About the Mountain Meadows Water System

Service Area

Mountain Meadows Mutual Water Company (MMMWC) is a nonprofit water company. The MMMWC service area is located in east central California in the unincorporated community of Crowley Lake in Mono County. Crowley Lake is located on the slopes of the Eastern Sierra, approximately 28 miles northwest of the city of Bishop and twelve miles southeast of the town of Mammoth Lakes.

The MMMWC service area is generally located at an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level. The elevation ranges between 6,800 feet in the northern portion of the service area to 7,200 feet along the southern edge of the service area.

MMMWC provides water service to homes and condominiums for domestic use and for irrigation. A system map shows the boundaries of the area served.

The service area presently encompasses 210.9 acres. The present total possible shares that can be issued by the MMMWC within the service area are tied to the development of a number of parcels of land, which includes Mountain Meadows, Whiskey Creek, Sierra Meadows, Lakeridge Bluffs, Sierra Springs, Rocking R Estates and the Mono County Community Center. The anticipated maximum number of users at buildout is 319 residence equivalency units.

Usage

Average daily demands (ADD) in the service area are estimated at 440 gallons per day (gpd) per residence. The average daily demand is based on record flows obtained from meter readings at each of the supply wells. The record use equates to a per capita consumption of 125 gpd based on an average household of 3.5 persons. During the summer irrigation months, maximum daily demands (MDD) approach 300% of the average daily demand, or 1,350 gpd per household for single family residential users (SFR). Multi-family residential projects such as Whiskey Creek Condominiums use 80% of the MDD of a user or 1,100 gpd.

The ultimate projected average and maximum daily water demands associated with all of the shares issued by the MMMWC including proposed future developments are 135,060 and 418,000 gallons respectively.

The calculated average daily demands (ADD) determine the required long-term groundwater resource capacity. The maximum daily demand determines the needed well supply capacity for the water system. Existing water demands of 95,350 gpd, including Phase I of Sierra Meadows will require a groundwater resource capacity of 106 acre feet annually. The well supply capacity necessary to satisfy the maximum daily demand will be 296,200 gpd, which equates to 203 gallons per minute. Ultimate projected water demands will require a groundwater resource capacity of 154 acre feet per year and a well supply capacity of 300 gpm.

Supply

The water supply system presently consists of four wells equipped with submersible pumps.

Previous controversy existed regarding the extent of the groundwater resource available in the vicinity of the existing MMMWC supply wells. A 1979 preliminary hydrogeologic study conducted by Slade and Blevins for development of historical spring flows indicated that the available resource was approximately 25 to 30 acre-feet per year. Although the report primarily focused on spring and shallow groundwater development, two relatively deep (over 100 feet) supply wells (Wells 1 and 4) were actually installed. Subsequent hydrologic analyses and well drawdown and recovery tests conducted by Gram/Phillips Associates in 1981 indicated that the long-term, groundwater supply capacity is approximately 330 acre-feet per year (206 gpm). Well 2 is a monitoring well situated between wells 1 and 4.

Although the well pumping tests conducted by Gram/Phillips Associates were considered to provide more reliable information than the preliminary study by Slade and Blevins, the State Public Health Department questioned the wide discrepancy in the estimated groundwater resource capacity. In response to Health Department concerns, J.H. Kleinfelder conducted additional groundwater supply studies in 1983 for Dempsey Construction Corporation. These studies determined that the available groundwater supply capacity at the location of the MMMWC Well No. 3 site was approximately 407 acre-feet per year. The capacity of the well pump installed at this location is approximately 170 gpm.

Groundwater from Wells 1 and 4 have been tested to have levels of uranium exceeding the State and Federal standard of 20 pico curries (pc)/liter. Test results have been as high as 30 pc/l. In order to meet drinking water standards the MMMWC has has taken these two wells off-line, to be only used in emergencies.

