Water Division

The Water Division of the Public Works Department operates and maintains the City's water supply and distribution facilities, and provides potable water to the residents and businesses of Solvang.  The Water Division has a staff of 4 State-certified water operators.  These 4 operators are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the entire water system.

The water supply and distribution facilities operated and maintained by the Water Division include 3 water storage tanks/reservoirs, 5 production water wells, 2 pump stations, chlorination and ammonia facilities, a hydro-pneumatic tank, and over 20 miles of waterline throughout the City of Solvang.  The Water Division is also responsible for reading all of the water meters on a monthly basis.

Water Supply


At the present time the City of Solvang has four water supply sources.  These include State Water, Upland Wells, River Wells and the Santa Ynez Water District (ID #1).  The Department of Water Resources (DWR) operates the State Water Project.  The City holds entitlement to 1,500 acre-feet per year (AFY) of State Water.  However, based on the rainfall, Sierra snow-pack, and State reservoir levels each year the percentage allocation of State Water varies.  That's what percentage of the 1,500 AFY we actually get.  In recent years the allocation of State Water has varied from 5% (during drought) to as much as 85%.

Water Quality


The Water Division's State-certified water operators perform daily, monthly and annual testing of Solvang's drinking water to verify we are providing a safe supply of municipal water.

Click below to view Solvang's most recent annual water quality report known as our Consumer Confidence Report:  Consumer Confidence Report (PDF).

Distribution System Operations


Some of the duties of the Water Division include: well and pump station operations, water quality testing, water meter replacements, valve exercising, and fire hydrant maintenance.  The City is currently involved in a large scale water meter replacement program.  Over the next few years all older meters will be replaced with modern radio-read meters.  This will improve meter accuracy, allow the meters to be read more quickly using a radio receiver, and provide our staff with enhanced leak detection capabilities.

Problems and Questions


See below for guidance on common questions or problems.

Water Leak


The water facilities the City is responsible for include the waterlines in the street, and the water service from the waterline to the water meter.  The water meter itself belongs to the City.  The piping and facilities located after the water meter belong to the private water customer.  The water meter is typically inside a meter box located in the parkway or sidewalk a few feet behind the curb.  If you have a leak on the customer side of the water meter, call a local plumber for help.  If a water leak is occurring at the water meter or on the street side of the meter, please call the Water Division immediately at (805) 688-5575 to report the leak.

Questions on Your Water Bill


For questions on your water bill please see the "Utilities" section of the City's web site.  If your questions are not answered there you may contact the City's Utility Billing Clerk at (805) 688-5575.

Low Water Pressure


If you are experiencing low water pressure there are several possible reasons.  In most instances the cause is related to the customers plumbing, not the City's water system.  However, feel free to contact the Water Division at (805) 688-5575 for advise, or call a local plumber.

Hard Water & Water Softeners


Throughout the United States (and the world for that matter) most groundwater is considered "hard" water.  Hard water is the term used to describe water that has higher levels of naturally occurring calcium and magnesium.  Although this does not typically pose a health risk, it often results in higher soap and detergent usage, and can produce noticeable scale buildup on plumbing fixtures.

The natural local groundwater in Southern California and the Santa Ynez Valley is generally considered hard water.  Therefore, the City's groundwater wells generally produce hard water.  The City's State Water supply is typically low in calcium and magnesium because it comes from surface water sources in northern California and therefore usually considered "soft."  From year to year, and throughout the year, various operational constraints occur requiring the City to blend these water supply sources to provide reliable water supply.  The ratio of State Water to local water varies regularly based on these operational constraints.

In the City of Solvang, commercial properties are prohibited from using salt based self regenerating water softeners (sometimes referred to as "automatic" water softeners).  Commercial properties that desire water softening must use salt-free portable exchange tank type water softeners.  Residents that desire water softening are encouraged to use salt-free portable exchange tank water softeners that don't discharge harmful brine waste into the sewer system.


Backflow Prevention


State law requires that a backflow prevention device be installed on the customers side of the water meter for certain situations that pose a potential health risk.  A health risk could occur if pressure within the City's water system were to drop (such as with a waterline break) and water from the customers side could flow backwards into the public water system.  In Solvang all irrigation, commercial and industrial water services are required to have an approved backflow prevention device.  Operation, maintenance and annual testing of the backflow prevention device is the responsibility of the water customer.  If you have questions contact the Water Division at (805) 688-5575.

Construction/Hydrant Meter


Do you need a temporary hydrant water meter for grading or construction purposes?  If so, contact the City's Utility Billing Clerk at (805) 688-5575 for an application, fee information, and scheduling.

Lake
Water Operator at Work
Flow Meter Register
Staff Conducting Water Quality Testing
Fire Hydrant Flow Testing