Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked QuestionsIf you are looking for the answer to a specific question you can search using the field in the navigation bar above, or narrow down results by clicking on one of the categories to the left. Clicking on any of the headings below will unfold a series of questions and answers in that category.

Billing
Who do I contact if I have questions about my bill?
Customers with concerns or questions about their bill should contact the District Office at (661) 947-4111 option 2, and discuss it with a Customer Service Representative.
While I’m on vacation, what should I do about paying my water bills?
Don’t come home to find your water turned off! Anticipate and pay your bills in advance. Also, if you are moving, remember to call the District about having your water turned off and taking service out of your name.
Where is my water meter located and how do I read it?
meterSMMost water meters are located at the front of your property at either the property line near the sidewalk or street. The District uses a “speedometer” type meter that works like the odometer in your car… except that it records cubic feet of water instead of miles traveled.The series of numbers in the odometer reflect your water consumption in units of 100 cubic feet (=748 gallons of water). Read the numbers left to right, but don’t include the last two numbers on the far right. For example, if last month’s reading of 004500 units is subtracted from this month’s reading of 006500, then 2000 cubic feet for water usage that has been logged. This in turn equates to 20 units of billable usage. This is what would be reflected on your bill.
What happens if I feel I have been over-billed?
If you receive a water bill, which is unusually high, you may have a water leak. If you suspect a water leak there are some things you can do to find out. Read your water meter – use your water meter to check for leaks in your home. Start by turning off all faucets and water-using appliances. Make sure no one uses water during the test period. Take a reading on your meter; wait about 30 minutes then take a second reading. If the dial has moved, you have a leak.Is the leak inside or outside your home? Turn off your house valve (emergency shut-off valve, usually found below your hose spigot) and repeat the above process. If the dial has moved, the leak is between your meter and your home, otherwise, your leak is located inside your home, or in the pipes under your home.

  • Check for toilets that run…the most common source of leaks is in the toilet. Check all toilets for leaks by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If after one hour the dye shows up in the bowl, the toilet has a leak.
  • Check for leaky faucets…the next place to check for leaks is your sink and bathtub faucets. One drop of water per second wastes 2,7000 gallons of water per year! Replacing the rubber O-ring or washer inside the valve can usually repair dripping faucets.

If you have taken the above steps to detect and correct the water leak and your consumption continues to increase, please call the District at (661) 947-4111 option 2, to speak to a customer service representative.