To meet the needs of the users, the Company has secured and drilled a new well, Well 5, on South Landing at Highway 395. The well and corresponding booster pump were placed on-line in early 2012. Additional wells are proposed in the Sierra Springs subdivision and Rocking R I subdivision

Storage and Distribution

The MMMWC storage system consists of two welded steel tanks. The 235,000 gallon tank was constructed in 1980. A 100,000 gallon tank was constructed next to the larger tank in the summer of 2008. A telemetry control system was installed in 1987 and upgraded in 2012 to insure the tanks are kept full in order to meet the storage requirements set by the Long Valley Fire Protection District and system demands.

Future plans call for a third storage tank to be constructed around 2020 in the southeast corner of the Lakeridge Bluffs subdivision. The proposed tank will serve the lower pressure zone of the MMMWC.

The water mains serving the Mountain Meadows Subdivision and Condominiums and the Whiskey Creek Condominiums were constructed in 1980 and 1981 respectively. The Rocking R Estates' distribution system, consisting of 8" and 10" mains, were constructed in August 1994. All water services beginning in 1995 were installed with meters with retrofitting of older services began in 2007. An 8- inch P.V.C. main with single service connections including meters was installed in 1996 to supply the church and apartment/condo properties. Eight-inch and six-inch PVC water mains with metered services were installed within the Sierra Springs subdivision in the spring of 1999. The improvements to the distribution system during construction of the Sierra Springs infrastructure included the installation of a 10-inch water main in Pearson Road connecting with the 8-inch main installed in 1996 in South Landing Road. This provided a second loop of the lower pressure zone portion of the system. No improvements were installed other than a water connection to the system as part of the Community Center Project. The Lakeridge Bluffs distribution system improvements included the installation of an 8- inch PVC high pressure zone water main from the area of Well #3 to the subdivision. A pressure reducing station was also installed within the subdivision to connect between the two pressure zones. 8- inch mains and metered services were also installed in Phase 1. The Phase 1 Lakeridge Bluffs water mains were installed in May 2003. The mains consist of 8” PVC C900 pipe. The Sierra Meadows distribution system improvements include the installation of an 8-inch PVC low pressure zone water main through the subdivision. 8-inch mains and metered services were also installed in Phase I. The mains consist of 8” PVC C900 pipe which was installed in the Spring of 2005.

The system is chlorinated quarterly, occurring within the first week of January, April, July and October of each year. This is done on a routine basis for normal maintenance.

Rates

The current connection fee is $5500 per Residence Equivalency Unit (REU). There is also an $144 non-user charge applied annually to the unpermitted subdivisions or issued service shares not active. Base water rates are $65/month per REU. Each REU is allocated 160,000 gallons per year beginning October 01 and ending September 31st of the following year. Once the 160,000 gallon limit is exceeded, additional water usage will be billed per the following table.

RATES2018-2019  
    
Base Rate/Included Gallons  $65/month 160,000 gallons
    
Tier 1  160,001-210,000 $5.00/100 gallons
    
Tier 2  210,001-310,000 $15.00/1000 gallons
    
Tier 3  310,001 + $20.00/1000 gallons

Usage is based upon the following assumptions:

  • A REU/household will use 60,000 gallons a year for domestic use.
  • A REU/household will be allocated 100,000 gallons a year for irrigation.
  • Mountain Meadows and Pinion Springs Condos are also billed for their irrigation. Mountain Meadows includes a base allocation of 1,224,000 gallons per year, while Pinion Springs includes a base allocation of 680,000 gallons. Subsequent use is billed per the same schedule as all other users.

    At the annual meeting on October 24, 2014, the Board adopted a drought contingency plan and rates, updated in September 2016, that if declared, increase the rates charged for any excess use beyond the base rates.

The system has been engineered to allow 160,000 gallons per year per REU usage and that the additional fees will be used to cover the additional costs to pump and the capital investments necessary to support increased usage.

Zenner PNM multijet meter equipped with the MIU are the new system standard. It is anticipated that meters will be read on or about October 1st, and then on or about the first of April, May, June, July, August and September. Any additional water usage fee will be billed in addition to the $65/month user(REU) fee.

