Matt Stone | SCV Water Report Distribution: A Model of Transparency
By Signal Contributor
Thursday, August 9th, 2018

A recent letter to the editor (Stacy Fortner, July 31) raised questions about distribution of the annual Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) from SCV Water. The writer asked if this was “another transparency issue.”

More accurately, it was an opportunity to exceed the requirements of the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water (DDW) in our efforts to inform the public of the contents and availability of the report.

With digital communication options that conserve financial and environmental resources, the DDW modified notification requirements in 2013, allowing water agencies to post the report electronically and provide notice of its availability.

In 2018, SCV water purveyors are marking more than 20 years of collaborative reporting, and six years since we switched to digital distribution. It was not the first time, as the writer implies.

The 2018 report reflected water quality data for 2017, thus it was presented as a joint project of Castaic Lake Water Agency and the formerly separate retail divisions, as well as County Waterworks District 36. The cover letter explained the recent unification that took effect Jan. 1, 2018, and next year’s report will reflect the new agency identity.

The water quality report was posted on
yourSCVwater.com on May 3, 2018, well ahead of the July 1 deadline. It was also posted on the websites of each separate retailer at the same time. Reports dating back to 2010 are available at yourSCVwater.com by clicking on the Water Quality link from the home page.

Here are some other steps we took between May 21 and June 26, to insure as wide a notification as possible.

• Press release issued

• Coverage in The Signal, SCVTV and KHTS

• Legal notice printed in The Signal

• Social media posts on SCV Water and each water retailer page

• Facebook posts on The Signal and KHTS

• Notification sent as a bill insert to all retail customers

• Emails sent to 25,000 customers (with open rates of 41-54 percent)

No one distribution method is 100 percent effective in reaching every customer, which is why we used all of the outreach tools at our disposal, including a mailed notice to every customer.

We appreciate input on the process and will be considering a question in our next customer satisfaction survey, to ask our customers about their preferred methods of communication from SCV Water.

Also, while we are speaking about water quality reports, our customers should know that we regularly sample our water sources, water treatment plants and distribution system. If you ever encounter an immediate concern with the quality of water coming from your tap, please contact SCV Water so that we can investigate the concern promptly. We are committed to providing safe water to our customers.

Call your division directly at: Newhall (661) 259-3610; Valencia (661) 294-0828; Santa Clarita (661) 259-2737. Or, from yourSCVwater.com, click on Customer Care for phone and email addresses.

Matt Stone

General Manager

Santa Clarita Valley Water

About the author

Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor

Matt Stone | SCV Water Report Distribution: A Model of Transparency

A recent letter to the editor (Stacy Fortner, July 31) raised questions about distribution of the annual Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) from SCV Water. The writer asked if this was “another transparency issue.”

More accurately, it was an opportunity to exceed the requirements of the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water (DDW) in our efforts to inform the public of the contents and availability of the report.

With digital communication options that conserve financial and environmental resources, the DDW modified notification requirements in 2013, allowing water agencies to post the report electronically and provide notice of its availability.

In 2018, SCV water purveyors are marking more than 20 years of collaborative reporting, and six years since we switched to digital distribution. It was not the first time, as the writer implies.

The 2018 report reflected water quality data for 2017, thus it was presented as a joint project of Castaic Lake Water Agency and the formerly separate retail divisions, as well as County Waterworks District 36. The cover letter explained the recent unification that took effect Jan. 1, 2018, and next year’s report will reflect the new agency identity.

The water quality report was posted on
yourSCVwater.com on May 3, 2018, well ahead of the July 1 deadline. It was also posted on the websites of each separate retailer at the same time. Reports dating back to 2010 are available at yourSCVwater.com by clicking on the Water Quality link from the home page.

Here are some other steps we took between May 21 and June 26, to insure as wide a notification as possible.

• Press release issued

• Coverage in The Signal, SCVTV and KHTS

• Legal notice printed in The Signal

• Social media posts on SCV Water and each water retailer page

• Facebook posts on The Signal and KHTS

• Notification sent as a bill insert to all retail customers

• Emails sent to 25,000 customers (with open rates of 41-54 percent)

No one distribution method is 100 percent effective in reaching every customer, which is why we used all of the outreach tools at our disposal, including a mailed notice to every customer.

We appreciate input on the process and will be considering a question in our next customer satisfaction survey, to ask our customers about their preferred methods of communication from SCV Water.

Also, while we are speaking about water quality reports, our customers should know that we regularly sample our water sources, water treatment plants and distribution system. If you ever encounter an immediate concern with the quality of water coming from your tap, please contact SCV Water so that we can investigate the concern promptly. We are committed to providing safe water to our customers.

Call your division directly at: Newhall (661) 259-3610; Valencia (661) 294-0828; Santa Clarita (661) 259-2737. Or, from yourSCVwater.com, click on Customer Care for phone and email addresses.

Matt Stone

General Manager

Santa Clarita Valley Water