Emergency Related Services
How do I turn my water off at the meter for either repairs or in an emergency?
Unless you have a valve on the house-side of the meter, the angle stop valve on the street side of the water meter must be shut off by Palmdale Water District. During office hours, call us at (661) 947-4111, and after hours (and weekends) call us at (661) 947-4114.Note: If a consumer is found to be responsible to any damage done to District property, such damages shall be reimbursed to the District at cost plus administrative overhead. If responsibility for damage is not known, charges will be made to the current consumer or property owner.Example: If an angle stop valve becomes damaged by the consumer during normal District hours, the cost will be assessed at $440.00. After hours repairs for same damage will be assessed at $600.00.
What do I do if I have an emergency after hours?
After office hours and weekends call (661) 947-4114 in case of emergency. If a pipe breaks, you may need to have your water turned off if you don’t have a shutoff valve on the house side of the meter. For customer service questions, please wait to call (661) 947-4111 during our regular office hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Effective Monday, February 23rd, 2015 regular office hours will be Monday – Thrursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.Note: If a consumer is found to be responsible to any damage done to District property, such damages shall be reimbursed to the District at cost plus administrative overhead. If responsibility for damage is not known, charges will be made to the current consumer or property owner.Example: If an angle stop valve becomes damaged by the consumer during normal District hours, the cost will be assessed at $440.00. After hours repairs for same damage will be assessed at $600.00.
Water Quality
Is my water safe to drink?
Palmdale Water District authors a yearly report on the status of our water quality. To read the most recent report (or access past reports) click here. You can read more about water quality within the Palmdale Water District by clicking here.
My water is milky & white in appearance, what should I do?
Water is generally milky or white in appearance due to bubbles in the water. Click here for a simple way to test your water to see if it has bubbles, or if it should be tested.
I am concerned because my water is colored, rusty, or contains foreign particles, what should I do?
If there has been recent construction in your area the construction may have released rust from pipes. Run the tap until the water clears. It should clear up after several minutes.
If you have just returned from vacation the water may have become stagnant. Run the tap until the water clears. It should clear up fairly quickly.
If you have a home water softener or carbon filter home water treatment devices can malfunction and release particles into the water. Follow manufacturer’s maintenance instructions.
If you believe the problem is from our water supply, please call 661-947-4111 and request a water quality investigation.
My cooking utensils have scale and my glassware is spotted or has a white film, is this from the water and what can I do?
This is due to water hardness which is caused by calcium and magnesium. Health authorities generally agree that the hardness of drinking water normally encountered has no adverse effect on human health. You may choose to get a home water softening system to help with the hard water issues, however, there are pros and cons to using in-home water softening systems. Please research to determine if it is advisable for your situation.
I am concerned because my family became ill, could it be from drinking tap water?
Very few people in the U.S. develop an illness attributable to water. It is unlikely that illness was caused from drinking tap water. Water samples are taken regularly and water is disinfected to destroy disease-causing bacteria. If you have a home treatment device (water softener, carbon filter system, or reverse osmosis system) improper maintenance may result in bacteria being introduced into an otherwise safe water supply. In-home treatment devices are a common source of contamination. Please follow all manufacturer’s maintenance instructions. If you are concerned, please consult your physician. If it is determined that your illness is caused by your drinking water, please contact us for a water quality investigation.
Can the chlorine in my tap water cause skin irritation?
The level of chlorine in your treated water is safe to drink, too low to harm your skin and will not be absorbed into the skin and get into your body. Generally, skin irritation can be caused by detergents, soaps, lotions, shampoos, etc. – please consult your physician. Dryness of skin is common in the winter months. Bathing and showering can wash oils out of the skin which can compound the problem. Our dry desert climate can contribute to skin irritation, so if you’ve just moved into the area it may take some time for your body to adjust to the changes in conditions.
What is causing our water to smell and taste funny?
One possibility is seasonal algae blooms. They can occur in raw water reservoirs for a short period of time. We have taken several steps to mitigate this issue.We have installed eight lake circulation devices (Solar Bees®) to induce continuous water movement, thereby preventing the occurrence of major algae blooms. Since 2008 our plant has been using GAC (one of the best technologies available) for removal of taste and odor causing compounds. We have a flushing program for the distribution system to ensure water doesn’t stagnate in system dead ends.
Why do we smell chlorine in the water and what can we do about it?
Chlorine is added to the water to destroy disease causing bacteria. The dosage is low and closely monitored and controlled. Your water is safe to drink. If you are sensitive to chlorine smell and taste, you can install an activated carbon filter. Information about this kind of device can be found online at the California Department of Public Health, Drinking Water Program. Manufacturer’s installation and maintenance instructions need to be followed for the device to be effective.
There’s an odor coming from my tap water, what can I do about it?
Collect a glass of water from the tap. Take it and walk away from the sink. Smell the glass of water. If the odor is not evident from the glass, but is evident when standing over the sink, then the odor is most likely from the drain or the sink tap. Cleaning and sanitizing the screen, drain and sink with a bleach solution will usually eliminate the problem. If the water in the glass still carries the odor, call the office at 661-947-4111 to schedule an investigation.
My water has a peculiar taste, what could be causing this?
Eating certain foods like cranberries, spinach, or foods with peppermint flavoring may sometimes cause water to seem to have a peculiar taste. When a person is ill, certain food or medicine can cause an assumed water taste or odor issue. Improper care of home treatment devices like a softener, carbon filter, reverse osmosis system may be a source of poor tasting water. Water heaters need to be drained periodically to eliminate bacteria that can cause poor taste issues. If you don’t believe any of these is the cause of the peculiar taste, call the office at 661-947-4111 to schedule an investigation.
There is oil in my water. What is the cause and what can I do?
If repairs have not been recently done on your plumbing system and you notice oil in your water, call the office at 661-947-4111 to schedule a water quality investigation. If your plumbing has been recently repaired, pipe joint compounds, cutting oil or flux used in pipe repair and installation may have been released into the water stream when service was restored. Remove the faucet screens and aerators and flush the material out of the plumbing by running the tap for about 2 minutes. Wash screens and aerators with soap and water before re-installing them.
Is the water safe for my fish aquarium?
Aquarium water may need modification (including de-chlorination, pH adjustment, water temperature adjustment, or alkalinity adjustment) to be safe for fish. Please consult a reputable fish aquarium store or expert fish hobbyist for the proper care and maintenance of aquariums.
Are there chloramines in the water?
No. Some water agencies use chloramines as a disinfectant. We do not disinfect with the compound chloramine and have no plans in the future to do so.
Is fluoride added to the water?
We do not add fluoride to the water. A small amount of fluoride occurs naturally in the water supply. Please check out our Consumer Confidence Report by clicking here.
I want to request a water quality investigation. What do I need to do?
Call us at 661-947-4111 or visit our district office at 2029 E. Avenue Q, Palmdale CA. Our representative will take down the information and a thorough investigation will be done. You will be notified of the results.
General Services
How do I find out if I have a leak on my property?
Click here for our handout on finding and fixing leaks.

