Valley Water District
14515 Pioneer Way E
Puyallup, WA 98372
253-841-9698  
888-205-0118  After Hours
253-770-8959  Fax
service@valleywaterdistrict.com
Valley Water District
Mission Statement

To provide safe and reliable water to all of the District's customers.

Hours: 8:00am - 4:30pm

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Articles

Valley Water District strives to maintain excellent communication and quality customer service. Here you'll find several articles we hope will be of interest and importance to you as you get to know more about your public water provider. We also count on you - the customer - to communicate your concerns and needs back to the District. When cooperation and communication flow smoothly, everyone benefits!

Faucet dripping? Toilet leaking? Water bill too high? Learn what you can do to save water - and money.

09/20/11
Check for Toilet Leaks

The most common source of household water leaks is the toilet

..and since the toilet is also the largest user of household water, you will save water and money by repairing a leaking toilet as soon as possible.

Follow these easy steps to test your toilet today.

  1. Carefully lift the lid on the toilet tank (behind the toilet bowl) and place a few drops of food coloring in the water.
  2. Do not flush the toilet for at least 15 minutes.
  3. If any of the dye shows up in the bowl before flushing, you likely have a bad flapper and you are losing a significant amount of water between flushes.

To learn about the care and repair of toilets, check into an online class at Toiletology 101. Be amazed at how easy and expensive this do-it-yourself project really is.

09/20/11
Fix Leaky Faucets

Don't ignore leaks in your sink and bathtub faucets.

Dripping faucets can usually be repaired by replacing the rubber “O-ring” or washer inside the valve.

Want to estimate the amount of water wasted due to a leak? Visit the American Water Works Association Drip Calculator.

09/20/11
Is Your Toilet Water-Smart?

The toilet is the largest water user in your home.

If your home was built before 1992 and the toilet has never been replaced, it is likely that you do not have a water efficient 1.6 gallon per flush toilet.

Check out the cost of a replacement toilet at your local home improvement store.

You might be surprised to find this is one project that won't break the bank and will save you money in your water bill.

09/20/11
Turn Off the Water

DO YOUR PART TO BE WATER-SMART

Avoid letting the water run when brushing teeth, washing dishes or shaving.

Install faucet aerators that use one gallon per minute or less. Come in to the District office to get one for FREE.

Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run while you are waiting for cool water to flow.

To avoid letting water run while it heats up, consider installing an instant water heater at your kitchen sink. This will also reduce water-heating costs for your household.

Help us help you.

09/20/11
Cross Connection Control

WHAT IS CROSS CONNECTION CONTROL?

Valley Water District takes pride in providing quality drinking water to our community. Although the water that reaches your home or business is pure and clean, contamination can occur within your own piping system. This potential contamination hazard is known as a "cross connection".

Cross Connection is a very important health concern. The State Health Department has established rules and requirements to enable water purveyors to protect water systems. The District's goal is to identify the potential cross connection hazards among our water systems and then take appropriate action to protect against them. But we need your help.

As a water user, you are the most familiar with how our water is being used. As the District moves forward in this program, you may be asked to provide information or allow a District inspector on your property to determine if a potential backflow situation exists and the steps to take to ensure the protection of our potable water supply.

If you have any type of irrigation system, a swimming pool or hot tub, farm animals, or if you are a business of any kind, and currently do not have backflow prevention in place, please complete the Cross Connection Control Survey and return to the District office to have the situation on your property evaluated for cross connection control measures.

Water suppliers, homeowners, business owners and officials must all share in the responsibility to ensure the safety of our community's drinking water.

Your participation is essential to the success of this program.

09/20/11
District History

A local government that works without taxes....since 1993!

Valley Water District is a municipal water utility, which operates principally as a purveyor of water in Pierce County, Washington. The District was created through a Certificate of Election issued by the Pierce County Election Canvassing Board dated March 19, 1993.

The District was created to acquire and operate certain water distribution systems that were theretofore owned and operated by Alderton-McMillin Water Supply, Inc. At that time the assets were comprised of five non-contiguous water supply systems, which the District purchased in April 1994.

The District does not provide sewer service.  With the exception of customers residing within a recently annexed section of City of Bonney Lake, all our  customers have their own septic tanks and drain fields.

The District is run by a Board of Commissioners comprised of three elected officials who serve six-year terms of office. The Board serves as the governing body of the District and has the responsibility to set and oversee District policies.

The Board appoints a general manager who is responsible for the administration of the District. The District currently operates its facilities with seven additional employees.

