Valley Water procures a wide variety of goods and services from laboratory equipment and information technology products, to engineering and infrastructure maintenance and repair services and more.
Valley Water conducts competitive procurements through the Contract Administration System (CAS) web portal. You can register your business in CAS to receive email notices when new bids are posted by creating an account. It is also necessary to create an account to respond to an RFP. View the CAS User Guide for information on creating an account, submitting a response to an RFP and more.
For every procurement, Valley Water will select the method that promotes a fair and open sourcing process and provides the best value to this organization. Depending on the type of goods or services your business provides, you will need to follow one of the following procurement methods:
Some procurements that must be competitively bid may use an informal process. After Valley Water staff issues a request for quotations, vendors may submit responses by email, fax, U.S. mail, courier, or in person. The quotations must be received by the due date and time and in the required format as specified in the request for quotations. Valley Water staff will evaluate the quotations and identify the bidder who offers the lowest price, meets all the bidding requirements, and is determined to be capable of successfully fulfilling all requirements of the contract. Valley Water staff will then issue a purchase order to the successful bidder. Please allow a minimum of three work days before calling to inquire about bid results.
Formal invitations to bid
Other procurements must be competitively bid through a formal invitation to bid. All formal opportunities are publicly available through the water district’s CAS web portal at cas.valleywater.org. All bids received by the due date and time will be publicly opened and read aloud. You are welcome to attend the public bid opening where you will be able to identify the apparent low bidder. The actual low bidder will not be determined until Valley Water staff has thoroughly reviewed and evaluated the bids. When that process is complete, staff will issue a Notice of Intent to Award to all bidders. Please do not contact staff to inquire about bid results prior to receiving this notice. At this point, you will have an opportunity to submit a bid protest, if appropriate. For more information on the protest process, see the Protest Procedure section below.
Request for proposals
All competitive solicitations for consulting services above $25,000 are procured through Requests for Proposals. The selection of the consultant is based upon factors like best value in addition to price. You will be asked to submit a written proposal and if your response is selected, Valley Water staff will negotiate a contract with you. The bid protest procedure also applies to this procurement method. For more information on the protest process, see the Protest Procedure section below.
Authorized Valley Water employees are issued a Mastercard for small dollar purchases. While these cards have been issued in the employee’s name, Valley Water is responsible for paying all debts incurred in the use of the card. Vendors should always request picture identification when charging against these cards and sales should not be made to anyone other than the person whose name appears on the card. In addition, each purchasing card has an individual transaction and 30-day purchase limit. Vendors are requested to honor those limits and not split charges to exceed the transaction or 30-day purchase limits or to circumvent Valley Water policies, even if requested to do so by the cardholder.
Valley Water policies and procedures do not require competitive bidding on procurements valued at $25,000 or less. However, depending upon the goods or services to be purchased, Valley Water staff may determine that it is in the organization’s best interest to request competitive quotations.
Sole or single source solicitations
Some procurements that would otherwise be competitively bid may be obtained from a single provider on a non-competitive basis if certain conditions are met, such as when not obtaining the product or service might cause harm, injury or unnecessary expense, or when the water district is bound by warranties, proprietary products, compatibility or other factors.
Valley Water procures goods and services in accordance with the District Act and all local, state and federal laws.
Depending upon the type of procurement, Valley Water may require bidders to submit proof of required insurance coverage prior to contract award. The specific insurance requirements will be included in the solicitation documents. Questions about insurance requirements should be addressed with the Risk Manager at 408-265-2607 ext. 2213.
