Within the boundaries of South Coast Water District, a beach closure is most likely caused when backed up, clogged, or otherwise obstructed sewer lines rupture and leak into creeks, pipes, drains, or other waterways that lead to the ocean, causing a sewage spill at or near a beach.
There are several convenient ways to pay your South Coast Water District Bill.
You may mail your check or money order made payable to South Coast Water District in the pre-addressed envelope enclosed with your bill. If you prefer to pay in person, please bring your payment to our Administrative Office located at:
South Coast Water District - Administrative Office 31592 West Street, Laguna Beach
You can pay your bill online or signup for automatic bill pay by signing in to our Online Services.
For your convenience, there are two depository boxes available 24 hours a day for check and money order payments. One box is located at the front driveway entrance to the Administrative Office, adjacent to the District sign. Our other box is located next to the District sign at our Southern Operations Office at 34152 Del Obispo in Dana Point (see map below). Payments deposited in either of these boxes are collected and processed at the start of the next business day.
Your bill is due and payable upon presentation and becomes late after the penalty date shown on the front of the bill. After this penalty date, a late charge will be assessed on any unpaid balance and a reminder bill will be mailed. To avoid discontinuance of service, payment must be received in the District office by the penalty date shown on the reminder bill.
To sign up to receive bill due date notifications on your mobile device, download the SCWD Go mobile app.
If the District disconnects your service for any reason (other than for emergency repairs) a notice will be placed on your door notifying you as to why the service has been disconnected. If you are having plumbing or irrigation work done at the property, please check with the plumber or landscaper to see if they have temporarily disconnected the water for repair work. Should you need assistance in determining the source of the disconnection, please call our main line anytime - day or night.
If water service is discontinued for non-payment, reconnection charges will be assessed for costs associated with reinstating service. The serviced property will remain without water service until all charges, including reconnection charges, have been paid. A deposit may also be required to reestablish service.
Please call (949) 499-4555, ext. 1 during normal business hours. After hours, please call (949) 499-4555. ext. 0.
If you have a question about or dispute the charges on your bill, please call our Customer Service Department between 7:00am and 6:00pm Monday through Thursday. Although further research may be required, the full amount of the bill is still due and payable under the deadlines stated on your bill. If the disputed charges are found to be incorrect, an appropriate adjustment will be made to your account.
The District has both water and sewer personnel standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist customers with emergencies. For any water or sewer related emergency, call the District at (949) 499-4555.
If this is a life threatening emergency call 911 immediately.
One of the best methods for determining the existence of a leak is to take actual water meter readings. This method will allow you to check the entire plumbing system for water leaks.
To do this, take a water meter reading before a period when no one will be using water in the house for several hours, such as before you leave for work or before you go to bed. Then take another meter reading when you get home or when you wake up, before any water is used.
If no water was used, then the two readings should be the same. If they are not (and you cannot account for the use by a humidifier, ice cube maker, toilet flush, or water softener), you probably have a leak and further investigation is recommended.
For additional assistance call our customer service department at (949) 499-4555.
Yes. From our experience, over 85 percent of the leaks in residential plumbing systems are found at the toilet tank. A typical toilet leak at the current rate can add $50 or more to a single bi-monthly water bill. We encourage you to check your toilet anytime you suspect a leak.
Toilets typically leak at the bottom of the tank around the flapper plug or at the top of the tank at the overflow tube. To test the flapper plug, carefully remove the lid from the toilet tank and mark the water level in the toilet tank with a pencil. Shut off the water supply to the toilet. If the water remains on the mark you made for 10 minutes, the flapper plug is not leaking. If the water level drops below the mark you made, the flapper plug is leaking and should be adjusted or replaced.
The water level in the toilet tank should be at least 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube. If the water level in the toilet tank is at the top of the overflow tube, that is where a leak may be occurring. The float that controls the water level in the tank should be adjusted so that the water level in the tank is at least 1 inch below the top of the tube.
Toilet tank leaks typically result from worn parts or misalignment of some part of the flushing mechanism. Most repairs can be done by an experienced "do-it-yourselfer." Many home supply stores offer repair classes. If you are not sure that you can tackle the job, call a plumber. It is important to stop the leak and should be fixed as soon as possible.
