Frequently Asked Questions

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Board of Directors

When are the Board Meetings?

Board Meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at the district office. All Board of Directors’ meetings are open to the public. Any member of the public who wishes to address the Directors at a board meeting may do so during the portion of the meeting set aside for public comment. The Agenda is posted to our website and at the RWD District office 48 hours prior to each meeting.

Are Board members compensated?

Yes, board members are paid per meeting attended. The compensation is $110 per meeting, with a max of 10 meetings per month.

How often are the Board members elected?

Every four years.

Why is a board necessary for a water district?

The District is governed by a publicly elected five-person board, elected to represent the five divisions of the District.

Customer Service

Is there a fee for paying my bill in the District office, online, by phone, or by automatic bill payment?

There is no additional fee to use these services.

How do I pay my water bill?

Water bill payments may be made at Rowland Water District’s office located at 3021 S. Fullerton Road, Rowland Heights, CA 91748. Payments can be made by cash, check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. For payments after hours or on weekends and holidays, a drop-box is conveniently located in the parking lot at the Rowland Water District office. Payments can also be made by phone by dialing 1-855-288-0679, pay online by visiting our website at www.rowlandwater.com or by signing up for automatic bill payment from your checking account.

What is the difference between customer dashboard and e-payment online?

The “Customer Dashboard” is an online portal that allows customers to view billing statements, sign-up to receive an electronic bill (e-bill), make a payment, or set-up a recurring payment. E-payment allows you to make a one-time payment without needing to create a customer dashboard account.

I made a partial payment on my customer dashboard, why does my bill still show the full amount?

The bills are updated either monthly or bi-monthly depending on your billing cycle. Your next bill will show the partial payment.

How do I start water service?

You can start service by coming into our office at 3021 S. Fullerton Road in Rowland Heights or by filling out an application form online. If you are leasing or renting property, you must also submit a Tenant/Owner Agreement—also available in our office or online. If you are a new homeowner, final closing or deed documents may be required. Please be prepared to show picture I.D. and provide your Social Security Number, as well as pay a non-refundable $35 connection fee. In some cases a deposit may be required. (Please see information below regarding deposits).

Click here to start service.
Click here for the tenant/owner agreement.

Does Rowland Water District accept stop service requests over the phone?

We are able to take Stop Service Requests over the phone. Additionally, stop service requests can also be completed with an online form or by visiting  our office at 3021 S. Fullerton Road in Rowland Heights.

Click here to complete the online stop service form.

What is a service charge?

The service charge is a fixed amount based on the size of your meter. The service charge covers the cost of the District’s operations, including water storage facilities, pumping maintenance, water testing and meter reading. Revenue generated from water billing is directly equal to the expense of providing safe and reliable water service.

What is a tiered rate?

A tiered rate structure, like the one Rowland Water District uses, encourages efficient water use. The unit price of water changes at preset levels. At Rowland, that price changes at 17HCF and 24HCF for monthly billing. (HCF—hundred cubic feet—is the standard measurement used to determine water use. Every HCF equals 748 gallons).

Do I need to pay a deposit for water?

At any time, Rowland Water District may require a deposit. For New Applicants the deposit is calculated and adjusted annually, based on the average total bill for customers who have the same size meter and who are also in the same water rate category multiplied by Two Hundred Fifty Percent (250%). For existing customers the deposit is calculated based on the average total bill of that particular customer for at least three (3) billing periods multiplied by Two Hundred Fifty Percent (250%).

When will I get my deposit back?

 The District will monitor the payment history of each customer. If the customer’s account is free of any late payment penalties, termination notices or returned checks for a period of twelve (12) consecutive months since the security deposit was given, the District shall refund the deposit to the customer, in full, by applying the deposit to the customer’s account. If the customer closes an account, the District shall apply the customer deposit to the final billing and refund the balance remaining.

Can I get an extension on my bill?

Please click here to see other billing information so that you can avoid late charges and service shut-off or contact our Customer Service Department at (562) 697-1726 for more information.

Why are the different zones charged different amounts for the same water?

It costs more in energy and operations to move water to higher elevations. This fair rate structure is a common industry standard and considers the true cost of getting water to your tap, depending on where you live in the District.

Does Rowland Water District offer discounts to low income and/or senior citizens?

Rowland Water District does not have a reduced water rate for low-income customers. We are a Special District governed by a Board of Directors and not a private utility, such as Southern California Edison or Southern California Gas Company. Revenue generated from water billing is directly equal to the expense of providing safe and reliable water service.

How much water should my household use each month?

Every household is different, depending on many variables including how many people live in the home and type and size of outdoor landscape. According to industry standards, provided by the American Water Works Association, the average person uses 60 gallons of water per day indoors, which includes drinking, cooking, washing, toilet flushing etc.

What are some ways I can reduce my water bill?

