Hazard Trees to Be Removed From Around the Pleasant Valley Tank

At Markleeville Water Company’s request the Forest Service is removing eight (8) burned trees from around the Pleasant Valley water tank.  If these trees were allowed to remain there is a danger of the trees falling on the tank.  This would put the tank out of service and we estimate it would be well over a year before it could be placed back in service. 

This water tank provides all of Marklee Village and Thornburg subdivisions with drinking water and fire protection. Living without this tank is not an option for us.  These trees truly are a hazard to our water supply and without a water supply we cannot inhabit our homes.

Please do not complain to, or harass the crews doing the tree removal. They are protecting your water supply.

For more information, please email us at markleevillewatercompany@gmail.com.

Automatic Sprinkler System at Your Home or Business? – Please Turn it Off

Hello members!

If you have an automatic sprinkler system we ask that when you have access to your property you turn it off.

This includes battery or generator powered systems.

No outside water use is allowed as we need to replenish our storage tanks.

This is a health and safety issue.

So whether you have a battery operated valve at your hose bibb that turns on your hose or sprinklers, or a generator that is operating while you are evacuated AND that generator is powering your automatic sprinkler system, please call Mary Young at 530-400-1849 and we will get someone to turn either, or both, off.

Thank you and stay safe!

Our Generator is Operational!

We’re very pleased to announce that the generator that we acquired several years ago is now ready to roll!

It’s yet another step in our modernization process and will allow us to continue to provide water in the event of a power outage.

It’s been a long-term effort and we’d like give a shout out to Kris Hartnett, one of our directors, for his hard work and dedication in not only getting us the generator but in making it operational. Thank you Kris!

Please note: While you may want to take a look for yourself we ask you not to do so. There are potential safety hazards on site and therefore only authorized individuals are allowed on the plant grounds.

Recent Goings-on at the Markleeville Water Company

Since it’s been awhile since our last post, we thought we’d provide an update in several areas. Here you go!

Operational Meetings & Board Meetings

We held several weekly meetings (the first one was April 1), as we mentioned in this post, and thankfully we didn’t have any emergencies to address. The extra communication that took place was necessary early on but now it isn’t. The systems put in place by our Operator, Buck McLelland, and Kris Hartnett, one of our directors, have paid, and continue to pay, dividends. Buck and Kris communicate daily and anything that needs to be handled is done so quickly and efficiently.  So, we have discontinued the weekly meetings BUT are still holding our monthly meetings (virtually still at this point, thanks to Zoom). Remember, members are welcome to attend. Just email us at markleevillewatercompany@gmail.com for the meeting details. We meet on the 3rd Saturday of the month starting at 8:30 a.m.

Grant Progress

Work is progressing on the planning grant funded by the State of California Division of Financial Assistance (DFA) program; part of the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program. Our consultant, West Yost Associates, submitted a draft of the Preliminary Engineering Report on May 15th. Once finalized, this report with be submitted to the State for approval of the recommended project. Once approved, environmental review and engineering design will begin. The primary objectives of the undertaking are to replace aging, failure-prone distribution piping and to implement distribution system changes intended to increase turnover of stored water as well as reductions in the incidence of disinfection byproduct exceedances. Operational changes over the past few years have already reduced these exceedances considerably, so the top priority of the project will be replacing those pipelines. This is a long-term effort, as you know, so continue to stay tuned for further updates.

Generator Progress

Unfortunately, we have not been able to finish the install of the generator due to other, more pressing priorities. We have poured the pad and secured the generator to it. We’ve also gotten the propane tank installed and the electrical is almost completed. Finishing this project remains high on our list, especially in light of fire season, and we hope to have it operational soon.

Water Usage

Unfortunately, due to the dry winter, and per the California Drought Early Warning System, Alpine Co. is in the midst of a moderate drought. Because of this, we ask that you continue conserving water where you can. We also want to remind you that our Water Use Rules & Guidelines (snippet below) remain in effect and can be viewed in their entirety by clicking here.

  • Landscape watering is allowed at even-numbered physical addresses only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, any time between 6 and 10 AM and between 6 and 10 PM.
  • Landscape watering is allowed at odd-numbered physical addresses only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, any time between 6 and 10 AM and between 6 and 10 PM.
  • Landscape watering is NOT allowed on Sundays in order to give our finished water tanks time to refill/replenish.
  • Total landscape watering time is allowed up to two hours per day.

The Truckee Meadows Water Authority has a detailed “Assigned-Day Watering” page which we used as a guide for developing our Rules & Guidelines. Click here to check it out as it has some water saving tips and other relevant articles.

Oh, and by the way, if you are planning on doing any pressure washing at your home, which is allowed per our Water Use Rules & Guidelines, please give us a heads up and keep in mind that your pressure washing unit should be turned off when it’s not in use.

