COVID-19 UPDATE | The City is coordinating closely with our public health officials at the Santa Cruz County Health Department to prevent the further spread COVID-19. In an effort to protect you and our community, changes and measures have been adopted in daily operations and activities. For further details please click here for the City’s Response to COVID-19

Projects in Your Neighborhood

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We apologize for any inconvenience our work may cause to our customers, and we thank you for your patience as we improve your drinking water system and facilities.

All work is scheduled between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm unless otherwise noted.

To see project environmental documents, please refer to the Environmental Reports page.

Graham Hill Water Treatment Plant Flocculator Replacement, July 2020: The City hired W.M. Lyles Co. to replace the aging flocculators in the water treatment plant's three sedimentation basins. Flocculators are elements of the drinking water treatment process that facilitate the removal of sediment and other organic materials. Work is tentatively scheduled to begin in July 2020 and be complete by October 2020. This schedule may be delayed by supply-chain impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ocean Street Extension Water Main Replacement, August 2020 - June 2021: There is approximately a half-mile of 1950’s era treated drinking water main under Ocean Street Extension from Crossing St to Quail Crossing St that needs to be replaced to improve reliability, decrease leaks, and improve fire flow. The utilities in this road are complex requiring work to be performed in stages causing temporary impacts to traffic and parking. Should there be a need for temporary interruption of water service, the City will notify customers at least 48 hours in advance of scheduled interruptions. Construction activities are scheduled from August 2020 till June 2021 from 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday excluding weekends, holidays, and inclement weather. For more information, read the project’s FAQs and to see if you will be impacted, please view the project map.

Riverbank Filtration Study (RBF), May 2020 - October 2020:  The City of Santa Cruz gets most of its water from the San Lorenzo River which becomes untreatable during high precipitation events (rainy weather). Riverbank filtration uses nearby subsurface water wells to filter the surface water from the San Lorenzo River through the sand and gravel banks producing improvement in water quality. The purpose of this study is to investigate the feasibility of expanding the City's current riverbank filtration on the San Lorenzo River. The Study includes hydrogeological investigations to determine underground geology and surface-to-groundwater interaction using soil borings, monitoring wells, and various temporary equipment. Working hours will be 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday excluding weekends and holidays. To see the area where the study will take place view the project map. 

Coast Pump Station Raw Water Pipeline, March 2020-October 2020: This project will replace a raw water pipeline that runs under the San Lorenzo River from the Coast Pump Station (on the west side of the river) and connects to the Graham Hill Water Treatment Plant (GHWTP). The work will consist of micro-tunneling, a type of horizontal drilling, under the San Lorenzo River and the excavation of two large pits on City property located on both sides of the San Lorenzo River. A majority of raw water that comes to the GHWTP flows from this pipeline, making this one of the most critical features in the system. The pipeline has had several leaks in recent years that have been repaired, but overall replacement is needed to ensure reliability. This project is scheduled during normal business hours with the addition of night work during critical work periods. The City is identifying when and how long critical work periods will occur and is considering all options to minimize impacts to neighbors. If night work is needed, neighbors will be notified in advanced. Neighbors should also expect construction-related noise and traffic along access routes. For more information, please visit the Coast Pump Station webpage.

March 3, 2020: Award of Contract

The bid and protest periods for Construction Services for the Coast Pump Station 20-inch Raw Water Pipeline Replacement Project have closed. The City has awarded the contract to the lowest responsible responsive bidder, Vadnais Trenchless Services, Inc.


7th Avenue Water Main Replacement Project, October 2019-February 2020: The City hired JK Woods Construction, Inc. to replace the 8" diameter water main in 7th Avenue between East Cliff Drive and the rail road tracks. The water main had a number of disruptive breaks, making its replacement urgent. To find out more about the project, please view the public notice and project map.

Water Street Main Replacement, July 2019:  Working with Don Chapin Co., the Water Department replaced approximately a half mile of water main between The Water Street Bridge and Reed Way, on part of Ocean Street at the Water and Ocean Streets intersection, and on part of May Avenue. To learn more about the project, please view the public notice and project map.

University Tank No. 5 (U5), April  2019: U5 is a two-million gallon steel water storage tank that was constructed in 1959. Located off of Empire Grade, U5 is one of three water storage tanks labeled "University," which, despite the name, serves the west side of Santa Cruz and the north coast, in addition to the university. Significant corrosion, a number of compromised structural members, the inability to meet current building code design standards, and other factors required replacement of the tank.