The District currently serves six non-contiguous service areas in unincorporated, rural, east Pierce County. The names of the six water systems, with their location and approximate customer count are as follows:

Alderwood South Hill 250
Buttes Orting 365
Chinook Orting 185
Country/Eldorado Graham 365
Valley Puyallup Valley 920
View Royal Bonney Lake/Buckley 575
Winchester North Lake Tapps 30

The District has exclusive rights to provide service to residents within the District's boundaries.

09/20/11
Fire Hydrant Tampering

Anyone other than a Fire or Water District employee who opens a fire hydrant is tampering with Valley Water District property.  They may be stealing water or tampering with a public water supply.

A call from you, reporting the description of the individuals and vehicle, such as: name on the vehicle, and/or the license plate number, etc. will help us to fine the responsible party and investigate a potential health and safety hazard. Call the District Office at 253-841-9698, day or night.

09/20/11
How to Read Your Water Meter

By learning to read your water meter, you can verify the accuracy of the reading on your bill, determine if you have a leak, and monitor the amount of water your household uses.

Water meters are installed in the ground, surrounded by a meter box. They are normally located at the roadside or near your property line. If you are not sure where your meter is located, call the office for help.

District water meters measure in cubic foot units. The District bills for water usage in 100 cubic foot units, therefore meter readings do not include numeric place values after the decimal point. To track 100-cubic foot readings on your water meter, when reading your meter you will need to exclude the digits to the farthest right (or the darkened dials, which are the ones and tens units for cubic feet).  On our new digital read meter registers, there are four place values to the right of the decimal to drop.  Your water meter has a low flow indicator on it. It may look like a black triangle, a thin needle, or a small gear. If any amount of water is passing through the meter, the indicator will move to detect the flow.

Use your water meter to check for leaks in your home. Leaks can waste more than 10% of your total usage. To save costs to you and the environment, check for leaks regularly and repair them promptly.

See the Adjustment Policy at the bottom of the General Meter Info page or call the office to discuss a billing adjustment for repaired water leaks.

09/20/11
Is Your House Number Visible?

There are times when a service technician needs to find you or your property. Making sure your house numbers are large and visible will help us to serve you better and faster.

09/20/11
Right-of-Ways & Utility Easements

Valley Water District water meters, fire hydrants, and valve control boxes are located on Pierce County right-of-ways or public utility easements.

The District has the legal right and sole responsibility for the operation and maintenance of all water system devices in these areas.

Homeowners should call the office before erecting a fence or shed, or starting a landscape project that is planned in any area that comes near an easement or right-of-way.

The District will always work with the customer during planning to prevent any discrepancy.

If accessibility to district property has been hindered, the homeowner will be required to move the obstruction or the District will bill the property owner for the costs to remedy the situation.

Please call the District Office if you have any question about the location of water system infrastructure on or near your property.

09/20/11
Water Meter & Water Leak Information

GENERAL METER INFORMATION

Meters used by Valley Water District measure water in cubic feet.  The District bills for water usage in 100 cubic foot units, therefore meter readings do not include numeric place values after the decimal point.  To track 100 cf readings on your water meter, when reading your meter you will need to exclude the digits to the farthest right (or the darkened dials, which are the ones and tens units for cubic feet).  On our new digital read meter registers, there are four place values to the right of the decimal to drop.  

 Meters are located in a meter box in the ground, usually fronting your property. If you are not sure which meter serves your residence, turn on a tap at your residence and see which meter has dials turning.

The usage on each bill is for the two preceding months. Because of the two-month cycle, charges for higher summer usage may appear on billings sent after the rainy fall weather has begun. Most accounts have higher usage for the summer months, even with little or no outside watering. We can compare current usage to what is typical water use for your household for that time of year.

 

POSSIBLE CAUSES FOR HIGH BILLING

High water usage can have a variety of causes: outdoor watering, additional household members, a misread number, a tap left running, or a leak. Malfunctioning meters do happen but are extremely rare.

MISREAD: If you suspect your meter has been misread, it can be easily checked. Compare the present reading on your bill to the reading on your meter. If the number on your meter is smaller than the reading on your statement, the meter has been misread. Call us and we will send the crew out to correct our records, and the office will make an adjustment. If the reading on your meter is larger than the present reading on the statement, the reading is accurate. Call us if you have questions regarding this procedure.

LEAK: To verify the presence of a leak, note the reading on your meter. Use no water for 30 to 45 minutes and take another reading. If you have used no water, the numbers should not change. If they have changed, water is going through the meter indicating a leak in your service line. (Leak usage caused by an occasional leak, say a toilet running intermittently, may require a reading where there will be no usage for a longer period of time, perhaps overnight or when no one would be at the residence for a number of hours. It is not unusual for a meter dial to bounce slightly, indicating small fluctuations of pressure in the water main.