Thank you for being a member! We appreciate you continuing to be a good water steward and wish you, and your families and friends, good health. Continue to stay safe!

Are You Water Ready if Power is Turned Off?

MWC recently received a message from the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board comments are in italics below). We’ve published portions of it here and a copy is being mailed to all members as well because it has some good advice; not just for us, but for you, too. Our responses to their message are noted in bold.

Due to the upcoming extreme heat and fire hazard, the power utilities are implementing Public Safety Power Shutoff warnings across California.  If adverse conditions develop in your area, the power serving your water system may be shut off, which may affect the ability of your water system to provide water to customers.  There are several steps we recommend you take now to prepare for any potential power outage:

Ensure that your tanks are full prior to the planned power outage. 
MWC will monitor our tanks and will ensure they are at full capacity prior to any outage. Keep in mind, however, that there is only enough water to supply our customers for 4 days (depending on demand). We will post a notice on the MWC website (https://markleevillewatercompany.com/) in the event of an outage, but since some members will not be able to check our website due to lack of power, we also will post notices in town if an outage occurs. Note that we only supply water for domestic use (i.e. drinking water) and for the fire dept. to fight structure fires. Members should also be aware that there may be NO WATER coming through our system during a wildland fire event.

Acquire or position emergency generators where needed to maintain water supply and pressure.  Ensure you have adequate fuel for power generators to last at least 4 to 6 days.
MWC has been making good progress on the installation of our generator. It is not yet operational and isn’t expected to be fully operational until January 1, 2020. We will notify our members when it is operational.

Issue notices to customers to conserve water to reduce unnecessary demand and maintain storage supply.
MWC has kept our water restrictions in place, and you’ve been great stewards. Now it’s up to all of us, as members, to keep it up, while at the same time making sure that we each have our own supplies. Again, in the event of a wildland fire event, or a public service power outage, we remind you that available water is only for domestic use INSIDE YOUR HOME. MWC water is available for structure firefighting purposes.

If the power outage occurs and the water system loses water pressure, your water system should take the following actions:

  • Activate your Water Quality Emergency Notification Plan
    The MWC Board will activate the MWC Emergency Disaster Response Plan when it’s necessary.
  • Notify your DDW District Office or County Local Primacy Agency for instructions on issuance of a precautionary Boil Water Notice
    This action is on MWC’s Emergency Disaster Response Plan checklist.
  • Have a Boil Water Notice ready for distribution. 
    Go to the “Important Documents” page of our website to download a sample copy of our notice.
  • Make sufficient copies of the Boil Water Notice now, so that they may be delivered immediately if water pressure is lost.
    If we need to issue a boil water notice MWC will have paper copies ready to post at several locations in our service area. We will also have additional copies of the notice at the library, but we suggest you print a copy of our sample boil water notice now and keep it handy just in case. It may not be possible for the website to be updated in case of a boil water emergency.

Publicly available PSPS (Public Safety Power Shutdown) proposed outage maps can be found at the following links:

Liberty Utilities: https://california.libertyutilities.com/markleeville/residential/emergencies/electrical/outages-map.html

Pacific Gas & Electric:    https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/psps-service-impact-map.page  

Southern California Edison: https://www.sce.com/safety/wildfire/psps

San Diego General Electric: https://www.sdge.com/wildfire-safety/public-safety-power-shutoffs

DDW District Office contact information can be found at: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/programs/documents/ddwem/DDWdistrictofficesmap.pdf.

A Generator for the Markleeville Water Company!

Thanks primarily to the efforts of Kris Hartnett, the Markleeville Water Company will soon have a generator! It’s a 75 Kilowatt Onan Generator and while it’s not new, it has never been used. The County has had it sitting on its lot for quite some time and worked with us to negotiate a deal to take it off their hands. New, it would sell for approximately $25000.00 but we’ll be paying $9000.00, over five (5) years. The Water Company Board suggested a “payment plan” that would allow us to pay the county by “crediting” the County’s quarterly water bill of $450.00 over that five (5) year period so we don’t have to take money out of our reserves, and the County graciously accepted!

Next steps:

  • Kris will work with the County to fire it up before we move it to MWC property.
  • The County will deliver it to a place of our choosing.
  • We’ll need to pour a pad on which to place it, and
  • We’ll need to purchase and install a transfer switch in order to hook it up to our system.

Once we’ve accomplished all of this, MWC will be able to provide a continuous source of electricity to generate (couldn’t resist the pun) water in the event of a long-term power outage. Do keep in mind though, that other issues may prevent us from producing water, even if there is electricity. Nonetheless, this is a huge step forward for the Markleeville community and we’re very appreciative of the County’s gracious offer.