There are a few easy steps to follow if you suspect a leak on your property. Start by turning off all faucets and water-using appliances. Make sure no one uses water during the test period. Next, go out to your meter and look for the red triangle on the face of the meter. If the red triangle is turning, you have a leak somewhere on your property.

Is the leak inside or outside your home? Turn off your house valve (emergency shut-off valve, usually found below your hose spigot) and repeat the above process. If the dial has moved, the leak is between your meter and your home, otherwise, your leak is located inside your home, or in the pipes under your home.

Check for toilets that run . . . the most common source of leaks is in the toilet. Check all toilets for leaks by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If after one hour the dye shows up in the bowl, the toilet has a leak.
Check for leaky faucets . . . the next place to check for leaks is your sink and bathtub faucets. One drop of water per second wastes 2,7000 gallons of water per year! Replacing the rubber O-ring or washer inside the valve can usually repair dripping faucets.

What is a pressure regulator?
A pressure regulator is a device that reduces water pressure to your house when the pressure in the street is above 80 pounds per square inch. Pressure regulators may be installed on the service line that comes into the house from the meter. District staff are available to help determine if you have a pressure regulator, however, any adjustments or repairs are the responsibility of the property owner.

How and when can I get my deposit refunded to me?
A deposit made with the District for a “Single Family Residence” is refundable after one (1) year provided that the customer makes a request in writing (Deposit Refund Request Form) and the customer meeting all the requirements of the Districts rules and regulation Section 10.03.B “Refund of Deposit (Single Family Residences Only)” as further outlined below:

  1. As per section 10.03.B.2.a – Customer does not have more than one (1) 48 hour Disconnection Notice (doortag) on the account within the one (1) year period immediately prior to the refund request.
  2.  As per section10.03.B.2.b – Customer has not incurred any additional disconnect charges on the account.
  3. As per section 10.03.B.2.c – Customer has not had any additional checks returned from bank (e.g. insufficient funds), rejected electronic funds transfer or any credit card charge backs.

Click here to download the Deposit Refund Request Form.

Miscellaneous
Does Palmdale Fin and Feather Club own and maintain the Palmdale Lake and Dam?
No. Palmdale Lake and Palmdale Dam are owned and operated by Palmdale Water District. The Fin and Feather Club has leased the lake and area for their recreational activities for more than 50 years. In return, the club maintains strict guidelines to ensure the water quality for the District’s customers.

Why does Palmdale Water District let water run down the street?
When old pipes are replaced or new ones are installed, the pipes must be disinfected with chlorine before they are connected into the District’s system. After a day or two, water is flushed through the pipes to rinse out the chlorine before the pipes are put into use. In addition, the District regularly runs water through the system to flush out the 360 pipe ends where stagnant water can collect. This type of work is done to assure water quality to our valued customers.
Where is my water shutoff valve?
Water shut-off valves are usually located where the plumbing comes into the house near the front yard hose bib. Some older homes may not have a shut-off valve so if you need to make repairs you should call the District at (661) 947-4111 and we will send a service technician out to turn the water off at the meter.Note: If a consumer is found to be responsible to any damage done to District property, such damages shall be reimbursed to the District at cost plus administrative overhead. If responsibility for damage is not known, charges will be made to the current consumer or property owner.Example: If an angle stop valve becomes damaged by the consumer during normal District hours, the cost will be assessed at $440.00. After hours repairs for same damage will be assessed at $600.00.
How do I install a shut off valve?
If you would like the option of shutting off water to your property on your own, you may install a shut off valve. The Palmdale Water District recommends hiring a professional to install shut-off valves, however if you choose to do it yourself, we have provided a sample to download.Please be aware that the angle stop valve on the street side of the water meter must be shut off by Palmdale Water District. During office hours, call us at (661) 947-4111, and after hours (and weekends) call us at (661) 947-4114. If consumer fails to contact the water District to shut off the District angle stop valve, the consumer could damage valve and will be held responsible to reimburse the District to repair the valve.Think you may have a leak? Click here for instructions on how to detect leaks.How do I keep my outside pipes from freezing during the winter months?
The best way to keep pipes from freezing is to insolate or wrap exposed pipes, faucets, and valves. This can be done with foam insulating tubes or self-stick insulating tape. It’s also helpful to disconnect garden hoses and close inside valves for outside taps.If your pipes do happen to freeze, a warm towel may help them defrost or as the day warms up the pipes may thaw on their own. If your pipes freeze and break, turn the water off at your water shut-off valve, not at the water meter.How can I file a customer service complaint?
The best way to file a customer service complaint is by email.How can I find ETO, evotranspiration, data for my area?
The District obtains all ETO data from the California Irrigation Management Information System (CMIS) provided by the Department of Water Resources, Office of Water Efficiency. Station detail report for Station 197, the station that covers the District, can be found at CMIS 197.Where can I find your Privacy Policy?
A link to the District’s Privacy Policy is located at the bottom of each page of the website.
Rebates
Where can I get information, applications and qualifying model lists about Palmdale Water District rebate programs?
Applications and qualifying model lists for all of our rebate programs are available on the Rebate page of Palmdale Water District website. Further information can be obtained by contacting a representative in the conservation department at 661-947-4111 x 1001 or 661-456-1001.
Which rebate application do I use?
There’s one (1) application available for most programs. Please read the application and qualifying materials before signing up for any program or rebate. Rebate applications must be filled out completely, please include proper manufactures’ make and model numbers when applicable and sign each application, attached with original receipt of purchase.
Which rebates are available as a credit back to the customer on their water bill?
Palmdale Water District currently provides rebates for High Efficiency Clothes Washers (HECW), High Efficiency Toilets (HET 1.28 gallon per flush). Please visit So Cal Water for qualifying products.

