COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Your Water
During this unprecedented time, Western is here to serve. You can count on Western to provide safe, reliable and plentiful tap water along with continuous wastewater (sewer) service, now and into the future.
Western is committed to a culture of service that ensures operational continuity with excellent customer service. We have been closely monitoring local, regional, state and federal updates and public health recommendations surrounding the outbreak and will continue to provide you important information about your services.
- Water Quality
- Shutoffs & Late Payments
- Western Facility Closures
- Reopening your Building
- Emergency Planning
- Stay Informed
Your tap water is safe to drink
COVID-19 has no impact on the quality or supply of your tap water. As always, your tap water is safe, reliable and plentiful.
We want you to know that public health is and always will be a top priority for Western. The quality of your drinking water is not something you need to be concerned about.
Testing for water quality
All public water agencies are required to use treatment technologies that remove or kill viruses or pathogens, including coronavirus. Water quality testing is performed daily to ensure that state and federal drinking water standards are met.
Western conducts more than 4,500 water quality tests annually to ensure your water meets and exceeds state and federal drinking water standards, which are more stringent than the standards for bottled water.
Stock up on tap water
While we recommend keeping a supply of water on hand for emergencies—like earthquakes—there is no reason to stockpile water.
With many of our customers facing financial insecurities and as more precautions are taken to protect our communities, we are here to assure customers that your tap will flow with clean drinking water regardless of the unprecedented actions being implemented.
Just turn to your tap for safe, reliable and plentiful water from Western.
Learn more about Western’s water quality by visiting, wmwd.com/WaterQuality.
Western has suspended water shutoffs and late payment penalties during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic
On Wednesday, March 18 Western took action to approve financial protections for customers affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
In alignment with Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-42-20, Western will continue to temporarily suspend water shutoffs due to non-payment. Western has also extended for its residential customers a suspension on the imposition of late payment penalty fees. It is important to note that Executive Order N-42-20 does not eliminate the obligation of water customers to pay for water service, nor does it reduce the amount a customer already may owe to Western.
If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, please contact Western's Customer Service team immediately to discuss payment arrangements. Western's Customer Service team can be reached Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 951.571.7104 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To protect the health and safety of both our employees and customers, Western has closed its lobby to public access. However, Western customers still have several ways to pay their bill.
- Pay online at wmwd.com/BillPay
- Pay-by-phone at 844.278.1431 (toll-free)
- Place your payment in the drop box outside our office front entrance at 14205 Meridian Parkway, Riverside, CA 92518
- Contact Western's Customer Service team at 951.571.7104 to schedule an in-person appointment
Western facilities temporarily close to the public
With the health and safety of our staff and customers of the utmost importance, Western will limit potential exposure by closing its lobby to public access, effective Friday, March 20, 2020 until further notice. Customers can still conduct business online, by phone or via email.
To support public participation in Western’s Board Meetings, Western is increasing the opportunity for customers and the public to remain engaged virtually. As always, customers and the public may access live streamed Board Meetings at wmwd.com/BoardMeeting. In addition, Western is now providing a call-in option or those customers and public participants to provide public comment.
At your service, online and by phone
We are still here to make sure you have water, but customers will need to do business online, by phone or via email.
- Pay your bill online at wmwd.com/BillPay
- Use our toll-free Pay-by-Phone system at 844.278.1431
- Drop your payment in our dropbox outside our main entrance at 14205 Meridian Parkway, Riverside
- Contact our Customer Service team via email at email@example.com
- Speak with our Customer Service team at 951.571.7104
Facilities with long-term closures encouraged to flush water pipes prior to reopening
Western encourages businesses, schools and other buildings to flush water pipes prior to reopening. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many facilities unused for weeks. Once people return to these structures, the water needs to be refreshed.
Under normal use, water pipes maintain a chlorine residual that protects public health and aesthetic water quality. Water that sits for a few weeks becomes stagnant.
Western only delivers the highest quality water that meets or exceeds all stringent state and federal water quality standards, but you are responsible for your water system in your facility.
To restore your building with fresh water, Western and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you take the following steps before starting facilities back up:
- Identify all water taps, toilets, shower and bathtub fixtures, refrigerator/freezers with an icemaker or water supply, drinking fountains, and any other source of potable water.
- Turn on all the water taps with drains simultaneously for 10 to 15 minutes, making sure to check that each drain is working properly.
- While the taps are running with fresh water, flush each toilet to refresh the water tank and empty the old water from the toilet bowl.
- Dump any old ice in the refrigerator/freezer and continue to remove the new ice for three to five cycles. Run the water from the refrigerator dispenser to refill the water line to the refrigerator.
- If the hot water has a sulfur smell or other odor, consider draining your water heater before use. Make sure your water heater is set to at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Don’t forget to check that all water taps have been turned off after flushing.
With these simple steps, you can restore fresh water to your building.
Western is committed to providing its customers with safe and reliable water. We use advanced treatment processes to eliminate pathogens, which includes COVID-19. This ensures safe drinking water for all our customers.
If you have any questions about starting your facility back up and what you can do to keep your systems safe, contact the CDC directly at 800.232.4636 or by email.
To prepare, Western has developed a “Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic Response Plan” (plan) that integrates into our “all-hazards” approach to emergency management. An internal Business Continuity Team has been established to review and update the plan, prepare and implement action plans, and make sure Western is ready to respond effectively if necessary.
The plan outlines actions that start with early communication and updates on the spread of illness and impacts to water supply operations.
As Western continues to closely follow developments with the virus, staff remain committed to offering an exceptional user experience by pairing consistent delivery of safe, reliable drinking water with outstanding customer service.
- Learn more about COVID-19 and stay updated with the latest news and information affecting our city and county.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Get email updates from the CDC by subscribing at: www.cdc.gov/Other/emailupdates/
- You can also call 2-1-1 to speak to someone if you have general questions.