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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the water hardness in grains?

Between 8 and 19. Depending on where the home is and the day, the water a customer receives may be mostly City of Santa Maria water, mostly District well water or a varying blend of the two.

Explanation of Water Hardness

What is the District’s water system pH?

The Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level for pH is 6.5 to 8.5. The secondary limits affect taste, odor or appearance but do not affect health.

District water is typically in the pH 6.8 to 7.6 range. 7.0 is ‘neutral’, lower than 7 is acidic/acid, higher is basic/base.

See the District’s water quality report (Consumer Confidence Report)

What is my water pressure?

Our system is pressurized by gravity so system pressure varies by elevation. Typical system pressure is approximately 60 pounds per square inch (psi). In higher elevations of our service area, pressure will be lower. In lower elevations of our service area pressure will be higher.

In accordance with District Ordinance Code 3.04.070.B, where conditions are such that a pressure regulator or booster pump are required, the customer shall provide, install and maintain the necessary equipment.

How much is a unit of water?

100 cubic feet, which is 748 gallons

Explain my billing cycle.

Your bill is for two months, mailed on the 10th of the month, due by the 5th of the following month.

What is the “Service Charge” on my bill?

That is the flat rate for having water available at the water connection.

How is NCSD water disinfected?

The District currently has two sources of water: local groundwater and imported water from the City of Santa Maria which is a blend of groundwater and water from the State Water Project. Because of the mix of water, the District uses chloramines to safely disinfect the water supply. Read more about chloramines here.

Why does my water smell like sewer?

The most common cause for this smell could be stagnant water from the hot water heater. In which case, you would need to connect a hose to the water heater and allow it to drain. Another cause might be the plumbing trap under the sink could be too shallow or need to be cleaned.

How do I turn off my water in an emergency?

You should have a valve located on the outside of your home where the water line goes into the house. Your sprinkler systems also have their own valves operated by the clock or a manual knob. Your water meter should only be turned off if your own valves do not work. Some homes have a consumer valve located in the meter box which can be turned by hand. If you have to turn our meter valve, you should get a special water meter key for this. Damage to the water meter can happen if a regular wrench is used.

How can I find a leak on my property?

First, turn everything off in the house. Then go out to the water meter. Check to see if the dials are turning, if they are, you have a water main leak between the meter and the house. If the dials are not turning, then your leak could be caused by a number of other problems. Check that your toilets are not slowly draining and refilling. If you have a water softener, make sure the regeneration time is correct and that it is not running all night. The next step would be to check the sprinkler system. Turn on one valve and visually check to see if a sprinkler head is off or cracked. Then go out to the meter and check the speed of the sweeping hand. Compare this speed to the other valves. If one is moving much faster, that might be the valve that is leaking. Also check the valves as they are being turned off. Make sure they turn off quickly without leaking.

Who fixes my water leak?

It is the customers’ responsibility to fix any water leak after the meter toward the house. NCSD is responsible from the meter to the street.

Who is responsible if my sewer line is plugged?

The customer is responsible for the sewer lateral from the house to the main sewer line in the street.

Who maintains the roads and fixes potholes?

NCSD does street repair only if it is the result of a water leak repair. San Luis Obispo County Road Department handles all other road and drainage basin maintenance. Call the County Roads Department at 800-834-4636.

Where do I get a business license?

San Luis Obispo County issues business licenses. You can reach them at 1-800-834-4636 or 805-781-5000.

Who is in charge of the park and making reservations?

San Luis Obispo County Parks & Recreation at the above phone numbers.

What is the name of the school district?

Lucia Mar Unified School District. They can be reached at 805-474-3000.

Does Nipomo have a Chamber of Commerce?

Yes, their office is located at 239 W Tefft Street; open Monday through Friday 9-5. Their phone is 805-929-1583.

Who is the garbage company?

South County Sanitation, phone 489-4246.

How do I report a street light is in need of repair (Blacklake Golf Course only)?

You may contact the NCSD during regular business hours. Please have the pole number, nearest street address and nearest cross street ready to give the customer service representative. You may also report this information directly to Pacific Gas and Electric via their web site www.pge.com/streetlights.

How do I report a street light is in need of repair that is not located at Blacklake Golf Course?

You may contact the San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department at (800) 834-4636.