Which programs or other rebates are available?
The District has developed a Water-wise Landscape Conservation Program. The Palmdale Water District (PWD) is offering owners a cash rebate of up to $1,500.00 per household as an incentive to convert to a water-wise landscape. This rebate is only for front yards, with water-wise landscaping, regardless of yard condition.

Where do I send my application?
Palmdale Water District
Conservation Department
2029 E. Avenue Q
Palmdale CA, 93550
Include all necessary receipts, application forms, and signatures.

How long does the rebate process normally take?
PWD customers can generally expect to receive a rebate within four to six weeks, beginning after a completed application has been received.

I can’t view a rebate application and/or model list on the Palmdale Water District website. What should I do?
First, please make sure your Adobe Acrobat software is up-to-date. If you are still having trouble viewing any PDF of a rebate-related document on our website, you may contact a representative in Palmdale Water District’s conservation department at (661) 947-4111 x1001 to request copies to pick up at the main office, or to be mailed to you.

Water-wise Landscape Conservation (WWLC)
Does the landscape design layout need to be done by a professional?
No. The District will accept a simple hand-drawn layout of your proposed new landscape, including a list of what plants will be used.

What plants may I use in my water-efficient landscape?
The WWLC Program requires that PWD customers follow the City of Palmdale’s approved plant list guidelines or plants in the booklet “Plants for California High Desert”. When plants mature they must cover at least sixty percent (60%) of the converted area. WWLC program applicants should retain any existing trees as they are a valuable resource and provide shade to the home and landscape. Click here to view the City of Palmdale’s landscape ordinance.

May I receive a rebate for replacing my lawn with artificial turf?
The Palmdale Water District will accept artificial turf as a substitute for irrigated lawn. Any artificial turf must be permeable (allowing both air and water to pass through freely) and must meet all other program terms* and conditions including, but not limited to, compliance with installation standards.

*It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all laws, rules, and appropriate HOA and CC&R policies that may apply are anticipated when commencing a landscaping project. Applicants should also check with the City of Palmdale regarding its laws, rules and ordinances, as well as for appropriate plants and materials. Click here to view the City of Palmdale’s landscape ordinance.

May I receive credit for putting in a patio, a walkway, or an extension to my driveway?
The District will not allow credit if a non-permeable product is used. Permeable products include permeable pavement, gravel, or brick or flagstone with permeable, mortarless materials for grout lines (such as sand and gravel). All of these options reduce the amount of water runoff by allowing water to pass through the surface and be absorbed into the soil beneath. Keep in mind that the conversion area must still meet the sixty percent (60%) living plant coverage requirement.

Does reducing grass increase our carbon footprint?
Surprisingly no, see the following document for more information Grass and Carbon Footprint.

May I receive a rebate for replacing my high-water use grass with a lower-water use grass?
No. This program provides incentive to convert grass to alternative types of landscaping, including trees, shrubs and groundcovers. These use less water than even the lowest water use grass. However, the District does encourage homeowners to use low water use grass in those areas where grass is needed or desired.

