The Company’s source of water for public consumption and for irrigation purposes comes from groundwater under its service area. The water is extracted through twelve well sites, five of which are potable and 7 of which are designated for irrigation purposes only. The irrigation wells serve the largest grove in the Company’s area, and the Pauma Valley Country Club golf course. The potable wells are pumped into the delivery system and stored in the Company’s two steel reservoir tanks.
Per the requirements of the California Department of Public Health, drinking water standards, we are required to conduct numerous bacteriological and chemical tests on each potable well. The test results must be below the maximum contaminant level (“MCL”) before it is acceptable for placement into the distribution and storage system. For disinfection, chlorine stations are permanently located at four well sites and are subject to the Department of Environmental Health standards for hazardous materials. Standard operating procedures are followed by Utility Employees when handling the gaseous cylinders of chlorine. Training and routine inspections are conducted to assure compliance. The Company’s Risk Management Plan is reviewed annually and updated every five years.
Upon formation, the Company utilized an open reservoir but has since abandoned the site and replaced it with two welded steel water storage tanks. The smaller tank was installed in 1966 and has a capacity of 175,000 gallons of water. The larger tank was installed in 1978 and holds 1.5 million gallons of water.
Exterior inspection of the tanks is conducted by the water staff monthly and interior inspections are conducted every three years to assess any deterioration of the steel structure. Scuba divers video log the interior and provide a written report of the condition. Department of Public Health also conducts periodic inspections and notes any rehabilitation needed. The small tank was completely restored in 2010 at a cost of $82,000; the large tank was completely restored in June of 2019 at a cost of about $400,000.
There are currently 344 shareholders with 385-meter connections served by the Company. The infrastructure, most of which was constructed in the late 1960s, is still in place today. Several different types of pipe were used, such as concrete, steel, and PVC. The diameter of pipes range from 4” up to 10”. As leaks develop in the older pipes, the Company tries to replace sections to carry the Distribution System many years into the future.
Infrastructure Service Charges on the monthly Company billing help cover the cost of replacing older service meters as they wear out. Routine maintenance and replacement of the water meters is another Capital Improvement project always under consideration.
Backflow is a term used to describe a condition where water flows through a water line in the opposite direction from which it was intended to flow. Backflow prevention devices are designed to protect the system. State law requires the installation of Backflow Prevention devices on all premises in the following categories:
Premises having auxiliary water supply;
Any premises having multiple use capabilities and or more than one service connection that could result in the contamination of the Company Water System in the event of a backflow; and
Premises that contain cross-connection.
The backflow device must be tested annually by a Company approved certified tester. The device must meet company specifications and cannot be removed.
Rancho Pauma Mutual Water Company has in the past, for customer convenience, scheduled all backflow device testing with a County approved backflow device tester who is certified for such services. Initial testing is done in November each year and billed accordingly. If repairs are needed, the certified tester will notify the customer directly of the failure and necessary repairs. The customer is responsible for scheduling and paying for all repairs. A re-test will be performed and the final certification sent to the Company.
According to State Law, failure to install and or make repairs could result in the termination of the domestic service and include fines. Services will not be reinstated until the backflow is certified and all associated costs with the re-connection of service are collected.
If you have any questions regarding the backflow devices, please contact the Rancho Pauma Mutual Water Company at
760-742-1909 or email us.