Coronavirus (COVID 19) and Your Water
COVID-19 Information Page
Guidance for Reopening Buildings
For any buildings that will be re-occupied after a prolonged absence or water use interruption, here are some important tips:
• Buildings and large service connections such as commercial properties and institutions that shut down or significantly reduce water use have an increased risk of Legionella growth, low disinfectant (chlorine) levels, and leaching of lead and copper.
• It is recommended that these properties flush hot and cold points of use (e.g., sink faucets, showers).
• The purpose of building flushing is to replace all water inside building piping with fresh water. Flushing may need to occur in segments (e.g., floors or individual rooms) due to facility size and water pressure.
• Flush until the hot water reaches its maximum temperature. Then flush cold water for the same time frame.
• Further resources are available at the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html
Reminder: Customers can continue to use and drink tap water as usual. Montecito Water District is delivering water that meets the highest quality standards. California’s comprehensive safe drinking water standards include disinfection processes for drinking water which are effective against viruses, including coronaviruses such as COVID-19.
Your Drinking Water is Safe
Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual, as confirmed by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies, and based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low.
Water Delivery is Reliable
While it’s always advisable to stock bottled water at home in the event of an emergency that could disrupt water supply, MWD expects no impacts to service from the current public health incident.
Montecito Water District Is Taking Extra Precautions
The provision of safe water, sanitation and hygienic conditions is essential to protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including the current 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Montecito Water District (MWD) is prepared for the rapidly evolving situation and is actively monitoring guidance from local, national and global health organizations.
Our top priority to is to keep employees, partners, contractors and vendors safe and healthy so we can continue to serve our customers. We are making numerous changes to accomplish this - including reductions or freezes on travel, participation in public meetings, and engagement with vendors. Additionally, we are creating avenues for employees to change their work locations as needed and increasing cleaning and disinfection at our work areas. Some of the changes may cause temporary inconveniences and we ask for your understanding during these extraordinary times.
The biggest changes for customers:
- Our office / counter service is closed. Customer service is available by phone: 805-969-2271 during regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm)
- Most business can be conducted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or online: www.montecitowater.com
- Teleconferencing information is now available on meeting agendas for remote public participation.
- Meter reads are on schedule; meter replacements and other capital improvement projects are postponed.
MWD will continue to follow the recommendations of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health, in addition to adhering to local and global guidelines and recommendations.
Water Quality Meets the Highest Standards
The District follows regulated water treatment and disinfection processes to prevent pathogens, which includes viruses, from contaminating drinking water. Data shows that COVID-19 is a type of virus that is particularly susceptible to disinfection. Montecito Water District continuously conducts water quality tests to ensure your water meets rigorous drinking water standards. Only the highest quality water that meets all stringent state and federal drinking water requirements is delivered to customers, as detailed in our annual Water Quality Report available at www.montecitowater.com/doc/ccr2018/
Montecito Water District is Prepared
Given its responsibility to deliver clean, safe and reliable water to the communities of Montecito and Summerland, Montecito Water District has plans in place for handling emergencies of this type. The District conducts routine trainings and exercises to prepare itself for a variety of events, and has continuity plans to ensure that operations continue under any circumstances. These plans include opportunities for resource sharing through a statewide mutual aid network. In conjunction with our expert partners, we've also developed a dedicated Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Preparation and Response Plan that integrates into our “all-hazards” approach to emergency management. As MWD continues to closely follow developments with the virus, staff remain committed to pairing consistent delivery of high quality, reliable drinking water with outstanding customer service.
Stay Healthy, Stay Informed
For more information, please contact us directly or visit the CDC, WHO or other federal/ credible websites:
Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Coronavirus website
Santa Barbara County Public Health Hotline: 805-681-4373 (recorded information in English and Spanish)
EPA COVID-19 Water Info
CDC COVID-19 Water Info
WHO COVID-19 Water Info
AWWA COVID-19 Water Info