From Monday, November 1st through Monday, November 22nd, City of Santa Maria water users will be provided with quality drinking water from City wells instead of the State Water Project. Residents may notice a slight difference in the water due to the increased hardness and mineral content, but the well water continues to meet all State and Federal standards.
During this time, the State of California Department of Water Resources will perform its annual maintenance of the water distribution system pipeline. The Coastal Branch of the State Water Project has scheduled its annual shutdown to conduct routine repairs and maintenance.
The City of Santa Maria usually takes advantage of these shutdowns to flush portions of the water distribution system to remove particles. This year staff recommended that flushing not occur. Flushing of the water distribution system was initially performed just prior to the introduction of State Water in 1997 and each year since, concurrent with the Department of Water Resources’ routine shutdowns. The water distribution system has become progressively cleaner, and no water quality complaints associated with distribution system have been received for several years.
This year’s flushing was scheduled for November, a month impacted by two holidays and two mandatory days off (also known as furloughs). The flushing would occur within the center of the City’s water system, which contains some of the oldest piping. Considering the potential for water line leaks caused by changes in water flow direction and velocity, there would be insufficient staff to address potential repairs given the impacted work schedules. An evaluation of the water distribution system and water quality data indicated that postponing flushing this year will not result in immediate problems.
For questions regarding the switch to groundwater, a qualified water quality specialist is available weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at (805) 925-0951 ext. 7270. Calls after hours that require immediate attention can be reported by contacting the City at (805) 928-3781 ext. 278.
The City of Santa Maria Utilities Department and its regional State Water supplier, the Central Coast Water Authority, thank our customers in advance for their patience and cooperation. The City staff is committed to your health, safety, and the environment.