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Frequently Asked Questions

If 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. For example, clicking on any of the headings below will unfold a series of questions and answers in that category.

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Billing

A deposit made for a “Single-Family Residence” is refundable after one (1) year, provided that the customer makes a request in writing and meets all the requirements of the PWD’s rules and regulations. Click here to download the Deposit Refund Request Form (Spanish).

Most water meters are located at the front of the property at either the property line near the sidewalk or street. The District uses a “speedometer” type meter that works like the odometer in a car, except that it records cubic feet of water instead of miles traveled. The series of numbers in the meter reflects water consumption in units of 100 cubic feet (748 gallons of water). Read the numbers left to right, but don’t include the numbers on the far right in black.

Customers with concerns or questions about their bill should call 661-947-4111, option 2, and speak to a Customer Care Representative.

To enroll in AutoPay, please use the pin provided on your water bill in the top right corner.

If you receive an unusually high water bill, 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 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. Read your meter and wait about 30 minutes for a second reading. If the dial has moved, you have a leak. If you have corrected the water leak, apply for a Couresty Leak Adjustment(Spanish). If consumption continues to increase, please call 661-947-4111.

If you suspect you have a leak, please see our handout on Finding and Fixing Leaks. PWD at 661-947-4111 for assistance.

PWD has an annual Rate Assistance Program, which will reduce monthly service fees by 50% for qualifying households. Aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority is provided to eligible seniors 62 & older, veterans of any age and low-income families. Funds are limited. Applications are only available from November through May.

Emergency-Related Services

Please call 661-947-4114 to have a PWD rep turn the water off at the angle stop valve on the street side of the water meter. If there is damage to the meter or shut-off valve, the customer will be charged for the cost to replace it plus administrative overhead. Note: Some properties have a customer shut-off valve located on the property side of the meter.

Call 661-947-4114 if you have a water-related emergency 24/7. Please do not attempt to shut off the water yourself. PWD must shut off the angle stop valve on the street side of the water meter. If there is damage to the meter or shut-off valve, the customer will be charged for the cost to replace it plus administrative overhead.

Water Quality

PWD issues 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 PWD’s water quality by clicking here.

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.

If there has been recent construction in your area, the construction may have released rust from pipes. If you have just returned from vacation the water may have become stagnant. In those instances, 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, those devices can malfunction and release particles into the water. Follow manufacturer’s maintenance instructions. If you believe the problem is from the water supply, call 661-947-4111 and request a water quality investigation.

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.

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 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.

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 is caused by detergents, soaps, lotions, shampoos, etc. Please consult your physician.

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.

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.

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 PWD at 661-947-4111 to schedule an investigation.

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 PWD at 661-947-4111 to schedule an investigation.

If repairs have not been recently done on your plumbing system and you notice oil in your water, call PWD 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.

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.

No. Some water agencies use chloramines as a disinfectant. PWD does not disinfect with the compound chloramine.

No. Fluoride is not added to the water. A small amount of fluoride occurs naturally in the water supply. Please check out the most recent Consumer Confidence Report by clicking here.

Call PWD at 661-947-4111 or visit our office at 2029 E. Avenue Q, Palmdale.

Miscellaneous

When old pipes are replaced or new ones are installed, the pipes must be disinfected with chlorine before they are connected into the PWD’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 where stagnant water can collect.

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, please call PWD at 661-947-4111. A service technician will be sent out to turn the water off at the meter. Note: If a consumer is found to be responsible for any damage done to PWD property, such damages shall be reimbursed to PWD at cost plus administrative overhead.

If you would like the option of shutting off water to your property on your own, you may install a shut off valve. PWD recommends hiring a professional to install shut off valves. 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 PWD. During business hours, call 661-947-4111, and after hours and weekends call 661-947-4114. If the customer fails to contact PWD to shut off the District’s angle stop valve, the customer could damage the valve and will be held responsible for charges to repair the valve.

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 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.

PWD obtains all ETO data from the California Irrigation Management Information System (CMIS) provided by the Department of Water Resources, Office of Water Efficiency. A detailed report for Station 197, the station that covers the District, can be found at CMIS 197.

A link to PWD’s Privacy Policy is located at the bottom of each page of the website.

No. Lake Palmdale and Palmdale Dam are owned and operated by PWD. 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 water quality for the PWD’s customers.

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. PWD staff are available to help determine if you have a pressure regulator, however, any adjustments or repairs are the responsibility of the property owner.

Rebates

Applications and qualifying model lists for all rebate programs are available on the Rebate page. Further information can be obtained by contacting a Water-Use Efficiency Specialist at 661-456-1001.

There is 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, sign each application, and attach the original purchase receipt.

PWD currently provides rebates for High-Efficiency Clothes Washers (HECW), and High-Efficiency Toilets (HET 1.28 gallon per flush). Please visit So Cal Water for qualifying products.

PWD offers a Water-wise Landscape Conservation Program. Property owners can receive a cash rebate of up to $3,000 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.

Palmdale Water District
Water-Use Efficiency Department
2029 E. Avenue Q
Palmdale CA, 93550
Note: Include all necessary receipts, application forms, and signatures.

PWD customers can generally expect to receive a rebate within four to six weeks after a completed application has been received.

First, please make sure your Adobe Acrobat software is updated. If you are still having trouble, you may contact a Water-Use Efficiency Specialist at 661-456-1001 to request copies to pick up at the main office or to be mailed to you.

Water-wise Landscape Conservation (WWLC)

No. PWD will accept a simple hand-drawn layout of the proposed new landscape, including a list of what plants will be used.

The Water-Wise Landscape Conversion 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.

PWD will accept artificial turf as a substitute for an irrigated lawn. However, 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 applicant’s sole responsibility 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.

PWD 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). These options reduce the amount of water runoff by allowing water to pass through the surface and be absorbed into the soil. In addition, the conversion area must meet the sixty percent (60%) living plant coverage requirement.

No. For more information, go to Grass and Carbon Footprint.

No. This program provides an 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.

An applicant does not have to eliminate all of its lawn areas 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.

It is the applicant’s sole responsibility 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.

The most common types of mulch are decorative rock or bark. Mulch helps maintain the moisture level. In addition, 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 needed to keep plants healthy. Palmdale’s ordinances and engineering standards only require 2 inches of mulch, although 3 inches or more gives better protection from weeds.

Yes. Existing plants or shrubs may be used as part of the sixty percent (60%) conversion factor that need to be shown on your design drawing and identified as existing

This program encourages the use of water-efficient landscaping, and PWD promotes attractive landscaping in order to encourage participation. 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.

An applicant may choose plants of any size. Planting smaller plants (1 gallon) is less expensive and tends to adapt better to their new environment. PWD uses the full mature value of the plant type to determine plant coverage. There is a plant coverage worksheet that you must submit with your landscape design.

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.

No. Weed barriers are generally recommended in areas that have a particular weed problem. If a weed barrier is used, it must be permeable allowing both water and air to penetrate. 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.

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).

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 plant’s roots. For turf areas, systems must apply water uniformly over the desired area with a minimum of overspray into adjacent areas. PWD 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 interested in participating in the Water Wise Landscape Conversion (WWLC) program must complete an official application BEFORE beginning any landscaping work. Landscape changes made before the application is approved will not qualify for the WWLC program. Please download PWD’s WWLC application. You will receive a “Notice to Proceed” when your application has been approved.

Call Waste Management in Palmdale at 661-947-7197.

It takes approximately six to eight weeks from the approved post inspection date before a rebate check is mailed.

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