Often when the consumption is higher than normal, we find that the water has been consumed on the property but in a way that was not expected. The following is a list of possible, though not definitive, causes for high water usage:
Mis-adjusted automatic sprinklers causing unnecessary frequent irrigation. Often this is caused by power outages or testing performed by landscaping personnel
Over irrigation on slope or outlying landscaping due to missing sprinkler heads or broken pipes
Hose left on in yard by mistake
Leaky or running toilet
Leaks from faucets or shower heads
Malfunctioning water softeners
High usage in a pond, pool or spa due to being repaired or refilled. Some units have an automatic refill which takes place unnoticed
Cleaning or construction crews adding to normal water consumption
Extra House guests - kids home from college or extra family staying over
When our reader obtains your meter reading, a computerized reading device checks the consumption to see if it appears to be higher or lower than normal. The computer uses a five year historical average for the same time period, with an allowance for seasonal fluctuation and normal deviation. If the device senses unusual consumption, the reading is required to be verified by our meter reader.
As a normal course of action, the meter reader will check for a possible leak and, if it appears that there is a leak, a door hanger is left to notify you of the possiblity of a leak. Information collected by the meter reader is entered into the computer for later review.
When the readings are returned to the District's office, the accounts with unusual consumption are automatically printed out for further review by our customer service personnel. If this review does not offer an explanation, the meter reader is sent back into the field to verify the reading. If unusually high usage has been confirmed, our customer service representatives send a letter to the customer notifying them of the high usage and possible causes.
The District recommends that all customers use their house (gate) valve to shut off the water supply to their home to make repairs. If you cannot locate your house (gate) valve or it is necessary to shut the water off at the water meter, call the District office, day or night, at (949) 499-4555 for a customer service representative to shut off the water at the meter.
Note that a specialized tool is required to shut the water off at the meter. Attempting to turn the water off at the meter without this tool may result in damage to the mechanism and additional repair charges will be assessed.
No. The District's responsibility for repairs ends at the water meter. All pipelines and devices on the customer's side of the meter are the responsibility of the customer. Likewise, all facilities on the District's side of the meter (including the meter) are repaired and maintained by the District.
If you have had some plumbing work recently done on your property, the plumber may have made adjustments or inadvertently left valves partially open. Please review the following list of potential problems:
Check the house (gate) valve normally located at the first hose bib closest to the meter. If broken, the valve handle will spin continuously. This valve may be broken in a partially closed position, restricting the normal flow of water. South Coast Water District personnel are prohibited from adjusting this valve.
Check the pressure regulator. This is usually located in the meter box or next to the first hose bib closest to the meter. If broken or improperly adjusted, your pressure will be affected. Not every property has a pressure regulator. They are recommended for properties where the pressure is at or above 80 pounds per square inch (psi). SCWD personnel are also prohibited from adjusting pressure regulators.
Check the volume of water at the first hose bib closest to the meter and compare it to the location where the problem is occurring. If the volume is greater at the hose bib than inside the house, this indicates the problem is inside the house.
Check all faucet screens and shower heads for build-up causing a volume restriction.
Check plumbing valves under sinks and basins, making sure they are turned on completely.
Check water softener bypass valve (if applicable), making sure all valves are open.
Check for other water leaks, both in the house and in outside irrigation systems, that may cause low water pressure in the balance of the system.
After checking these items and the pressure problem does not appear to be inside the house, please contact the customer service department at (949) 499-4555 during normal business hours and request that a customer service representative check the pressure in the District's system.
Your water meter is read and billed in 100 cubic foot (ccf) units, also called billing units for simplicity. Each billing unit shown on your bill is equal to 748 gallons of water. Thus 20 billing units of water is equal to: 20 x 748 = 14,960 gallons.
To better understand how much water is really being used, it is helpful to break this total usage down into your average daily usage. You are billed for water consumption on a monthly basis and thus, the total usage shown on your bill is for a 59 to 62 day period (depending on the months being billed). For simplicity, calculate your daily average using a 60 day billing period. In the above example of 20 billing units, the average daily usage would be: 14,960 / 60 = 249 gallons per day.
Studies have found that the average Southern California home uses 384 gallons of water daily, indoors and out. The average apartment or condominium uses 256 gallons daily. An individual uses between 100 and 140 gallons of water each day.
As a guide, check the table below to see approximately how much water you are using. Also, check our Conservation Tips for ideas on how you can save money by reducing your water usage.
Your water meter can tell you how much water your household is using on a daily basis or how much water various household appliances are using. The meter is normally located in a meter box which is contained within a small concrete box near the curb of the street.
The meter face shows a block of numbers. Since the meter records water in cubic feet you will need to convert the amount into gallons. To do this, simply multiply the figure indicated on your water meter by 7.48 which is the number of gallons in one cubic foot. In order to find out how much water you have consumed during a specific time period, just subtract the previous reading from your current reading.
