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Water Blogged

Read everything water...blogged. Scroll below to find article topics spanning from water treatment and system technology updates to conservation tips and employee news—and more.

On the Job with Field Service: SJW’s First Responders

San Jose Water employee Armando Quintanar investigating a meter leak
Armando Quintanar investigating a meter leak

Much attention and deserved appreciation has gone to Essential Workers and First Responders during the COVID-19 crisis. At San Jose Water, we want to recognize our own: the hard-working men and women of our Field Service crews, also known as ALERT (Active Local Emergency Response Team). 

You may know them as the friendly folks in blue shirts who are first on the scene when a leak happens.  Other critical duties include changing out older meters as mandated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and responding to customer inquiries such as high bills or pressure issues.

Cahalan Tank Fire

Cahalan fire
The fire smolders around SJW’s Cahalan Tank

A fire in the Santa Teresa foothills of San Jose scorched 90 acres on Thursday, June 4, 2020. Not only were nearby residents evacuated and air tankers called in to drop retardant, but SJW Operations staff also jumped into action. Our Cahalan tank was right in the middle of the fire area.

Around 5 PM on Thursday, Operations Supervisor Richard Tapia was notified by our Crewleader, Ed Heldebrant, that our tank was on fire. Looking up, Heldebrant could see a huge plume of smoke and started receiving calls from friends,SJW Dispatch, and Fire Dispatch. Our East Side Operator, Tim Mangrum

Construction Allowed Again in California, SJW Readies to Resume

Backhoe digging in street

During the past couple of months, several construction projects were put on hold due to the shelter-in order from the state. As of May 4, Governor Newsom’s order allows construction to resume with the guidelines below. As SJW readies to begin construction projects, we will be implementing safety measures to protect the health of our employees.

  • Allowing workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus.
  • Continuing to use other normal control measures, including personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Avoiding physical contact with others and

On the Job with SJW Distribution Service Inspectors

While the entire community is under a shelter-in-place order, essential San Jose Water (SJW) workers are on the job to make sure your water is flowing safely and reliably.

Distribution Service (DS) Inspectors perform critical work day in and day out. Just a few of their responsibilities include marking existing water lines before any excavation begins, locating leaks in mains and service lines, performing hydrant and valve maintenance, and operating the vacuum excavator truck.

DS crew marking up street

Collaboration is Key

Our DS Inspectors’ job doesn’t end there. Need to dig up a roadway to make an

Working Together During COVID-19

A San Jose Water employee checking information on a laptop with a protective face mask on.

It’s an unsettling time — one filled with sheltering-in-place, social distancing and cloth face coverings. But one thing you never need to worry about is your water. Your tap water is safe to drink. And we’re here doing our job — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

San Jose Water (SJW) is considered an essential service provider during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our staff continues to protect public health by providing clean, safe and reliable water to everyone. 

That’s right — we’re here to serve you! SJW continuously plans for many types of emergencies, including pandemics

SJW Construction Stoppage

In order to follow the state and county shelter-in-place order, as well as to protect the health of our employees per CDC public health guidelines, we are suspending all non-emergency construction activity requiring field support by our engineering and construction teams until further notice. This includes water main replacement projects and nearly all other planned capital improvements. Projects currently underway are being brought to a safe and secure stopping point.

Another construction photo

Our focus during the COVID-19 outbreak is to provide reliable and safe drinking water to customers and our community

San Jose Water – Protecting our Employees While Keeping the Water Flowing During COVID-19

While we are committed to providing clean drinking water to the communities and families that we serve, we wanted to also let everyone know of the steps we are taking to keep our employees safe.

As part of normal operations, we plan for emergencies such as earthquakes and wildfires. We have business continuity plans in place to make sure our operations are maintained in the face of adversity. COVID-10 has created some unique challenges.  Below are some details of critical steps to keep our employees safe:

  • We closed all facilities to the public.
  • All incoming Customer Service calls

Reducing Our Climate Impact

Here at San Jose Water (SJW), we’re taking aggressive steps to mitigate our climate change impact by working to drastically reduce our carbon footprint. SJW’s Climate Change Policy is guiding our effort to provide sustainable water supplies to customers, and we continually aim to be an environmentally responsible organization that’s doing all that it can to transition to a low-carbon economy.

SJW Supports Australia Fire Relief

The wildfires in Australia are devastating to witness. 15 million acres burnt, people who have lost their lives and nearly half a billion animals gone. San Jose Water has made a donation to the NSW Rural Fire Service, which supports the New South Wales area (one of the hardest hit).

Please consider joining us or donating to one of these other very worthy organizations:

Australian Red Cross

World Wildlife Fund Australia

Country Fire Service in South Australia to help volunteer firefighters

Koala Hospital

A kangaroo escaping the fire with a building in the backdrop burning down. Photo provided by abcnews.go.com

Source: abcnews.go.com

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