Community

A Peek at Wetlands Conservation

Image of local protected wetlands

San Jose Water’s mission includes not only delivering high-quality water to our customers but also protecting the environment - two things that go hand in hand. As part of our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability, we maintain a number of critically important wetland mitigation sites on the Los Gatos Creek Watershed and in Santa Clara County.

What is a wetland mitigation site? In a nutshell, mitigation allows us to responsibly compensate for unavoidable environmental impacts through habitat restoration, creation, conservation, and enhancement. Impacts from

Supplier Diversity Spotlight: Touré Carter

When SJW’s Tim McLaughlin met now-TM Carter Co. CEO Touré Carter at the Silicon Valley Black Chamber of Commerce conference last year, it was the perfect example of “right place, right time.” As SJW’s Director of Supplier Diversity, Tim regularly speaks at events like these to educate local minority-owned business owners on processes for getting certified and winning contracts with large companies like SJW. They are also great networking opportunities, as Touré discovered during a break between sessions.

TM Carter Co equipment clearing site for SJW project
TM Carter Co equipment clearing site for SJW project

“When you start meeting people who are like you, that’s when you know you’re on the

SJW Community Programs 2020

Community involvement is a key part of our commitment to the places where we live, work and serve.  Contributions include both monetary donations as well as volunteer time and talent. While COVID-19 may have cut short our in-person community outreach efforts in 2020, a new series of virtual partnerships emerged.  

SJW staff volunteers at Martha's Kitchen

Early in the year, SJW held an Open House at San Jose’s Seven Trees community center. Here, staff joined community members to talk about water quality, conservation, construction, distribution services and emergency preparedness. Presentations about water rates and AMI allowed

Behind the Scenes: Emergency Management

Have you ever wondered what it takes to deliver clean, safe water—even during an emergency? Lots and lots of planning. It all begins with our Emergency Management group, which also includes Security and Business Continuity.

Whiteboard showing logistics planning at EOC meeting

Referred to as an EOC (Emergency Operation Control), the SJW team has been activated for multiple events including the 2017 Floods, 2019 PG&E PSPS, COVID-19, Civil Unrest, Power Brownouts and CSU/CZU Lightning Complex fires in Santa Clara County.

The EOC is responsible for staying ahead of the curve—knowing when something might hit before it actually happens. They

Xeriscaping: What's It All About?

Native flowers in front of a house

Most of us grew up with the image of flat green lawns and colorful flower beds as the standard for home landscaping. More and more frequently, we’re seeing those traditional scenes replaced with varied greenery, native plants and windswept grass. There’s a name for this trend, and fall is the perfect time to give it a try!

Xeriscaping is a water-wise approach to landscaping, growing in popularity in drought-prone regions like California. In a nutshell, it’s a system of using only plants that are native to an area, reducing the need for irrigation. It rejects the notion that bringing in

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

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

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