February 16th Board Meeting was Canceled Due to Power and Weather Issues

We know most of you were there. We wanted to post something, though, in case anyone was wondering and to make it official.

Due to the power outage the day prior, the shear amount of snow everywhere and the treacherous travel, we did cancel the meeting.

Our next meeting is Saturday, March 16th. Members are welcome!

If you’d like to attend, ust shoot us an RSVP email at markleevillewatercompany@gmail.com.

Chalet Schwartz’s Icicle Garden on Hot Springs Road

We hope you all got through that crazy weekend safely and wish you ongoing success in your snow removal efforts!

Markleeville Water Company’s Rising Cost of Repairs

As you know, our water rates have risen substantially over the last two years.  We wanted to take a moment and explain why. There are numerous reasons for these rate increases including the necessity to adhere to state treatment, testing, and water quality standards; legal fees, survey fees, supply costs, and more costly pipe line repairs. The Directors expect some of these costs to remain fairly stable (e.g. supplies and labor for daily operations), and while legal fees may increase modestly, survey fees should decrease. The most significant increase is expected in pipe line repair costs. The increase in this unavoidable expense is largely for two reasons: 

  1. The increasing need to hire outside contractors for repairs
  2. The increased frequency of main line leaks.

Historically, the labor for MWC’s pipeline and system repairs has been accomplished using volunteers, usually company directors, in combination with a minimal amount of paid labor. Fritz Thornburg has provided excavation work and provides his expertise, backhoe and operator time at a much-reduced rate. We’re certainly lucky to have him.

This arrangement is gradually changing, however. As directors and community volunteers age, repairs will increasingly need to be made by outside contractors. With this change, members will at some point in the near future no longer benefit from the savings that this mostly FREE labor has provided. The increased repair costs may be substantial and will add to water rates. 

An illustrative example of the affect of increased repair costs would be the repair made recently to the mainline on Pleasant Valley Road. In order to access the damaged pipe, an excavation 14′ deep 12′ long and 8′ wide was required in addition to side bank shoring and the continual pumping of 14,600 gallons of water from the hole per day. Volunteers provided 100+ labor-hours and Fritz provided 70 hours of backhoe time. 

How does it breakdown?

This comparison illustrates an expected repair cost increase of 300%!  We all need to keep in mind too that this was only one leak and although it was a major repair, we typically have multiple leaks annually. 

Another thing we ask you to consider is that the volunteers, directors and officers of MWC are also members and subject to these same rate increases in addition to the cost of lost income from their regular work schedules.

By giving us almost 40 hours of his time/labor at no charge Fritz voluntarily gave up $3336.25 while saving each residential user approximately $1.48/mo or $17.75/yr. Likewise, other volunteers provided 100 hours of free labor, foregoing $3000 in addition to lost wages ($ they could have made on their regular jobs), and saving each residential user $1.32/mo or $15.96/yr; a total savings to members of $2.81/mo or $33.71/yr .

What’s all of this mean? 

Well, first and foremost, it means we have some awesome members who have done, and continue to do, so much for us all. We owe them all a debt of gratitude, especially Fritz Thornburg. THANK YOU!

Second, the MWC will continue to operate and maintain your water system so that sweet, quality water keeps on coming through all of our taps. 

The time is fast approaching, however when the membership will likely need to pay the non-volunteer (i.e contractor or market) rates for repairs.

Why won’t the grant(s) take care of this?

While things have been moving much slower than we anticipated, we are still on track to get our planning grant, which is a pre-requisite to our construction grant. With these grants we will be able to replace our aging water infrastructure and our hope is to do so within the same time frame that the work on Hot Springs Road is done. That is several years away, though, and so we’ll need to keep things running until then. Once our new pipes are in, we should see substantial savings in terms of repair costs BUT whatever repair costs we do incur will be at the standard, market rate.

We hope this explains the how’s, what’s and why’s and we encourage your feedback! 

You can reply to this blog post, email us at markleevillewatercompany@gmail.com or attend one of our Board meetings, which are the 3rdSaturdays of the month.

Note: If you’d like to attend a board meeting, please RSVP via email.

Thank you in advance for your input, understanding and support. We look forward to hearing from you!

Steve Martin
President, MWC

Update on the Status of our Planning Grant

The planning grant agreement for the Markleeville Water Company has been drafted by the State and is currently under review.  Due to some internal changes with the state’s accounting system, however, the issuance of the agreement has been delayed.  The new timeline for the issuance of the agreement is mid-to-late January.

The planning grant will be used to pay for the design and permitting of new water pipelines and system improvements. The planning grant will also be used to prepare all the documents required to obtain a construction grant from the State.

While there have been some delays we remain optimistic and we’ll continue to provide updates as things move along.


Markleeville Water Company’s December 15th Board Meeting has been Canceled

We’re canceling this Saturday’s board meeting so some of us can spend time with our families, travel, etc.

Happy holidays from the MWC Board! Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Progress Being Made on Pleasant Valley Road Leak! Almost Done!

We’re pleased to be able to report that we have removed and replaced the damaged section of mainline on Pleasant Valley Rd.!