If I have children and/or a dog, how do I incorporate water efficient landscaping into my yard?
One of the seven principles of water efficient landscaping is functional lawn areas. An applicant does not have to eliminate all of its lawn area to participate. Some conversion projects simply involve reducing the amount of lawn area or creating a buffer area around the edge of an existing lawn Fronts yards only with a minimum of 400 square feet.

What if my Homeowner’s Association or CC&R’s require me to keep grass in my yard?
It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all laws, rules, and appropriate HOA and CC&R policies that may apply are anticipated when commencing a landscaping project. Applicants should also check with the City of Palmdale regarding its laws, rules and ordinances, as well as for appropriate plants and materials. Please see the City of Palmdale’s related ordinances here for more information.

What is mulch and why is it required?
The most common types of mulch are decorative rock or bark. Mulch helps maintain the moisture level. Wood mulches help retain the temperature of the soil. Without mulch, wind and heat pull the moisture out of the soil and more water is then needed to keep plants healthy. Also, the temperature of the soil constantly fluctuates causing plants a lot of stress. Additional benefits include the reduction of weed growth, erosion and certain insect diseases. The City of Palmdale’s ordinances and engineering standards only require 2″ of mulch although 3 inches or more gives you better protection from weeds.

I have many plants surrounding the grass that I’m removing. Will these plants count toward the sixty percent (60%) coverage requirement?
Yes. Existing plants or shrubs may be used as part of the sixty percent (60%) conversion factor need to be shown on your design drawing and identified as existing.

Why does the District require plants?
This program encourages the use of water efficient landscaping, and the District promotes attractive landscaping in order to encourage others to participate in the program. Trees, shrubs and groundcovers provide shade, absorb carbon dioxide, supply oxygen, reduce soil erosion, give wildlife a home, decrease energy use, reduce stormwater runoff, and save water.

Do plants have to cover sixty percent (60%) of the conversion area when you come and inspect my landscape?
An applicant may choose plants of any size. Planting smaller plants (1 gallon) are less expensive and have a tendency to adapt better to their new environment. The District uses the full mature value of the plant type to determine plant coverage. The District has a plant coverage worksheet that you must submit with your landscape design.

I don’t like the desert look. What are my options?
Water-efficient landscaping can consist of much more than rocks and cactus. There are hundreds of plants that use very little, if any, water. With proper design and plant selection, an applicant can accomplish almost any desired look and still save water.

Do I have to use a weed barrier?
No. Weed barriers are generally recommended in areas that have a particular weed problem (i.e. areas where Bermuda grass is being removed or under permeable surfaces such as patios and walkways where plants will not be grown). If a weed barrier is used, the District requires that it be permeable allowing both water and air to penetrate. PWD customers are advised to check with the City of Palmdale for approved materials. Please see the City of Palmdale’s related ordinances for more information.

Why do I need a filter and pressure regulator?
The emitters on a drip irrigation system have very small openings for water to pass through. A filter prevents sediment from clogging emitters, ensuring that plants will get the correct amount of water. A pressure regulator keeps the irrigation system at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure (usually between 20 and 40 pounds per square inch). Not installing a pressure regulator may cause fittings and lines to fail, creating wasteful breaks and leaks in irrigation systems.

What is considered to be an efficient irrigation system?
The installation of an efficient irrigation system begins with good design. A low volume drip system is a proper choice for trees, plants and shrubs applying water directly to the plants roots. For turf areas, systems must apply water uniformly over the desired area with a minimum of overspray into adjacent areas. There are sprinkler heads on the market today that offer low precipitation rates (such as rotating spray heads) and that save water and allow the soil to absorb the applied water, minimizing any runoff. The District recommends installing a smart irrigation Controller that (after proper programming) automatically adjusts itself to provide the right amount of water to your landscape. PWD customers should also check with the City of Palmdale for proper irrigation systems. The City of Palmdale requires a pressure compensating bubbler in deep water wells on both sides of any tree on all new landscaping. Please see the City of Palmdale’s related ordinances here for more information.

What do I need to send in to get the rebate?
Palmdale Water District customers interested in participating in the WWLC program must complete an official application prior to beginning any landscaping work. Landscaping changes made before the application is approved will not qualify for the WWLC program. Please download the Palmdale Water District’s WWLC Application. You will receive a “Notice to Proceed” when your application has been approved.

Where can I go to dispose of my grass?
Check with Waste Management in Palmdale – 1200 West City Ranch Rd, (661) 947-7197.

How long does the rebate process take?
It takes approximately six (6-8) weeks from the approved post inspection date before a rebate check is mailed out.

2029 E Avenue Q, Palmdale, CA 93550, United States
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