Powering the community through clean water

Greg Thomas is the general manager of Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Greg Thomas

Special to Valley News

Crushing drought and high temperatures have weighed on Californians this summer, and we’ve asked a lot from our customers. You’ve stepped up to the plate and conserved water like never before. At Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, we are proud of your efforts and being your water provider.

As the drought marches on, we are highly focused not only on what we need you to do, but what we can do for our customers.

We provide water and sewer services to 159,000 customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We employ 170 people, who have the technical and operational expertise to ensure that clean water comes out of your faucet whenever you need it. They test and treat water supplies for thousands of compounds and chemicals. Our team designs and operates water systems that bring in water from across the state and from beneath our feet. And, our employees can often be found out in the field, day and night, ensuring that our pipes, pumps and storage facilities are running as they should.

The work we do is sophisticated, but it’s critical that the services we provide remain affordable. The district’s rate assistance programs are available to reduce our customers’ monthly water and sewer expenses. Customers who meet income criteria are eligible for low-income rate assistance on their water bill at their primary residence through our Rate Assistance for Residents of Elsinore Valley program. EVMWD also partners with Riverside County’s Community Action Partnership to host Utility Assistance Clinics regularly at our headquarters and invite customers to contact us at 951-674-3146 for an appointment.

We also want to make it easy for all our customers to save money and reduce their water use. Through EVMWD’s advanced meter technology, customers have the capability to monitor their water usage online. It’s easy and free. With AquaHawk, customers receive timely leak alerts and they can set alerts to ensure their bills don’t go above a certain amount. You can also get an estimate of your bill at any time during the billing cycle. A recent success story, the AquaHawk alert system notified a customer immediately of a significant leak while he was away from home and he resolved it quickly. The timely notification saved the customer from thousands of gallons in water lost and costs.

While saving money is essential for our customers, as a district we are making smart investments in the future of our community. And we know that conservation alone is not a solution for drought-prone California. Our district is investing in water recycling, groundwater cleanup and water storage on the local level, and we are advocating in Sacramento and Washington for the state and federal governments to do their part as well. We have secured grant funding and are continuing to pursue grants that will offset the cost impact of infrastructure investments for our customers. We are looking at all options, at every level to ensure that no matter what, our customers will have access to clean, affordable water on-demand.

Our community – our homes, schools and businesses – cannot function without water. As a district we are providing total water service to power the health and vibrancy of Elsinore Valley, so that life can flourish.

Greg Thomas is the general manager of Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District.