HOAs will be billed at the existing flat rate of $195/quarter per user in addition to a regressive billing rate. Whiskey Creek is metered and has seen a rate reduction due to their continued conservation actions.

Mountain Meadows and Aspen Springs Condominiums now have meters installed to monitor irrigation.

Watering is not allowed between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm.

and more....

As a reminder, the laterals and meters are the responsibility of the user, not the Water Company. However, the cost of the meter is now included in the hookup fee.

When the winter season arrives, it brings snow, ice and frigid temperatures. That can be hard enough to deal with. What can make your life harder, is, if the bitter temperatures freeze a water pipe in your home. Frozen water in your home's pipes and drains can be more than just a bother. The ice inside the pipes can reduce or stop the flow of water, but it can also cause them to split or crack. If enough pressure builds up inside the pipes, they can actually burst too. The water will then be running freely, and it can flood your basement or another area of your home. To avoid these problems during the cold weather months, you need to know how to help prevent frozen water pipes in your home.

As the old saying goes, "Prevention is worth a pound of cure." There are many ways you can help to prevent the water pipes in your home from freezing. Like wrapping the hot and cold water pipes with electrical heating tape or insulation.

You can insulate the water pipes and meter pit, as long as you can reach them. Just be sure that you choose a good-quality insulation. The most common pipe insulation is sold in rolls. It wraps around the water pipes in your home to keep them from freezing. You may also choose to use an insulation that's made of foam. This dark gray insulation is sold in bags of short lengths. It's thick and round, and has an opening up the middle of each length. To use this type of insulation, you simply slide it over the pipes. To cut either type of insulation, all you need is a sharp pocket knife or a pair of scissors.

Another effective way to help prevent frozen water pipes is to check the crawl spaces in your home before the winter temperatures hit. Look for holes and cracks that can let cold air leak in, especially where there are water pipes nearby. Seal these openings up to help reduce the amount of cold air that can enter into your home.

As a last resort, a simple method to help prevent frozen water pipes in your home- at least some of them- is to open up all of the water faucets. Whenever you know that the temperature is going to drop down to the freezing point, turn each faucet on so the water drips very slowly.

If a small amount of water still runs through the pipe, thawing it won't be that difficult. Fully open the faucet connected to the partially frozen line. Turn on hot water faucets throughout the house, just enough to produce a steady trickle. The hot water pipes will heat nearby frozen lines and eventually thaw the blockage.

If you're able to locate an area of piping that's frozen solid, heat the pipe with a handheld hairdryer. Keep in mind that if your skin can tolerate the heat, it's a safe temperature for the line.

If you don't know the exact location of the obstruction, heat the line from the affected tap outward until the blockage has thawed. The thawing process may take several minutes.

Meters

1. Any member who challenges his/her meter reading and wants to replace the meter will have to do so at his/her own expense. Following installation of the new meter, the Board will monitor the member’s water usage for a period of one year before making a decision on whether or not to credit the member for prior accrued usage fees or penalties.

2. Maintenance of the lateral pipes from the main to the stop and waste valve, before the meter for each property, will be the Company’s responsibility, if the property is metered. Otherwise, the lateral is the property owner’s responsibility. From the stop and waste valve, including the meter, is the property owner’s responsibility.

3. Each member will be required to keep access to his/her water meter and the top of the water meter clear of bushes, trees or any other impediment. If the member fails to keep access clear, the Company will clear the access to the meter and charge the member a fee of $25.

4. If a member’s water meter fails and such failure is covered by warranty, the Company will fix and/or replace the meter. If damage to the meter is not covered by warranty, the member will be responsible for the cost to repair and/or replacing the meter.

5. The Company will install insulation on all existing meters to protect against the cold. After such insulation has been installed, it will be the responsibility of the member to repair, thaw and/or replace a meter that freezes.

6. Any member who installs a new meter as part of the construction of a new home will be responsible for installing and insulating the meter to water company specification; along with the installation of a stop and waste valve before the meter pit, if not equipped.