For single-family homes, cutting back on your landscape irrigation is the best way to reduce water usage and lower your bill. For other tips on saving water and money click here.

Backflow & Cross-Connection Assemblies

What is cross-connection?

A cross-connection is any temporary or permanent connection between a public water system or consumer’s potable (drinking) water system and any source or system containing non-potable water or other substances.

What is backflow?

Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow of non-potable water or other substances through a cross-connection and into the piping of a public water system or consumer's potable water system. There are two types of backflow, backpressure backflow and backsiphonage.

Why do water suppliers need to control Cross-Connections and protect their public water systems against backflow?

Backflow into a public water system can pollute or contaminate the water in that system (i.e., backflow into a public water system can make the water in that system unusable or unsafe to drink).  Each water supplier has a responsibility to provide water that is safe to drink.  Consumers have confidence that water delivered to them through a public water system is safe to drink.  In the best interest of its customers, each water supplier must take reasonable precautions to protect its public water system against backflow and back-siphonage.

Is there a law requiring backflow?

The California Code of Regulations (Title 17) requires public water systems (Rowland Water District) to protect their water supplies from contamination by implementing a cross-connection control program.  This requirement protects the public water system from cross-connections and prevents backflow situations.

How to prevent Backflow or Cross-Connection

Install one of the following: (1) Air Gap.  (2) Reduced Pressure Principal Assembly.  (3) Double Check Valve Assembly.  (4) Pressure Vacuum Breaker.  (5) Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker.

The assembly used depends upon the degree of hazard to the drinking water system and the type of service/property.  RWD will determine the type of assembly required.  

Why do I need a backflow assembly?

Water systems depend on pressure to keep water flowing in the proper direction.  However, backflow can occur when there is a significant drop in the water pressure on the water district’s side.  When this happens, it is possible for polluted water from the customer’s plumbing system to reverse flow into the public water system.  If the water in the customer’s system has come in contact with harmful substances and it backflows into the public drinking water system, it could cause illness, or in extreme case, death.

What type of assembly do I need?

The assembly used depends upon the degree of hazard to the drinking water system and the type of service/property.  RWD will determine the type of assembly required.

Do backflow assemblies need to be tested?

Backflow assemblies need to be tested annually to make sure they are operating properly.  RWD notifies the customers at least 45 days before the backflow assembly is due to be tested. The customer then contacts a backflow tester certified by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to have their test completed. Backflows must also be tested within 30 days of being installed or after being repaired.

How do I find a certified backflow tester?

Independent testers can be found in the phone book or online under Backflow Testers or Plumbers.  Rowland Water District test forms must be completed by a Los Angeles County certified backflow tester, so make sure the tester has a current LA County backflow certification. Visit the LACO DPH website for more information. 

Whose responsibility is it to test and maintain the backflow assembly?

The backflow assembly is part of the customer’s water system.  RWD maintains the water line up to the water meter.  All pipe, fixtures, etc. beyond this point are the owner’s responsibility, including the testing and maintenance of the backflow assembly.  Property owners occasionally have agreements with the tenant or property management company to maintain the backflow assembly. Check with your property owner to determine whose responsibility this is.

Where do I get a backflow assembly?

Backflow assemblies can be purchased from most plumbing supply warehouses.

Who can install a backflow assembly?

It is recommended that a plumbing contractor install the backflow assembly, but this is not a requirement.

How can I protect the backflow device against theft and vandalism?

(1) Enclose your backflow assembly(ies) with a protective enclosure.  (2) Secure the enclosure with a tamper-proof lock (a “break-away” lock is easily opened and not recommended).  In the event of an emergency, your maintenance crew should have a copy of the lock’s key.  (3) Paint the assembly(ies).  (4) Post a visible sign with a warning notice, such as “Theft and/or damage to this unit will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law”.  (5) Camouflage the unit by planting screening landscape approximately one foot from the backflow assembly.  The camouflaging will make the unit less visible and will still allow access for necessary maintenance.

 

Please Note: When installing any protective equipment, it is important that our customers check the District’s specifications to verify that the assembly will remain in compliance. Visit our website and navigate to our “Contractors/Developers” for these specifications.

Recycled Water

What is recycled water?

Recycled water (also called Reclaimed Water) refers to multi-stage treatment of municipal
wastewater that is processed at a water recycling (or reclamation) plant. Recycled water is virtually
colorless and odorless, and is permissible for full-body human contact but not suitable for direct
human consumption.

What is the difference between gray water and recycled water? Are they regulated differently?

Gray water is untreated residential wastewater that does not come from a toilet or garbage disposal (i.e., bathroom sink, bathtub, shower laundry, etc.). Gray water is regulated by the State of California, and a building permit must be obtained before installing a gray water system to collect and send this water to the resident’s landscaping, but water quality is not routinely monitored.

