Water Company Activities Summary for 2020
- The GranMutual.org web site has been updated with meeting minutes, testing results and an email sign up form. The Board of Directors hopes to increase the use of email for billing and communication. Currently we will continue using the U.S. mail.
- We have almost completed the Skansen Phase # 2 Water Pipe extension. This is an upgrade that was approved in 2018. All that is left is to satisfy Butte County’s request for a #2 Slurry overlay of the road surface in the project area. We are getting bids.
- We have continued the program of installing water meters. Many have been paid for. The Board has agreed that water meters will not have to be installed on vacant lots that will not use any water. The Board offered a financial incentive of allowing stockholders to purchase a meter at the current rate until the end of December, when the cost will increase by $500.
- With fewer homes, due to the Camp Fire, our water use still has increased by 30% and the associated utility cost to produce the water has increased by 17% in a year. High usage members are asked to conserve with landscaping water. The Board is working on the 2021 Budget and there may be a need to increase the monthly dues rate.
- Gran Mutual’s Board plans on eventually having a tiered billing system. The members that used the most water would pay above the base price and those that used less would pay a base rate. Some would see a reduction in their costs. Understand that the annual budget would remain in the $180,000 to $200,000 per year, so water dues for high users would increase.
- More upgrades and maintenance projects are scheduled over the years. A spreadsheet has been developed for the long-term costs. We use this in planning major service projects and keeping track that we have enough money.
- Gran Mutual is in the process of retaining a leading law firm that deals with water issues. This is to make sure we follow the law and protect the rights of all our stockholders and our water company.
- Due to the COVID-19 health issues, our Board has been meeting on the third Tuesday of each month at homes where we keep social distancing. Our Annual Meeting will be under a ZOOM meeting format so you can all attend.
- Please lower your irrigation usage now that the weather is changing.
- The email for our billing and voting correspondence is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please add this email address to your computer to make sure mailings from this address do not go to your spam file.
- Nomination for Board of Directors and Meeting announcements are out. Consider being on the Board, and plan to vote. Also, plan to attend our annual meeting.
About Landscape Irrigation Water:
Please remember that PG&E charges Gran Mutual Water Company the highest rates during the peak time hours. In the summer, Gran Mutual Water Company (ie our members) pays thousands of dollars per month for electricity to pump water. With the highest use of water for irrigation in the summer, it can really pay off if the members set an off peak time for landscape irrigation.
The Board is asking all the water users to time their use of water for landscape irrigation during partial peak or off peak periods. Off peak hours are from 9:30 pm to 8:30 am. It is partial peak from 8:30 am to noon and from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm. Noon to 6:00 pm is the time to avoid water use.
Member cooperation will help the Board prevent a rate increase. Tell your landscaper or whoever sets the irrigation timing about this request.
Thank you for your cooperation in this effort.
The Spanish Garden Pipeline Project:
In Spring of 2018, the board of directors authorized a contract to do Phase I of the Spanish Garden Water Reliability Project. This project is being paid for by the accumulated capital reserves the company has established to allow for preventative maintenance and system improvements.
The purpose of this project is to enhance the fire flow protection in the area around the top of Alms Bluff drive. This area is currently not protected by a fire hydrant that can deliver the recommended flow rates.
The second goal of this project is to increase the reliability of the system to ensure reliable water service to residents of Spanish Garden Dr. There is a section of original pipeline that is nearing 40 years old, and it was installed down the side of the bluff, with a few substandard anchors into the lava rock as the only support. If this section of pipeline was to fail, the residents of Spanish Garden Drive would have no water for an extended period of time (weeks). This project will prevent that possibility.
UPDATE as of November 15, 2018:
The Project is essentially complete and the pipelines and new hydrants are now all installed. The remaining work is fixing the roads that were dug up, but this has been put on hold due to the fire and also weather.
We now have 4 new fire hydrants installed between Canyon Rim Place and Alms Bluff Drive. This dramatically improves the fire protection capabilities in this area. This new pipeline section is in full operation and gave us the ability to bypass a damaged reducing valve station that was burned up to restore water to the system in a much more timely manner.
The final invoicing has not yet been received for this project, but it appears that the project will be completed substantially under the engineers estimated cost which was the budgeted amount.
UPDATE as of January 22, 2019
The project ended up coming in about $60,000 under budget. It has also proven to be a good thing that we completed this project. The section of pipeline that runs down the cliff to Spanish Garden Drive was our area of concern, and during the recent rainstorms, a giant digger pine blew over and landed directly on top of that section of the pipeline. We now have that section of the pipeline isolated and drained in case the tree moves and breaks the line. Without this project, that would have meant no water for any of the homes on Spanish Garden Drive.
The Board of Directors Report:
The all-volunteer Board of Directors for the Gran Mutual Water Company meets once a month to discuss administration of the water system. This meeting is open to members of Gran Mutual Water Company.
The Gran Mutual Board of Directors has established a policy for delinquent payments. Please read and understand this policy.
As of December 2007, the Board completed the major items in 2006-07 Improvement Project and reports that Gran Mutual Water Company has a new well, a new water storage tank, a backup electricity generator, and a chlorinating system. This includes the related pipes, yard improvements, and a fire hydrant.
As of November 2008, Gran Mutual Water Company completely restored the old well with new casing and pumps and this well has passed water quality tests. The water system has a new building at the old well site. The old well site now has a backup electricity generator and new controls.
Gran Mutual Water Company’s wells, tanks, and booster stations have a monitoring and warning system. This system reads the water levels, flow rates, and monitors equipment operation. If tank levels are too low, or there is a equipment malfunction, an automatic message is generated and sent to a the system operator. Additions to this system are being made. It will be set up so that there will be monitoring and control for all the new equipment
More new hydrants are planned. Water usage meters are being installed as new users come on or by request.
The Board of Directors values the input from members about problems or issues with the Gran Mutual Water Company water service. For most business matters, correspondence by mail is preferred. However, phone numbers are provided through these web pages.The Watermaster is available at all times if there is an emergency.
State Certified Water System Operator:
Water Utility Professional Services
PO Box 31
Nelson, Ca. 95958
530-531-5948 (Mobile 24/7)