City of Anaheim, CA

01/22/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/22/2021 13:50

Your water

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 22, 2021) - Water is one of those services we don't often pay much attention to, but when we turn on the faucet we expect it to be there for us.

For more than 100 years, Anaheim Public Utilities has met that expectation, serving Anaheim residents and businesses with some of the most affordable and reliable water in the county.

And we take pride in providing high-quality, safe water to customers. That's why we continually and rigorously test our water to meet or exceed stringent state and federal regulations.

There are new regulations for drinking water, implemented to address manufactured chemicals from past decades that have been found in groundwater.

These chemicals are often referred to collectively as PFAS.

They were used from the 1940s to the early 2000s in a variety of consumer products ranging from cookware, stain-resistant clothing and carpet as well as firefighting foam and in industrial applications.

These chemicals are no longer used in the United States, but they are persistent and have made their way into groundwater supplies after decades of use.

We now know that long-term exposure to these chemicals can cause health issues. That's why we have shut down impacted groundwater wells in Anaheim.

The levels detected in water in Anaheim and other communities served by the region's groundwater supply are very small, equivalent to grains of sugar in an Olympic-size swimming pool.

To continue serving our customers, Anaheim has brought in more imported water that has not been found to contain these chemicals.

However, imported water is more expensive - about double the cost of our own groundwater.

We're taking several actions to cover these added costs, including reducing non-essential costs, deferring projects and joining a multi-agency lawsuit to recoup funds. But, unfortunately, more is needed.

So we are proposing an increase in customer water rates. It comes to about $3 per month for the average resident.

As a not-for-profit agency, we never want to raise rates. So when we have to consider doing so, we take it very seriously. We also find ways to help save our customers money, which is why customers have seen a $5 reduction on the electric portion of their bill in recent months.

High quality, safe and reliable water is our number one priority.

We're leading the way, partnering with the Orange County Water District, so we can remove PFAS and bring our own groundwater wells back online, with reimbursements to help reduce Anaheim's costs.

We plan to begin the first phase of construction this year.

In the meantime, we're doing what we can to help those who may struggle to pay utility bills, especially in these unprecedented times of COVID-19.

  • Emergency Assistance: Residents are eligible to receive up to $350 (one-time assistance) due to financial hardship.
  • Federal Energy Assistance: Income qualified customers are eligible to receive federal assistance on electric bills through a program administered by the Community Action Partnership of Orange County.
  • Payment Plans: Payment plans and time extensions can be tailored to help reduce your balance.
  • Income-Qualified Discounts: If your household income is less than $102,450, you may qualify for utility discount programs.
  • Medical allowances: If you or someone who lives in your home uses life support or other qualifying medical equipment, you may be eligible to pay a lower rate for a portion of your electricity.

Visit us online at Anaheim.net/HereForYou for program details or contact us at (714) 765-3300.

We also offer help if you're looking to reduce your bill by conserving more water. Find resources at Anaheim.net/savewater.

With continued investment in our water system and innovation in water treatment, we're working to be able to have a sustainable supply of water and keep offering lower rates in the long run to better serve our community.

For more on Anaheim water, visit Anaheim.net/waterquality or call us at (714) 765-4311.