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Emergency Preparedness

fire truck

Marin Water continually dedicates time and resources to preparing for emergencies that could impact our water sources and delivery systems. We conduct comprehensive vulnerability assessments to ensure we're prepared, no matter the situation.

Our Operations Center is staffed 24/7 year-round, so we are able to activate our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at any time to coordinate the actions of Marin Water first responders.

Disasters are rarely confined to a particular set of geographical boundaries. We may require the support of outside agencies to handle an emergency that exceeds our resource capabilities. Likewise, other federal, state, or local agencies may request our assistance. When this happens, Marin Water will partner with other agencies to share resources and information and to coordinate the response and recovery effort as a part of the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS).

With health officials urging closures and restrictions to public services due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to assure you that your water supply is safe, and reliable.

The district’s water supply is not affected by the virus, and it continues to be safe to drink. Your water is locally sourced, with the majority of it coming from our protected Mt. Tam watershed, and it is treated, routinely tested, and monitored to ensure there are no viruses or pathogens.

We are prepared, so that under any scenario, our customers will continue to be provided with safe, high-quality drinking water. Our Business Continuity Plan includes contingencies for things such as staffing shortages, or other strains on resources.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data and the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines, this virus does not impact drinking water and your tap water remains safe to drink.

Water is essential, and we are committed to ensuring your service is not interrupted during the COVID-19 health crisis. We understand that these are difficult and uncertain times. We are here, and our crews are working 24/7 so that you do not have to worry about your water supply during this health crisis. We are in this together.

We Can Help With Your Bill

We understand that these are difficult times, and we’re here to help. We know how important it is for you to have access to water during this health crisis. Rest assured that during the COVID-19 crisis, we will not shutoff your water due to non-payment. And there will be no late fees if you fall behind on your payments. We are here for you, and we offer options to help you lower your water bill payments, including income-based discounts and payment plans. We also offer discounts for those with medical needs. Visit our website to learn more about our discounted rate programs or contact Customer Service at 415.945.1400.

Reopening Your Business

Businesses, schools and commercial offices reopening after a lengthy period away should flush their water systems to eliminate any buildup sitting in pipes and plumbing that have not been used for a while. Stagnant water can affect your water quality and cause illness, so it is important to properly flush your water system before reopening to ensure you have high-quality, fresh water. Learn more here.

Watershed Recreation

While the district’s watershed office is closed to the public, the watershed remains open, with some restrictions to protect the public and our staff. While the watershed remains open, visitors must comply with social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet. Most of  the district’s volunteer programs that take place on the watershed have been canceled until further notice. These changes are designed to protect public health and safety during this crisis.

Community Resources

For latest updates from County of Marin Department of Health and Human Services, visit marinhhs.org. The County also launched a website to connect Marin County residents, business owners, community leaders, and public health professionals to collaborate on reopening the economy and community in a safe manner. For more recovery information, visit MarinRecovers.com.

Marin Water Offices

Due to public health officials’ concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus, Marin Municipal Water District offices, including its administrative and customer service offices in Corte Madera and its watershed office in Sky Oaks, will be closed to the public until further notice.

Essential services offered by the district will still be conducted during business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. via telephone, email, USPS mail, and online at www.marinwater.org. In-person water bill payments by cash or check may be placed in the drop box located outside district offices on the right side of the building.

The district’s Customer Service and Billing Department can be reached at 415.945.1400, and customers can contact the district’s Engineering Services Department at 415.945.1530. For 24/7 water emergencies, please call 415.945.1500.

Public Board Meetings

The district’s Board of Directors meetings will continue to be held, unless otherwise noticed. Until further notice, the public can participate in the board meeting via Zoom or watch the meetings live using the district’s livestream. You may also submit your comments in advance or during the meeting by emailing them to BoardComment@MarinWater.org. To protect public health, the district offices are closed, so no attendees will be allowed in the building.

Marin Water Team

Marin Municipal Water District employees are designated as essential workers, and often work 24/7 during emergencies. You may see our Marin Water work crews in the field, making necessary repairs to maintain the district’s critical infrastructure. To help contain the virus and to protect its employees with the safest work environment possible, the district has also adopted business practices that include responsible teleworking, and additional safety equipment and procedures.

