With state and county public health orders requiring us to “shelter in place” in response to the COVID-19 crisis, it is understandable to see a high level of anxiety and uncertainty. These are uncharted waters, and we don’t know what lies ahead.
But what we do know is this respiratory virus does not affect your drinking water—your water remains safe and reliable.
Both the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisories agree that this virus does not impact drinking water. In preparing for any emergency, it is good to follow disaster preparedness guidelines that call for having a supply of bottled water at home. But there is no need to rely on bottled drinking water during this public health crisis. In fact, your tap water goes through more rigorous health and safety standards than bottled water, and costs far less.
We are also fortunate here in Marin to have locally sourced water, with the majority of it coming from our protected Mount Tamalpais watershed, and our water supply is treated, routinely tested, and monitored to ensure the highest quality.
Water is essential—even more so during this pandemic when hand-washing is one of the best ways to control this virus. As an essential business, the district continues to perform the work needed to deliver your water, and we have plans and protocols in place to keep your water flowing under any scenario.
Field crews comprise nearly 70% of our workforce. They respond 24/7 during emergencies and continue the work of repairing and maintaining our critical infrastructure. Our water treatment and water quality teams are also on the job. Keeping our employees safe is critically important.
We’ve adopted strict safety protocols, including social distancing, additional safety equipment, disinfection of work areas, and revised work schedules. Our administrative and customer service offices in Corte Madera and our watershed office in Sky Oaks are closed to the public. But we continue to serve our customers. We have staff working remotely, answering customer phone calls and emails, keeping the public informed through our website and social media, as well as performing all of the work needed to see our customers through this difficult time.
Customers can still contact the district during business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. via phone, email, mail or online at MarinWater.org. For customer service and billing call 415-945-1400; and for 24/7 water emergencies, please contact our staff at 415-945-1500.
One of the benefits of our watershed, with its network of lakes and trails, is the respite it can provide during stressful times. Our watershed remains open to the public, but with some important public health and safety restrictions outlined in the county’s health order. There are no vehicles or parking allowed on the watershed. There is an exception for those with disabilities who have the required disability placards or license plates for their vehicles, who can park at the Sky Oaks lot.
For public safety and for the safety of our staff, please do not visit the watershed if you are sick, or if you have a cough or fever. All visitors must also practice social distancing, and remain at least 6 feet away from other visitors.
We are in this together, and we all need to do our part. For us, that means making sure that you have safe, high-quality drinking water every time you turn on your tap.
Marin Municipal Water District