Once you determine a leak is present, the next step is to locate the leak so it can be repaired. This can be as simple as finding a leak in a fixture or a wet spot on the ground that is soft or stays wet even in dry weather.

If there is no visible evidence of a leak, you need to determine whether the leak is under the house or in the line between the house and the meter. First, locate the shut off valve where the water supply enters the building. If there is no valve, you may be able to pinch off the line or install a valve.

Once the flow to the house has been stopped, continued usage means the leak is between the meter and the house. If usage stops registering, the leak is under the house, then you should check for leaking fixtures and/or wet spots under the building.

Leaks can also occur in the plumbing in the walls. If the dials continue to turn when the water is turned off at the house, the leak is somewhere between the meter and the house. Here it will help if you know the route of your service line. You can dig midway in the line and shut off or pinch off the line. If the meter continues to run, the leak is between that mid point and the house. By this process, you can narrow down the location of the leak without digging the entire length of the line.

Leaks often develop where two pieces of pipe are joined together because of a possible weakness at a clamp. Leaks in lines running under paving, structures, or landscaping often do not appear at the surface. It can sometimes be more cost effective to install a new line than to locate or dig under the pavement.

NOTE: The water service line was installed by a private party. We have no records showing the location of your line and cannot repair lines on private property. We do not have equipment that locates underground water leaks. The private line is not regulated or inspected by Valley Water District.

REPAIR OF A SERVICE LINE LEAK

Once the leak is located, leaks can be repaired by the customer or their plumber. No matter what material water service lines are made of, after they have been in the ground a number of years they can become brittle and more easily damaged by tree roots, rocks, or driving over the line. Generally speaking, leaks are an indication a pipe has deteriorated to the point where you can expect continued problems.

• BEFORE YOU DIG: Call the Utilities Underground Location Service at 1-800-424-5555. There is no charge to you. All public utility lines in the excavation area will be located. If you hit a line and have not called for a locate, the cost of repair will be your responsibility. When installing a new service line, we suggest the following guidelines:

  1. Bury the line at least two feet below the ground surface to avoid the possibility of freezing.
  2. Place the line in a conduit in areas where future excavation for repair would be a problem.
  3. Use 200 psi poly pipe equivalent or better.
  4. Make a map of the line location and/or place a line of metal wire in the ditch with the new line to assist in future locating.
  5. Place a shut off valve both where the plumbing enters the building and near the meter for access to shut off in case of future problems.

For low income property owners, assistance may be available through the Pierce County Community Action Minor Home Repair Program, telephone number 253-591-7038.

• ADJUSTMENT POLICY: Water leakage in a private plumbing system from and beyond the meter is the responsibility of the property owner.  The District may grant a partial credit for water consumed in the billing period during which a leak occurred.  Upon proof of promt repair, the District may grant a credit for the volume of water billed, computed as follows; usage as billed, minus average usage of the past 12-months, divided by 2 (except for the Puyallup Highlands, computed as follows: usage as billed, minus average usage of past 12-months, divide by 2, times $0.70 per CCF).  Such a credit may be granted no more than once every 24-months.

Please contact the District office if you have questions or require additional information. Office hours are 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

10/07/11
We Need Access to Your Water Meter

WATER METER ACCESSIBILITY

District water meters are located within utility right-of-ways or on easements and must be accessible to District employees at all times.

During meter reading rounds, District technicians commonly find that landscaping, plants, trees or natural vegetation obstruct the water meter if not planned considerately or maintained regularly.

In addition to keeping plants trimmed back, items such as vehicles, boats, garbage cans, recycle bins, firewood, brush, gravel, or landscaping bark should never be placed over the water meter.

District Resolution 2010-02, section 7.11 states states that if a property owner does not address a request to clear the meter area the District will assess a charge for the cost of the labor incurred to resolve the situation.

It is appreciated when you, the property owner, take the necessary steps to keep the area surrounding your water meter free and clear.  Please remember to consider this necessary access in your landscaping plans and contact the District office ahead of time with any questions you may have.

Your help with Meter Area Maintenance is most appreciated.

09/20/11
You Are Our Eyes

WATER SYSTEM SECURITY

The integrity and protection of your water system is a constant priority at Valley Water District.

Water systems are ranked among the top public infrastructures vulnerable to terrorism. For this reason, the District receives regular updates from the Department of Homeland Security and follows the tight guidelines and security measures recommended by these authorities.

Even more valuable are the watchful eyes of local residents to promptly report any suspicious activity. It is of utmost importance that any unusual activity at your neighborhood pump stations or other water system equipment be reported to the District immediately. Your help is essential and appreciated.

Together we can maintain our mission to ensure safe and reliable sources of water.

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