The U5 tank replacement project included three phases:

  1. Installation of a 35,000 gallon temporary tank to provide water while U5 was out of service.
  2. Replacement of the inlet/outlet pipeline (about 900 feet of water main serving the tank off of Empire Grade.)
  3. Demolition and reconstruction of a new U5 tank.

To learn more about the project, please read the public notice.

(U5 tank during painting process.)

Seaview Avenue, January 2020: With a history of leaks on this street, the Department upgraded service lines in the Seaview Avenue area from galvanized and plastic to copper. The project was completed in February.

Graham Hill Water Treatment Plant Tube Settles Replacement, July 2019: The City hired W.M. Lyles Co. to replace tube settlers and other components in the water treatment plant's three sedimentation basins. Tube settlers are elements of the drinking water treatment process that facilitate the removal of sediment and other organic materials. Work began in July 2019 and was completed in October 2019.

Newell Creek Access Road Bridge, September 2019: Construction  occurred during September and October at the intersections of the bridge, Newell Creek Road, and private driveways serving addresses 10212, 10206, 10218, 10220. The construction work area was in the creek below the bridge. The contractor did not block vehicle access across the bridge. The City contracted with Rehak General Engineering and work was completed in November 2019.

Beltz Well 10 Rehabilitation and Beltz Well 11 Redevelopment Projects, November 5 - December 21, 2018: The Water Department contracted with Roadrunner Drilling & Pump Company to perform required maintenance of two municipal water wells in the vicinity of 30th Avenue and Portola in Live Oak. 

To learn more about the project, please view the public notice.

Felton Diversion Inflatable Dam Rubber Bladder Replacement Project: The City of Santa Cruz operates an 8’ high by 75’ wide inflatable diversion dam on the San Lorenzo River that is raised during high river flow periods between September 1 and May 1 of each year. The impounded water is then pumped to storage at the City’s Loch Lomond Reservoir. Water drawn from the reservoir is treated to drinking water standards at the Graham Hill Water Treatment Plant, and distributed to the City’s water service area. During the summer months and other low flow periods the dam is deflated to allow river flows to pass the facility. 

The Felton Diversion facility was constructed in 1974. The current Bridgestone rubber bladder was installed in 1985 and was replaced during this project. The work included diverting the San Lorenzo River through the diversion facility’s bypass sluiceway and around the construction area, removing and properly disposing of the existing rubber bladder, installing the new rubber bladder, and returning the river path to its pre-construction condition. 

The project began on September 10 and was completed in approximately two months. To learn more about the project, please view the  public notice and project photos.

River Street Water Main Replacement, overall construction activities July 2017 - September 2018: The water main under River Street was almost a century old and the City needed to replace it. The City contracted with Anderson Pacific Engineering Construction Inc. to install approximately 1,000 feet of 18" pipe, 1,600 feet of 12" pipe, 13 pipeline connections, and 37 water service reconnections on River Street; and 1,110 feet of 8" pipe, 3 pipeline connections, 100 feet of slip-lining, 16 water service reconnections, and 3 water service renewals on Potrero Street. 

Bay Street Tanks Landscaping, mid-July through October 2017: The final phase of the Bay Street Tanks project concluded in 2017 with project site landscaping. The project included regrading the frontage, upgrading the fencing, and planting native and drought tolerant trees and shrubs.

To learn more about the project, please view the project photos and Landscape Plan.

North Coast Main Replacement, Phase 3: The fourth and final shutdown for tie-ins started June 12. The project area was particularly challenging; in one area 80' of existing steel pipe was removed, with a new pipe installed underneath the existing Coast potable water main and landfill leachate line. Phase 3 was completed by the end of June.


Bay Street Solar PV Project: Sandbar Solar designed and installed a 298kW (DC) solar PV system on the roof of one of the new 6-million gallon concrete water tanks at Bay Street. This solar PV system offsets the power used at the tank site, as well as the nearby University 2 pump station. Construction began in May and was completed by summer 2017.

Tait Wells Replacement and Rehabilitation Project, beginning April: Anderson Pacific Engineering Construction, Inc. completed construction of a new well motor control center, two new replacement well pump stations, and site improvements in January 2017, near 200 Crossing Street. This project expanded the availability and reliability of source water, water treatment operational flexibility, and water quality. Tait Wells played a crucial role as a reliable high quality water source during the recent winter storms in January and February 2017.

Please call us at the numbers below with any questions or concerns!

Water Distribution Customer Service (9:00am-5:00pm, Mon-Fri) 831.420.5220

Water Distribution (7:00am-3:30pm, Mon-Fri) 831.420.5560

After Hours, Weekends and Holidays: 831.429.7525