Recycled water, on the other hand, is water that is refined through several treatment processes to a level that is safe for a variety of beneficial uses. A number of regulatory agencies have adopted requirements that must be followed when producing, distributing, and using recycled water. Water quality is strictly monitored and routinely reported to the respective Regional Water Quality Board.

Is recycled water safe to use?

Yes. However, recycled water must be used within established guidelines, regulations and permit requirements. Recycled water projects are designed and operated with an emphasis to protect public health and safety. Regular monitoring by the District and county public health agencies ensures that the District supplies a highly treated and disinfected product which meets all California Department Public Health Standards.

What agencies regulate the use of recycled water within the district?

A number of regulatory agencies have adopted requirements that must be followed when producing, distributing, and using recycled water. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has adopted strict public health and safety requirements and guidelines, which help protect the public from any potential risk associated with use of recycled water. These requirements are described in Titles 17 and 22 of the California Code of Regulations:

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/drinkingwater/Documents/Lawbook/dwregulations-2011- 07-14.pdf

Permits to oversee the production, conveyance, and use of recycled water are granted by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the corresponding Regional Water Quality Control Board(s) (RWQCB). Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County also have guidelines and inspection requirements for the use of recycled water.

What uses are suitable for recycled water?

Recycled water is primarily used for landscape irrigation. However, recycled water can be used for virtually all non-potable applications within the District. This includes some industrial processes, cooling towers for mechanical systems, soil compaction and dust control for construction projects, commercial nursery and agricultural irrigation systems, and for possible recreational and wetland restoration projects.

What are some benefits of recycled water?

  • Costs less than drinking water.
  • Contains nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus which promote plant growth.
  • Reduces stress on drinking water supplies. (4) Drought resistant source of irrigation water.

How is recycled water delivered to customers?

Recycled water must be conveyed in a separate distribution system. It is completely isolated from all existing potable water or sewer systems.

How do recycled water rates compare with potable water rates?

It is the policy of the District to price recycled water at a sufficient discount from the price of potable water to make the use of recycled water for irrigation and other suitable uses cost effective for new development, and result in savings sufficient to encourage existing customers of the District to convert existing uses to recycled water where appropriate.  Visit our Rates and Fees page for more information.

Is my property eligible to receive recycled water?

Recycled water is generally used in large landscaped areas or commercial properties. If you are interested in connecting recycled water and think your property may be eligible, please contact Dusty Moisio, Water Resources Technician at or at (562) 690-7150.

What training is required to use recycled water? What is a Site Supervisor?

All sites where recycled water is used are required to designate a recycled water user Site Supervisor. Site Supervisors are required to have appropriate training to assure proper operation of recycled water facilities, worker protection, and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. To help recycled water users fulfill their training obligations, free classes are currently being offered periodically throughout the year at various locations by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts. Visit the LACSD website for a site supervisor training registration form. A recycled water user Site Supervisor represents the owner, tenant, or property manager. The Site Supervisor is designated to be the main person to interact with the District and respond to inquiries, emergencies and participation in inspections and cross connection testing.

How often do I need to attend Recycled Water site supervisor training?

Training must be attended every 5 years to ensure that the site supervisor is current on all recycled water regulations. Visit the LACSD website for a site supervisor training registration form.

What is ‘industrial reuse’ and how can recycled water be used by commercial businesses and industries?

Industrial water reuse broadly refers to the use of recycled water for uses other than irrigation or groundwater recharge. Use of recycled water by industry has increased substantially in the last two decades due to increases in the cost of drinking water, combined with on-again/off-again water shortages that can limit business activities. Cooling water systems are the largest industrial applications for recycled water, due to the large water demand in their cooling towers and boilers. Other industrial applications include chemical plants, metal finishers, textile and carpet dying, paper manufacturing, cement manufacturers, and other cooling and process applications. Recycled water can also be used for dust control and soil compaction at construction sites, commercial laundries, carwash facilities, as well as toilet flushing.

Whom should I contact if I have additional questions or need assistance concerning recycled water?

For further assistance, please contact Dusty Moisio, Water Resources Technician or call (562) 690-7150.

Public Information

Where does Rowland Water District’s water come from?

Rowland Water District relies 100% on imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River. It is purchased through the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and from Three Valleys Municipal Water District.

As the cost of imported water continues to rise, the pursuit of local water becomes more critical in saving our customers money over the long term. Rowland Water District is continually pursuing alternative water supply sources through recycled water programs and progressive conservation measures. We are also always working to secure local water rights agreements with neighboring agencies and regional partners. The bottom line is that the less we need to purchase costly water, the less we need to charge the customer.

Why doesn’t Rowland Water District distribute local groundwater?

Currently, Rowland Water District does not have water rights to any treatable local groundwater. Securing additional sources and water rights, investing in recycled water systems for commercial uses, and promoting enhanced conservation measures across the District, reduces the impacts of imported water costs.

