Olivenhain Municipal Water District takes proactive steps in response to coronavirus

(File photo)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has posed an unprecedented threat to the global community, requiring quick action, responsible decision-making, and forward thinking. With nearly every community facing this global health emergency, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD) has taken several proactive steps to protect customers, employees, and the water supply, according to a news release.

“During these uncertain times, the public can rest assured that OMWD is continuing to provide high-quality water service,” said Ed Sprague, president of the OMWD Board of Directors. “OMWD is working hard throughout this crisis and I could not be prouder.”

OMWD customers can be confident in their tap water quality. OMWD uses best industry practices to keep water safe and deliver water of the highest quality through ultrafiltration and disinfection processes. Barrier filtration technology utilizes specialized membranes to serve as a barrier against viruses, bacteria, and other contaminants. In the unlikely scenario where pathogens, such as a virus, make it through the filtration process, they are disinfected when sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) is added.

As Californians are asked to stay home, OMWD provides essential public services which cannot be interrupted. Thus, OMWD has changed protocols to help protect employees and reduce exposure as much as possible while working to provide safe drinking water. Social distancing initiatives have been implemented to reduce exposure to each other, telecommuting is utilized when possible, and key operational employees have been shifted into separate teams with no overlap to reduce the likelihood of cross contamination between the groups. Furthermore, all non-vital construction, outside work, and outside meetings have been postponed to allow valuable staff time to focus on the most essential projects, such as pipeline repairs.

OMWD previously invested in advanced technology that allows plant operators to remotely operate essential functions of David C. McCollom Water Treatment Plant, should the need arise.

OMWD has also taken several proactive steps to protect customers during this public health emergency. Events, workshops, and tours have been canceled or postponed until further notice. OMWD has closed its lobby and Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, including the interpretive center and its events. These steps have been taken to implement social distancing in order to protect customers.

While OMWD’s lobby is temporarily closed to the public, customers are encouraged to use OMWD’s many online services. Payments can be made online at, over the telephone, or at the drop box located at OMWD’s headquarters. Customers experiencing difficulty paying bills due to COVID-19 can contact Customer Service to discuss payment arrangements. At this time, OMWD is postponing water service disconnections for non-payment until further notice.

For up-to-date information and resources during this public health emergency, visit —News release