City waives utility penalties to ensure households have access to critical services during COVID-19 outbreak

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Sacramento City Council on March 17 unanimously adopted a resolution that temporarily waives penalties from delinquent utility charges and protects against the discontinuance of City-provided utilities (water, solid waste, wastewater and drainage) despite non-payment.

“This will help ensure that all households have the critical services they need during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Department of Utilities Director Bill Busath.

The City weeks ago implemented detailed plans to ensure the continuity of critical services, including public safety, waste management, and of course, safe drinking water. City Express sat down with Busath, who oversees water services in the city, to talk about  the safety of our local tap water:

Q: What impact if any does COVID-19 have on Sacramento’s water?

A: The coronavirus has no impact on the quality or supply of our tap water. As always,  tap water in the city is available, plentiful and safe. While it’s always advisable to have some bottled water at home in case of emergencies, the City does not expect this health outbreak to disrupt service to our customers in any way.

Q: How is our water treated?

A: The treatment processes at our surface water plants and drinking water wells eliminate any pathogens (including viruses like the coronavirus) and ensure safe drinking water for all our customers.

Q: What plans does the Department of Utilities have in place to keep water services running smoothly?

A: Our Emergency Action Plan includes strategies that make sure we have adequate staffing at critical water production and distribution facilities. In other words, we have planned and we are prepared. 

Q: How does our water quality compare to the state and country?

The City of Sacramento delivers water of the highest quality and is committed to providing safe and reliable water. Our tap water meets or surpasses all state and federal drinking water requirements. This information is detailed in the City’s Annual Consumer Confidence Report and our Water Quality Data Portal. (Both the report and portal can be found here). 

Q: How does the Department of Utilities measure its water quality?

Highly skilled staff at the City’s state-certified water quality laboratory conducts more than 500 water quality tests each month to ensure your tap water meets or surpasses all state and federal drinking water standards.


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