How do I locate my water shut-off valve?

The shut-off valve is typically near your water output (where you hook up your hose) nearest the street, or just inside of the garage.

How do I know if I have a leak?

To do a leak-check, turn off all water fixtures inside and outside your home (or building); check the position of the sweep hand and all the numbers on your water meter. Wait about 15 minutes and then check again. If the position of the sweep hand and the numbers have not changed, you don’t have any leaks. If there is a change, there is a leak somewhere on the property. Check your fixtures and pipes for leaks or call a plumber.

How do I know if a broken pipe is the District’s responsibility or my own?

Rowland Water District is responsible for what is called the street side of the meter, including all mains in the street. The property owner is responsible for maintenance of water lines on the property side of the water meter.

Where is my water meter and how do I read it?

Water meters are usually located near your front street curb in a concrete box marked “Water.” Remove the lid by using a tool like a screwdriver or pliers. The numbers in the dial boxes show how many cubic feet of water you are using. One cubic foot equals 7.48 gallons of water. If you check your meter throughout the month, you can see how much water you are using.

How many gallons of water is equivalent to a hundred cubic feet (HCF)?

748 gallons is equivalent of 1 HCF.  

Where can I get more information about my drinking water?

RWD’s annual water quality report (also know as a Consumer Confidence Report) is available here.

The water quality report discusses the quality of your water (based on the last calendar year), including any problems or detections of drinking water contaminants, and what is being done to correct the situation.

As a customer, what portion of my water line is my responsibility?

Rowland Water District is responsible for what is called “the street side” of the water meter, including all water mains in the street and continuing through the community distribution system. The property owner is responsible for maintenance of water lines on the “customer side” of the water meter. This includes the water line from the meter to the house, all interior plumbing and outside irrigation systems.

Service Line

 

How do I turn my water off?

Call the district office for assistance at (562) 697-1726.

Water Education

Who can receive education programs and materials?

RWD provides programs and education materials to schools within the District’s service area. If you are not sure if the your school is located within the RWD service area, you can email Brittnie Van De Car or click here  to obtain the names of schools in our service are.

Will Rowland Water District send a representative to our classroom to make a presentation?

Yes, Rowland Water District’s Education Coordinator will come into your classroom to present water-related, hands-on activities. Contact Brittnie Van De Car for more information on presentations and activities that are offered in the classroom.

Water Quality

How do I know my water is safe?

Rowland Water District’s water meets all State and Federal drinking water standards. About 300,000 tests are done on our water each year to make sure it meets or exceeds these standards, so we can continually deliver high quality water to customers. By law, RWD must inform you if contamination is detected in your drinking water.

Who regulates drinking water quality?

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) regulate Rowland Water District and its water sources.

How will I know if my water is not safe to drink?

RWD must notify you by newspaper or hand-delivery if your water does not meet USEPA or CDPH standards, or if there is a waterborne disease emergency. The notice will describe any precautions you need to take, such as using store bought water or boiling water. If a public notice is published and distributed regarding your drinking water, be sure to carefully read and follow the instructions.

Why is my water “cloudy” or “milky” looking?

Tap water can sometimes appear cloudy, and this is often mistaken for an impurity in the water. Cloudy water, also commonly described as milky white, hazy, soapy, or foamy, is usually caused by air in the water. This can occur naturally and is caused by dissolved air in the water that is released when the faucet is opened. When you relieve the pressure by opening the faucet and fill your glass with water, the air is now free to escape from water. The presence of air can sometimes be traced to pipeline or pump repair too.

Suggestion: To see if the white color in the water is due to air, fill a clear glass with water and set it on the counter. Observe the glass of water for two or three minutes. If the white color is due to air, the water will begin to clear at the bottom of the glass first and then gradually will clear all the way to the top. If the cloudiness does not clear after five minutes, call the district office at (562) 697-1726.

Where can I get more information about my drinking water?

More information can be found in our Annual Water Quality Report.

Water Use Efficiency

How long should I water my grass?

That depends on your type of soil, what kind of sprinklers you have, and the time of year. Use the watering calculator at Be Water Wisefor a personalized water schedule.

How can I conserve more water?

For water conservation tips, click here.

Are we in a drought?

Yes. On April 1, 2012 scientists from the state Department of Water Resources measured California’s 2012 snowpack and concluded that we are still in a drought. Conservation is the best way for you to do your part in preserving this precious resource for the future.

Contractors Information

How do I obtain a “will-serve” letter?

Click here to fill out the "will-serve" form online.

How do I request a fire flow test?

Click here to complete the fire flow test form online.

How do I request a new water service installation?

Click here to complete the water service installation form online.

How do I request temporary (construction) water service?

Click here to complete the temporary water service installation form online.

How do I request utility information?

Click here to complete the utility information request form online.