Here are some details of what occurred over the last several days as well as some guidance moving forward:

Fritz Thornburg and Steve Martin began the project Tuesday 10-23-18. The mainline was approximately 13′ deep in saturated ground and difficult to locate.

During the repair, a section of Pleasant Valley Rd. between Pinion St. and Timber Lane, as well as Ox Bow, were without water for several hours over a two-day period.

Please note that work will continue as pipe restraints, tracer wire and backfilling are completed. Please drive with caution near the work site. We do not, however, anticipate any further interruption in service and again, we’d like to apologize for any inconvenience and thank all of you who were affected for your patience.


If you live in the Markleevillage subdivision, you may experience air surges through your faucets over the next couple of days as air is purged from the water system piping. This is normal but can be a bit startling. In addition, some users may have minor to excessive silt in their water. This occurs due to changing flow patterns within the piping system and will subside quickly. If you experience silty water it is recommended that you first turn on exterior faucets until clear water is noted and then turn on interior faucets to help flush and remove sediment from your piping. We have had one report of silty water near the repair site but don’t expect to have system-wide occurrences.

Although we don’t expect any contamination, we have tested, and will continue to test the water through the middle of next week. This testing is in addition to our regular monthly testing. Check back here next week for updated information on those test results. Rest assured, we will notify members should there actually be a health concern.

Finally, we wish to give a couple shout outs — to Fritz Thornburg and Kris Hartnett! Fritz provided his excavating equipment and years of water system expertise to aid with this repair. Kris coordinated supply deliveries and onsite assistance in addition to his other duties. Thank you gentlemen. You guys are awesome!

If you have questions, comments or concerns, please do email us.

For urgent concerns, please call Steve Martin at 530-694-2360 or Kris Harnett at 530-694-1879.

Update on the Water Leak on Pleasant Valley Road

Good morning members! We’re pleased to inform you that the leak has been temporarily repaired. Kris Hartnett and team checked in last night just after 6 p.m. to say that temporary repairs were made.

However…Yes, there is a however — We will be back at it next week.

Monday, October 29th through Wednesday, October 31st, the crew will be back on site in order to make permanent repairs. Please expect interruptions in service as we make those repairs.

If you happen to see water leaking in the area of the repair in the meantime, there is no need to report it as we are aware and monitoring the situation.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience and we thank you for your patience.

Serious Leak in our Water Main on Pleasant Valley Road!

Unfortunately we have a big ol’ leak and Kris Hartnett and team are working on repairs now.

We have closed the main at the intersection of Timber Lane & Pleasant Valley Road, as well as the main at the intersection of Pinion Rd & Pleasant Valley Rd., until the repairs are complete.

The properties affected are:

  • Pleasant Valley Rd. from the Timber Lane intersection of Pleasant Valley Rd. to Pinion Rd.
  • Pleasant Valley Rd. intersection of Pinion Rd & Pleasant Valley Rd.

This will also affect those property owners in this same vicinity on the side streets of Pinion Rd & Ox Bow. 

We are doing our best to have repairs done today but cannot guarantee it.

Please contact Kris Hartnett at 530-694-1879 if you have any urgent questions or concerns.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Markleeville Water Company’s September 15th Board Meeting has been Canceled

Due to some board members being unavailable, we’ve canceled our September meeting.

no meeting sign

Our next meeting is October 20th. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at markleevillewatercompany@gmail.com.

Calling All Members! Annual Meeting — Saturday, 8-4!

Meeting location, date and time:

Alpine County Administration Building, Board Room

99 Water Street

Markleeville, CA. 96120

August 4th, 2018

10:00 a.m.


We’d appreciate it if you’d attend and pass the word to other members to do the same.

Some of the things we’ll cover include:

  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES (Quorum required)
  1. APPROVAL OF BALANCE SHEETS (Quorum required)
  1. ELECTION OF ONE (1) DIRECTORS (Quorum required)

A quorum of 40 members is essential in some instances.

See the complete agenda, as well as other important documents, by going to our Important Documents page.


–Your Markleeville Water Company Board of Directors

Proposition 68 – A Yes Vote Helps the Markleeville Water Company

While it’s not in our nature to jump on a particular political bandwagon, and so we won’t, we do want all members to know that a yes vote on this proposition helps us all.

MWC Vice-President, Steve Hibbs, has this to say:

If Prop. 68 passes we have a chance of receiving planning grant funds this year for the infrastructure improvements and replacements we need. If it fails we will continue to wait for funding, the timing of which is unknown.

Some folks may raise the valid objection that Prop. 68 is a catchall that includes projects they don’t like or care about. While that may be true, the money Markleeville Water Company needs is in there too and if it fails MWC will be forced to continue to patch the aging and failing infrastructure we have at ever increasing cost to our members.

Our President, Steve Martin, adds this:

Funding for our hoped-for grant is possible only if funds are available, and availability of those funds is dependent upon the passage of Proposition 68.

All of us on the Board will be voting yes on Proposition 68 and we urge you to do the same on June 5th.

Thank you,

Your Markleeville Water Company Board of Directors