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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.

SJW Replaces 175,000 Gallon Pike Tank

Image of original tank
Original Pike tank

A major part of SJW’s commitment to provide safe and high-quality drinking water to our customers is the replacement of aging infrastructure. We’re happy to announce the completion of our most recent effort: replacing the Pike Tank in Saratoga.

The original tank, constructed in 1982, held 175,000 gallons. The new steel tank has a storage capacity of 283,200 gallons that will allow it to meet increased local water usage, fire suppression demands, and building code requirements. In addition, new electrical communication and water quality equipment, including a 40-foot antenna, was

On the Job with Distribution Services: Emergency Leak Repair

SJW employees in full PPE capping the main
SJW employees in full PPE capping the main

In a perfect world, routine maintenance and repairs happen between 8 AM and 5 PM. Fortunately, San Jose Water’s Distribution Services (DS) team is on call to serve our customers 24 hours a day. A perfect example of this dedication occurred the night of August 6-7, 2020.

A leak on a 17” main at Camden Avenue and Hicks Road in San Jose required immediate attention. Not only was there water loss, but the source was under a bridge embankment adjacent to the Guadalupe Creek. Keenly aware of our environmental responsibilities, we did not want chlorinated water to enter a waterway and cause

Meter Shop – Keeping the Meters Measuring

Abe loading his truck with new meters to be installed that day.
Abe loading his truck with new meters to be installed that day.

Fun fact: there are more than 230,000 water meters throughout SJW’s 140-square mile service area, and just one department responsible for making sure each and every one of them are in tip top shape: the Meter Shop!

There is more to these water meters than meets the eye. SJW has an entire department committed to making sure its meters accurately measure the water so customers pay for only the water used – and not a penny more!

This tight-knit group of employees are responsible for using their knowledge of mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic principles to replace, repair, and test

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

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