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Every agency has different rates based on numerous factors such as water source, number of customers, treatment needs and capital improvement projects. Hi-Desert Water District imports supplemental water from the State Water Project, an additional cost included in our rates that will differ from an agency that relies entirely on local water pumped from the ground.
The revenue is used to pay for expenses directly related to providing water to your home or business. Costs include electricity for pumping, purchased water, meter reading, and administrative expenses, treatment, maintenance and replacement of pumps and pipes. As a government agency, the Hi-Desert Water District cannot earn a profit from the services it provides and must charge no more than the actual costs associated with providing services to its customers.
Employees in the field do not have computers to access customer information and do not carry money for such transactions. Payments may be made at the District office, where the Customer Service Department uses computers to post payments on customer accounts and generate receipts.
Monies collected from the Service Charge on your water bill cover the day-to-day expenses such as meter reading, water quality testing, emergency repair, and payment processing.
Every charge on your water bill remains the same each month except the water rate, which varies with the amount of water you use. The water you use is measured in 100 cubic feet or HCF (1 HCF equals 748 gallons). Customers are only charged for a full unit, so if you use an additional 99 cubic feet compared to the previous month, your water bill will remain the same.
Every residential customer pays the same rate for water; however, the Water Charge on a bill varies according to water usage. The District uses Conservation-Based Rates, which increase as more water is used. The customer who uses more pays more.
Yes. Customers with financial difficulties or who receive a large water bill resulting from a water leak may establish an interest-free payment plan with the District. Terms are on a case-by-case basis; all payment arrangements must be in writing and signed by the customer.
The date of the water bill is determined by the date the water meters are read. Meter readings are grouped together by the physical location of water meters and meter reading routes. When the water bills are grouped together, the District saves money in postage because of the bulk rate discount.
When the District receives a returned check, staff time is used in an attempt to collect those funds by making contact with the customer. The returned check charge of $25 is used to offset a portion of that expense. The bank also charges the District for all returned checks.
Yes, an automatic payment deduction can be set up for checking accounts or bank cards. If you are interested in setting up automatic payments, simply register your account, verify your email address and set up AutoPay.
Yes, the District accepts credit card payments in the lobby or online. An automated credit card payment option is also available by phone.
The District charges a late fee of 10% of the balance for the first 30 days (minimum $10). The fee covers the cost of labor for mailing reminder notices.
The best way to lower your water bill is to reduce your water usage. It is important to fix all leaks immediately. If you suspect you have a leak or your water bill is unusually high, contact the District for a free water audit. A field representative will visit your property and help check for leaks and provide other conservation tips. For more information call customer service at 760-365-8333.
Yes, an automatic payment deduction can be set up for checking accounts. If you are interested in setting up automatic payments simply complete the Auto-Pay application online. Learn more about your bill and payment options.
Yes, the District can take a credit card payment in the lobby or online. An automated credit card payment option is also available by phone.
The delinquency charge covers the cost of labor for mailing reminder notices and delivering door hangers to delinquent customers. The late charge encourages customers to pay their water bills on time.
The best way to lower your water bill is to reduce your water usage. The water rates are based on water usage. The more you use, the more you pay. It is very important to fix all leaks immediately. If you suspect you have a leak or you have an unusually high water bill, contact the District for a free water audit.
A field representative will visit your property and help check for leaks and provide other water-conserving tips. For more information call customer service at 760-365-8333.
The property owner is responsible for complying with the District's retrofit requirements. However, enforcement requires that the water service be shut off at the subject property if the low-flow fixtures have not been installed. If you installed these devices, you may want to contact the property owner about reimbursement.
If this was a particularly hot year, it is likely your water use increased for things like irrigation and filling and maintaining a swimming pool. As much as three-quarters of a home's water is used outside. For a free water audit and advice on reducing consumption, the District offers a Household Water Awareness Program. An appointment can be made by contacting Customer Service at 760-365-8333.
Most District water meters have a small red triangle known as a tattletale. This tattletale spins if the slightest amount of water flows through the meter. It is recommended that you shut off all the water inside and outside your home. When you are sure everything is off, check the tattletale. If it is spinning, you may have a leak.
You can research appropriate landscaping through the Alliance for Water Awareness and Conservation, of which Hi-Desert Water District is a member. The District also offers a reference book on desert-friendly plants that can be viewed at our office during business hours. The demonstration garden at District headquarters is also a good source of information and inspiration.
The Board meets the first and third Wednesday of each month beginning at 5:00 pm in the District’s Board room located at 55439 29 Palms Highway. Public input is welcomed and encouraged.
The District offers the following programs:
The District's lobby features free water conservation products for customers: water bottles, water-saving hose nozzles, and collapsible pet bowls. Supplies are restocked Monday mornings. Additionally, customers may request a free water efficient showerhead by emailing the Hi-Desert Water District or calling 760-365-8333.
