upcoming planned project community meetings to include virtual meeting or webinar options. Once confirmed, these options will be shared publicly with stakeholders and project partners.
Community events/ Water Truck: In response to the local, state and federal guidance regarding COVID-19, Valley Water staff will not host a booth or dispatch the water truck to community events through March, and will re-assess at the end of March whether to begin participating in events in April.
This page will be updated as conditions warrant.