If you need assistance, please contact the customer service department at (949) 499-4555 and we can schedule an appointment for a customer service field representative to assist you.
Ninety percent of the District's potable water comes from the Colorado River and from Northern California. Water from these two sources is treated, filtered and blended for distribution to south Orange County. The District purchases this water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California through the wholesale agency, the Municipal Water District of Orange County.
Yes!! Consumers can expect that the water provided to them is safe, pure and healthful. The quality and safety of drinking water in the U.S. is regulated by the federal government through the Environmental Protection Agency. In California, those standards are enforced by the California Department of Health Services. Your water supply meets or exceeds all State and Federal Standards for drinking water quality.
Water served by the District is imported by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California from the Colorado River and from Northern California. It is brought across the state through a series of pipeline tunnels and aqueducts. This water is tested, treated and disinfected in Yorba Linda at the Diemer Filtration Plant. When the water leaves the Diemer Plant, it is conveyed through closed transmission pipelines to the District's boundaries.
This water is then stored in a series of closed reservoirs until it is consumed by the customer. Although the water delivered to the District is tested and ready for consumption, as an added safeguard, the District regularly tests the water throughout the system to ensure quality.
To convey the quality of the water, the District prepares an annual drinking water report which details each mineral and substance found in the water. This report is mailed annually to all current District customers and is available on this site for downloading. If you would like an additional copy, please contact our customer service department at (949) 499-4555.
For the disposal of paints, cleaners, pesticides, batteries, anti-freeze, and other household hazardous waste:
San Juan Capistrano Collection Center 32250 La Plata Ave, San Juan Capistrano (714) 834-6752
If you have any questions about other substances or waste removal, please call the California Environmental Hotline at 1-800-CLEAN-UP (1-800-253-2687) or contact the OC Waste & Recycling at (714) 834-4000 or visit them at oclandfills.com.
Some common household wastes can contribute to clogged sewer lines and beach pollution. Luckily, this can be avoided by disposing of these items in the trash instead of pouring or flushing them down the drain.
Common types of waste that should not go down the drain are:
Another benefit to a water pressure regulator is the ability to reduce the water pressure in your lines to 60 psi from 70 psi. In most cases, this will help conserve water by reducing excessive flows. This also holds true for irrigation systems; depending on design, 40 psi or less at the “T” to the irrigation system is adequate and will help conserve water.
The purpose is to shut the water off to the property if needed, without having to access the District’s angle stop. The water valve (either a gate valve or a ball valve) is located at the first outdoor hose bib (faucet) by the water pressure regulator.
It can be used to save water by turning water off to the property while you're on vacation or undergoing plumbing repairs on the property.
When the water valve is shut off, it might break in the closed position when they try to turn it back on. To avoid this, exercise the water valve by turning it on and off a couple times a year. If it is broken, a reputable plumber should be contacted to inspect it and manage its replacement.
To protect the District’s water distribution system by isolating the homeowner’s water system at the meter, thus preventing contaminants or pollutants from backflowing from the homeowner’s premises into the public water system.
Currently recyled water is used for the irrigation of parks, golf courses, playgrounds, green belts, and common areas of homeowners associations. This helps to offset the amount of drinking water used for these purposes, protecting our water supply.
Recycled water is strictly regulated. Signs must be posted in an area where recycled water is used. All valves and sprinkler heads are marked. Recycled water pipes and devices are purple in color to designate them from drinking water pipes.
The District and the County Health Department conduct annual inspections of all users to insure that all regulations are strictly followed.
The District provides training so all users are knowledgeable about the responsibilities of using recycled water.
Your water meter is normally located within a concrete enclosure just behind the sidewalk somewhere on the front of the property, similar to the picture on the bottom left. Upon removing the lid of the enclosure, you should see the water meter. Look at the meter to find the register, which should appear similar to the picture on the bottom right. The register has an odometer which records the usage in cubic feet (CF) of water. The numbers in white represent the usage in CCF (100 cubic feet of water) and are used by the District for billing.
If you can not locate your meter or if it looks different than the meter pictured below, please call our Customer Service Department at (949) 499-4555 between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. for assistance.
For immediate assistance after hours, please contact our after hours duty personnel at (949) 499-4555, ext. 0.
The water meter serving your address is the property of the District and lies within a public easement. Please do not construct any fixtures on, around or over the meter box which may interfere with maintenance activities performed by District personnel. All vegetation must be controlled so that it does not intrude onto the meter box, allowing it to remain visible. Foreign or hazardous materials such as paint, oil or solvents, should not be placed in or around the meter box as it may contaminate your water.