Most of us never think about how water gets to the tap. Luckily, we don’t have to. Pumps, treatment plants, and pipes bring us clean water. But our water systems are aging. Our water systems need constant investment to continue delivering life’s most essential resource. Each month when you pay your water bill, you are investing in your water system. If your water rates go up even though you’ve been conserving, its’ because the maintenance costs for your water system never go down. Your water rates also pay for planning how to adapt our water supply to big challenges such as drought and seawater intrusion into coastal groundwater aquifers. The good news is that your investment has amazing returns! You get water for a few pennies a gallon, and you don’t have to run your own water treatment plant or conduct water quality testing!

Click and advance on the slides below to learn about water supply and treatment infrastructure projects that are improving water supply reliability in Santa Cruz County.

Replacement of Aging Water Pipelines Costs About $1 Million per Mile!

  • It costs $1 million per mile to replace aging pipelines.
    City of Watsonville - It costs $1 million per mile to replace aging pipelines.

New Well Construction

  • City of Watsonville - Every day 7 million gallons of water are pumped from our groundwater wells; the source of 90% of our tap water. Half of our wells are more than 50 years old; and the oldest well is 90 years old. The City will be building a new well in the coming year to continue providing safe and reliable drinking water to its residents. It costs about $3 million to construct a new groundwater well.

Water Tank Replacement

  • Soquel Creek Water - Cornwell Tank provides gravity pressure and fire protection to customers and is part of a network of tanks that are necessary for adequate service to hilly areas. Soquel Creek Water District has 18 water storage tanks.

Water Treatment

  • Soquel Creek Water District - T Hopkins well draws water from the Purisima groundwater aquifer. Water treatment at this well site and others treat contaminants out of the groundwater and make it safe for drinking. Iron, manganese and arsenic are often naturally found in groundwater.

Maintaining Dam Outlets to Prevent Floods Downstream

  • City of Santa Cruz - Spill way at Newell Creek Reservoir