Contractor safety qualification
Valley Water is committed to minimizing risk to the public, contractors, and Valley Water employees by contracting only with businesses whose safety programs meet Valley Water standards. Vendors who bid on work that involves certain high risk activities will be required to complete and submit a Contractor Safety Qualification Packet. Work activities that trigger this requirement include construction, maintenance, and other activities with associated life safety critical tasks or operations, such as assembly and use of scaffolding, lockout/tagout, confined space entry, working at elevated locations, live electrical work, excavation or trenching, tunneling, hot work, or any other activity that requires specialized training to prevent serious injury or a catastrophic event. The Contractor Safety Qualification Packet will be included in the solicitation documents for each project as required. Questions about safety requirements should be addressed with the district’s Environmental Health and Safety Manager at 408-630-2812.
Prevailing and living wage policy
The State of California Department of Industrial Relations has determined prevailing wages for certain categories of workers. Some Valley Water solicitations may include the requirement to pay prevailing wages. Questions about prevailing wages in the State of California should be addressed to the Division of Labor Statistics and Research, Prevailing Wage Unit, PO Box 420603, San Francisco, CA 94142. (415) 703-4774.
It is the policy of Valley Water that persons doing work on, for or on behalf of Valley Water should be paid at least a living wage and reasonable time off. Visit the Living Wage Policy page for more information:
Basis of protest
Protests shall be based only on the protestor’s belief that one or more of the following situations occurred:
- Valley Water failed to follow the procedures and adhere to requirements set forth in the solicitation or any addendum thereto
- The solicitation contained restrictive specifications
- There was misconduct or impropriety by water district officials or evaluation committee members
- There was abuse of process or abuse of discretion by water district officials or evaluation committee members
Filing a protest
Protests must be sent in writing, by certified and registered mail, or personally delivered to:
Santa Clara Valley Water District
Attn: Tom Esch, Manager, Purchasing and Contracts
RE: Protest of Award (list RFP# and Project Name)
5750 Almaden Expressway
San Jose, CA 95118
A protest alleging restrictive specifications or improprieties in the solicitation documents or process must be received at least three (3) work days prior to the proposal due date and time.
All other protests occurring after award of the contract must be submitted within five (5) business days after Valley Water’s issuance of the Consultants Not Selected email. Protests that are not timely received will be dismissed, and the proposer waives all further rights to have Valley Water consider or reconsider Valley Water’s decision to award the contract.
Content of protest
The written protest must contain the following information:
- The name, street address, email address, telephone and facsimile number of the firm or individual submitting the protest (protestor)
- Signature of the protestor or its representative
- A clear statement of the basis for the bid protest
- Copies of any relevant documents
- The form of the relief requested.
Valley Water will provide a response within ten (10) work days of receiving the protest. Valley Water, after the ten (10) calendar day appeal waiting period, may elect to withhold a pending contract award until the protest is resolved or proceed with the award and implementation of the contract. Valley Water’s Deputy Administrative Officer will issue the Final Determination by certified mail to the protestor.
Small and Local Business Program
Valley Water promotes business and economic development by providing contracting opportunities for goods and professional services to small and local businesses. Under our Small Business Enterprise and Local Business Enterprise programs, businesses that are certified as a small or micro business by the State of California or operate within Santa Clara County may qualify for a preference credit on submitted bids and proposals.
Small Business Enterprise Program
Valley Water offers a 5% preference on bids for goods and qualifying consultant services to businesses that meet the State of California definition of a small or micro business, as defined in California Government Code section 14835 – 14843. A small business:
- Has its principal office located in California
- Has 100 or fewer employees
- Has average annual gross receipts of $10 million or less over the previous three years. Beginning January 1, 2019, the threshold will be $15 million.
To qualify for the 5% preference your business must be certified by the California Department of General Services. For more information or to certify your business, visit: https://www.dgs.ca.gov/PD/Services/Page-Content/Procurement-Division-Services-List-Folder/Certify-or-Re-apply-as-Small-Business-Disabled-Veteran-Business-Enterprise
Local Business Enterprise Program
Valley Water offers a 5% preference on bids for goods and qualifying consultant services to local businesses. A local business has a principal business office operating legally within Santa Clara County, or a regional, branch or satellite office with at least one full-time employee located in Santa Clara County.