All meters, even those on vacant land, are read on a monthly basis. The meter reading is recorded by Hi-Desert Water District staff using a computerized, handheld device.
Water meters are typically found at the edge of the street, in front of a home. However, there are exceptions where your water meter may be at a distance if a long service line was required from the District's mainline to your home. Please contact Customer Service if assistance is needed to locate the water meter.
Different types of work orders completed in the field are routed for efficiency according to location. It is difficult to predict the exact time a work order will be completed as each job requires a different amount of time.
The service line after the meter is considered private property. The District is only responsible for repairs and water loss up to and including the customer's shut-off valve located in the meter box, which belongs to the District. Beyond the shut-off valve, all repairs and water loss are the customer's responsibility.
If you believe your water pressure is too high or too low, there are three options for checking the pressure:
We need a wastewater collection and treatment system to protect groundwater quality and comply with a State mandate prohibiting discharge from septic tanks in our area. Septic system discharge has been slowly degrading local water quality for decades. Nitrates and other contaminants from septic system discharge are currently reaching groundwater.
In 2011, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board passed a resolution that will prohibit discharge from septic tanks in parts of Yucca Valley starting with Phase One on May 19, 2016, June 30, 2021, with Phases Two and Three to follow on May 19, 2019, and 2022 2025, respectively. If residents continue to discharge, they may be fined up to $5,000 daily by the State Board. This project is a comprehensive solution that will ensure compliance and protect groundwater quality at the lowest possible cost while giving Hi-Desert Water District customers access to a reliable and affordable sewer system.
Septic system discharge leaves behind nitrates and other contaminants that are absorbed into the soil and eventually reach the water that is stored naturally underground in our aquifer. These contaminants degrade the quality of our aquifer over time. Hi-Desert Water District relies on groundwater from the aquifer to deliver clean, safe drinking water to your home.
This project would replace septic systems and their negative environmental impacts on water quality with a sewer system that collects wastewater and delivers it to a treatment plant, where it will be processed and treated until it is clean enough to be recharged into the aquifer without compromising water quality.
According to its revised Basin Plan amendment, the Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board has extended the prohibition dates in the Town of Yucca Valley to June 30, 2021, for Phase 1, and for Phase 2 and 3 December 31, 2025. This means that, as of those dates, property owners within the corresponding phases will have to cease discharging from their septic systems.
The Regional Board's Enforcement Staff will implement prompt, consistent, fair, and progressive enforcement to bring anyone who fails to stop discharging into compliance. The following can be used against individual property owners:
implement prompt, consistent, fair, and progressive enforcement
The prohibitions will take effect whether or not the Wastewater Reclamation Project moves forward. If the project does not move ahead, property owners would be required to comply with the mandate individually or face enforcement actions. Hi-Desert Water District is attempting to create a community-wide solution.
The Regional Water Quality Control Board requires us to protect the groundwater supply, not just treat water before delivering it. Because treating the water at the wells would not address the potentially irreversible contamination of the groundwater supply, this method will not solve our problem, and the Regional Board will not allow it.
Construction will start approximately 14 months after the approval of the Assessment District.
Modern wastewater treatment facilities use a number of technologies that effectively minimize odors. Hi-Desert Water District’s new facility would utilize these advancements, resulting in very few odor problems.
It will be returned to our groundwater supply through on-site recharge ponds and will be extracted at a later date through a production well.
All roads with existing pavement in Phase 1 will be repaved after the sewer line has been installed.
Property owners will finance the cost to construct Phase 1 of the Sewer Project through a loan from the State Revolving Fund. Payments will be made over 30 years on the property taxes with a low-interest rate of 1%.
Property tax assessments for infrastructure costs to construct Phase 1 will appear on the December 2018 property tax installment. Property owners that have escrow accounts may want to start putting away their monthly estimated assessment charge in a separate account so when their December taxes are due, they will have enough to cover the new fees. It might be wise for property owners to consult with their escrow companies to find out how to add the additional monies to their accounts to cover the increase. If property owners choose to finance their private property connection costs through a separate optional assessment that will be offered, that cost will appear on property tax billing statements as soon as the property is connected and using the sewer system. The monthly maintenance fee will also be placed on the property taxes once the property is connected to the sewer system.
The assessment on an owner’s property taxes will be pro-rated and transferred to the new buyer after the property is sold. It rides with the land.
Once the assessment amount is approved, it can never be higher than what appears on the printed Assessment District ballot. However, the assessed amount may be lowered as the project continues to receive grants and other sources of funding.
