(Posted 11/5/2020) North Marin Water District was formed by local voters in 1948. Each year since, water sources and water facilities have been evaluated, upgraded, and developed in order to meet the water supply needs of the community. The District built the Stafford Dam in 1951 and began importing Russian River water in 1961. Today, North Marin Water District receives about 70% of its water supply from the Russian River, but it’s important to consider alternative sources of water as the community’s needs and the environment’s needs evolve. Recycled water is an important part of North Marin Water District’s supply structure and continued efforts to become more sustainable.
What is recycled water?
Recycled water is wastewater treated to tertiary recycled water standards — the highest level of treatment defined by the State of California (referred to as Title 22). This water comes from Novato Sanitary District for the North and Central Service Areas and from Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District for the South Service Area. There are four treatment steps that wastewater goes through before it is considered tertiary recycled water: primary treatment, biological treatment (secondary), filtration and disinfection (tertiary). This level of treatment allows for unrestricted reuse in virtually all recycled water applications. Recycled water meets strict federal, state, and county health and safety requirements — second only to drinking water in purity.
How is it used?
Currently, North Marin Water District uses recycled water for landscape irrigation at large office complexes, Valley Memorial Park Cemetery, three school fields (Hamilton Elementary, Lynwood Elementary, and the Novato Charter School), Stone Tree and Marin Country Club golf courses, many homeowners association common areas, and three automated car washes.
- High quality: Though it is not approved for drinking, recycled water is safe and effective for use in thousands of applications throughout the United States and the world. Of the three quality standards for recycled water in California, North Marin Water District’s recycled water is of the highest quality.
- Reliable: While the majority of properties may be forced to cut down on their water use during drought periods, properties using recycled water will not have their water supply affected by drought.
- Sustainable: Along with having a lower carbon footprint, recycling water uses less energy than developing other new sources of water. Additionally, recycled water offsets 10% of the potable water demand in Novato in summer months.
- Cost savings: Customers who use recycled water do not have to pay the +8% seasonal rate now in place in non-residential water use from May through November,
(Posted October 20, 2020) Rate and structure changes for Novato and Recycled Water went into effect on October 1, 2020. Due to these changes a partial bill was sent out for the period of water use from your last bill through September 30, 2020. This bill was for water use only and may not represent a full billing period and was sent out in order to bill you properly at the old rate. Additionally, your next bill may also be for a shorter period than the average two-month billing period. Normal billing will resume for upcoming bills issued after November 27, 2020. If you have questions please contact the billing department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-897-4133.
(Posted October 19, 2020) As Marin County implements gradual, phased reopening of business and school buildings that were dormant for months, NMWD suggests you fully flush your building’s plumbing by running water from cold taps for several minutes before using. Flushing will remove any water that has become stale and has lost quality while in contact with metal plumbing and from dissipation of chlorine disinfectant. NMWD staff are ready to answer your questions or help with water related problems you may be experiencing. Contact us by email email@example.com or call 415-897-4133
More information and guidance on procedures to restore water quality for building owners and operators can be found on the US EPA’s website: www.epa.gov/coronavirus/information-maintaining-or-restoring-water-quality-buildings-low-or-no-use
(Posted August 20, 2020) Unprecedented salinity intrusion has occurred in two wells which North Marin Water District uses as sources of drinking water in the West Marin system.
These two wells, located near the former Coast Guard housing property in Point Reyes Station, have experienced periodic and seasonal salinity intrusion for many years. In 2015, NMWD completed permitting and construction of a well and pipeline that brings water from a different source, out of the reach of tides. This third well is situated approximately a mile and a half east of Point Reyes station adjacent to the Gallagher ranch.
Unfortunately, the third well is unable to produce enough water to meet 100% of the volume demands of our customers in the summer months and the salinity intrusion at the Coast Guard wells has continued to worsen, likely due in part to sea level rise.
This year, under dry-year water conditions, we have seen the salt levels in the water produced from the Coast Guard wells rise to unprecedented levels. While there is no direct health concern from the salt for most people at this concentration, it does affect the taste. Customers that may be on sodium restricted diets should consult their physicians to see if the additional sodium is a concern for them.
Additionally, bromide, a component of the salt water that has increased, can also contribute to the formation of disinfection byproducts. We have taken every action available to keep disinfection byproducts as low as possible and continue to monitor their concentrations. If they rise to an unsafe level we will, in consultation with the California Division of Drinking Water, communicate this to our customers.
In order correct the situation, North Marin Water District is actively working to construct additional sources of water that are not prone to salinity intrusion. The acquisition of land, planning and permitting have been going on for two years. We hope to have this new source constructed and available for water supply in 2021.
Emergency water conservation measures remain in place and reduced water use decreases our dependence on wells impacted by the salinity intrusion.
More information about water quality can be found at https://nmwd.com/your-water/water-quality/
If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed here, please call Pablo Ramudo, Water Quality Supervisor at 415-761-8924.
(Updated October 26, 2020) After careful consideration, and in light of Governor Newsom and the Marin County Public Health Officer’s guidance, on Sunday, March 15, the District is temporarily suspending walk-in customer service through January 31, 2021. With the health of our community in mind, this decision is a preventative measure aimed at reducing community exposure to COVID-19. Customer service support remains available by phone at (415) 897-4133, by email at Info@nmwd.com, or by appointment. We continue to work closely with our local, county, state, and federal partners. Please know that water service will continue 24/7 and there is no threat to your public drinking water supply.
(Posted June 17, 2020) Due to concern about the impact caused by Coronavirus to our customers and the economy, the Board decided to postpone the approved rate increase effective date for three months until October 1, 2020. The District has also implemented a new Low-Income Rate Assistance Program, which provides a credit of $15 per bill, an extension of the water shutoff moratorium, and a waiving of all late fee charges for six months. Learn more here.