Wipes Clog Pipes

Please do not flush disinfectant cleaning wipes, or "flushable" wipes. These wipes do not break down in water like toilet paper, and can damage the plumbing or cause backups. Throw wipes in the trash. Thank you!

Marin Water’s core mission is explicitly focused on natural resource management, sustainability, and water supply reliability. Implicit in this mission statement is a guiding principle that water reliability is a fundamental element of the community; supporting the economy, ecology, and landscapes that make Marin a unique and desirable place to live.

As the community we serve contends with potential natural disasters, the district recognizes we have a responsibility and role to play; we have a duty to protect the community we serve by preparing for and mitigating against wildfire. District staff developed this Wildfire Resilience Plan (WRP) to summarize existing district programs and operations related to wildfire preparedness, identify data gaps, and develop recommended actions that will lead to a more wildfire resilient and reliable water system that protects communities throughout the service area.

To learn more, click on Draft Wildfire Resilience Plan 2020. The final Plan will be a living document; updated periodically to address changing conditions and the evolution of wildfire resiliency best practices.

Beginning during the 2019 fire season, PG&E began proactively turning off power in designated areas when there is a high risk of a wildfire. PG&E will determine which areas and customers are affected based on several factors, including weather conditions such as Red Flag Warnings, high winds, and dry conditions.

While customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected, PG&E is asking all of its customers to be prepared, and to plan ahead and have supplies to last for several days, in the event of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).

If there is a PSPS event in Marin, Marin Water asks all customers to suspend irrigation and restrict water use to indoors only for the duration of the power shutoff. We rely on electric power to treat and distribute water. By curtailing water use during a shutoff, you can help ensure more water is available for essential uses such as firefighting.

To learn more about how your power supply may be affected by PG&E's power shutoffs, please visit PG&E's website at pge.com or call 1.800.743.5000.

To learn more about how Marin Water is preparing for PG&E's power shutoffs, and what you can do to prepare your home and family, click on the Fact Sheet below.
 
Download the PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Fact Sheet

Marin Water has invested heavily in facility upgrades and employee training to help ensure our water is there when needed most. There are also some simple steps you can take on your end to be ready in an emergency. (Download this information as a printable brochure in English or Spanish.)

Store an Emergency Supply

One of the easiest yet most essential steps you can take to prepare for an earthquake or other disaster is to set aside an emergency water supply.

  • Store at least a three day supply of water for each person in your household. Plan for one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation. Store extra water for pets and family members with special needs.
  • Tap water from Marin Water can be safely stored in well-sanitized, food-grade containers such as plastic soda bottles. Avoid used milk or juice jugs and containers that will decompose or break. Seal tightly, then label and store in an easily accessible, dark, cool, dry area away from solvents and chemicals. Replace every six months. You also can purchase commercially bottled or packaged water for long-term storage.
  • Don't forget your other emergency supplies and necessities. Get a complete list at ready.gov.

Know How to Turn Off Your Water

In the event of an earthquake or an unexpected winter freeze, you may need to turn off your water to prevent damage to your property from broken pipes.

  • Prepare in advance by locating the water main leading into your house and attach a label to it for quick identification (so that you can find it even in the dark). Turn clockwise to shut off.
  • If you can't turn the water off at the main leading into your house, shut off water at the main meter box (usually by the street), which controls the water flow to the entire property. To shut off, turn valve arrow toward the street.
  • If you can't turn off the water yourself, call Marin Water's emergency line at 415-945-1500 and we will send someone to turn it off for you.

Identify Other Sources of Water

If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water, you can use the water in your pipes, water heater, and ice cube trays. If you're not certain about the purity of the water, filter and disinfect as described below.

  • To use the water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your home at the highest level. A small amount of water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the home.
  • To use the water in your water heater, close the intake valve and cut off the heater's gas or electricity supply. Open the drain at the bottom of the tank and collect the water in a clean container. You may need to turn on a hot-water faucet in the house to allow air into the tank to start the flow of water. Be sure to refill the tank before turning the gas or electricity back on.
  • Consider using water from the toilet tank or perhaps a pool or other outdoor water source for washing and cleaning purposes.