Property owners in Phases 2 and 3 currently will pay only for those portions of Phase 1 from which they will derive benefit. They will be assessed at a later date any remaining amount, once their Phases are designed. Property owners in Phase 1 will only be assessed once for infrastructure costs. In 2017, the Board of Directors unanimously approved merging Phases 2 and 3 to make one additional assessment vote for these phases. This move will help control costs.
Commercial property owners can call 1-844- 987-3937 or email Hi-Desert Water District to obtain individual assessment costs.
On May 13, 2015, property owners approved forming Assessment District 2014-1 by mail-in ballot to finance the cost to construct Phase 1 of the Sewer Project. There will be subsequent assessment district formations by vote at a later date to secure funding to construct Phases 2 and 3.
Hi-Desert Water District (HDWD) has explored multiple funding options to provide the best possible project at the lowest possible cost for our customers. HDWD has secured millions of dollars in federal, state and local grants in addition to debt forgiveness and low interest loans to help finance the project as cost-effectively as possible.
Funding sources include:
Property owners will be responsible to install the private property connection (the connection from the home to the main sewer pipes). A notification to begin the connection process will be sent to property owners six months prior to having to connect their properties.
All customers within the phase boundaries will be required to connect to the sewer system when it becomes available. Property owners will have a choice for hiring a contractor and connecting their properties to the sewer mains that are installed within the streets. Each owner will also have a choice of financing these costs.
Connections to the sewer system will begin once the construction of the Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation Facility is completed. It is scheduled to be completed sometime after May 2019.
In most cases, your current septic system would be left in service until the new connection is ready. It often takes only a single day to install a collection line that runs from a home or business to the property line and to abandon the septic system on site.
The efficiency of the process means that a typical home or business would only be out of service for 15 to 30 minutes.
The Town of Yucca Valley’s Building Department is currently working on developing the permit and inspection requirements.
If applying for the State’s Expanded Use Loan to finance costs for the private property connection, property owners may not be eligible if unlicensed contractors complete the work. Property owners must also check with the Town of Yucca Valley for its requirements.
The cost of hooking up to the sewer is separate from the assessment cost. This cost may be financed. Property owners will be able to finance their private sewer connection and have it reflected on their property taxes over 30 years.
Hi-Desert Water District will notify property owners six months prior to installing their private property connection to apply for a low interest Expanded Use Loan and provide further details about the process.
You will be receiving a second notification two months after receiving your first notice with more details about how to apply for a grant or a loan.
Connecting to the sewer in a timely manner is essential to meeting the Regional Water Quality Control Board's discharge prohibition requirements for your property, as well as to start the new sewer system. An extension can be requested by filling out a form and submitting it to the District. If an extension is not granted, then the Regional Water Quality Control Board will be in contact with the property owner.
All Phase 1 property owners will have the opportunity to finance their private property connection cost through an Expanded Use Loan agreement with the District. Similar to the Assessment District loan, the Expanded Use Loan would be placed as a levy on your property, which allows you to make payments towards your costs for over 30 years at a 1.8% interest rate. (The cost of hooking up to the sewer is an additional cost and not included in your sewer assessment, but this cost may be financed along with any other required administration fees.)
If you are 62 years of age or older, occupy your single-family residence and meet eligibility requirements you may be eligible to receive a 504 grant through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for up to $7,500. Contact your local USDA office in Indio, CA for more information.
All of the forms and information related to connecting to the sewer is available 24/7 on the District’s Sewer Connections page.
Yes. Once you connect, you will be responsible for paying the annual or monthly Operations and Maintenance Fee for using the sewer. Between the time you connect up until the following cut-off date of June 30th (the District will submit property tax information to the County by August), the fee will be temporarily charged on the water bill before it starts to be collected through property taxes.
Absolutely. All drinking water we serve meets or exceeds government health and safety standards. Hi-Desert Water District (HDWD) performs hundreds of water tests each year for bacteria and other regulated contaminants. The results of that sampling are included in an annual water quality report that the District mails to every customer by June. In addition, copies are available at the District office and on the website.
View Water Quality Reports.
The District is required by the State Department of Health Services to chlorinate water to kill bacteria. By maintaining a chlorine residual, the District can better assure that safe and clean water is delivered to our customers. Water is chlorinated 24 hours per day as required. After leaks or other systems upset, the District will often increase chlorine to make sure the water remains safe.
Cloudy water is caused by tiny air bubbles and is completely harmless. If you pour a glass of cloudy water, the air will rise and dissipate within a few minutes. The water is safe to drink and meets all quality standards.
You may notice the taste or smell of chlorine in the water, which is not harmful. Pipes inside your home can also affect tap water. Groundwater, which interacts with rocks and sediments as it moves, can impact the taste. Customers are encouraged to call the District for all issues related to water quality. A certified water quality technician will contact you regarding your concerns.