Frequently Asked Questions
- Where does my drinking water come from?
LBRID is a community surface water system sourced from Putah Creek. Raw water from the creek is treated and disinfected at the water treatment plant, and then pumped into the distribution system where it flows to your tap.
- How is my drinking water regulated?
The District’s water system is regulated by the State of California Division of Drinking Water and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In order to operate, the LBRID system must adhere to the conditions outlined in the permit to operate issued by the state.
- How do germs and chemicals get into my drinking water?
There can be many sources of contamination of water systems. The most common sources of contaminants include:
- Naturally occurring chemicals and minerals (e.g., arsenic, radon, uranium)
- Local land use practices (e.g., fertilizers, pesticides, livestock, concentrated animal feeding operations)
- Manufacturing processes
- Sewer overflows
- Malfunctioning wastewater treatment systems (e.g., nearby septic systems)
EPA and the State regulates many contaminants that pose known human health risks. Testing of both raw source water and treated drinking water determines if any contaminants are present and to what extent the water system must treat water to ensure those contaminants are removed after treatment.
- How do I filter water at my home if I am concerned about water quality?
Different water filters have different functions. Some can make your water taste better, while others can remove harmful chemicals or germs. Visit CDC’s filter page to learn more about home water filters.
- How can I find out if there has been a violation in our public water standard?
When water quality standards have not been met, your public water system must alert and notify customers if there is a risk to their health. Your annual consumer confidence report (CCR) is another way to find out about the water quality in your area, and find information regarding contaminants, possible health effects, and the water’s source.
- Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area?
Every community water supplier must provide an annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) to its customers.. The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. Six (6) years of CCRs for your system are posted here; most CCR’s for prior years are available upon request – [email protected]
- How often does the local public water system test my drinking water?
Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual consumer confidence report (CCR).
- What should I do if I want my household water tested?
If you are concerned about contaminants in the LBRID water system, contact your state drinking water certification officer to obtain a list of certified labs that can help you determine what specific tests may be of interest. Depending on how many contaminants you wish to test for, the cost of a water test can range from $15 to hundreds of dollars. Visit EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Information website if you have questions external icon on testing methods.
- Who should I contact if my water has a funny smell, taste, or appearance?
A change in your water’s taste, color, or smell is not necessarily a health concern. However, sometimes a change can be a sign of problems. If you notice a change in your water, call the LBRID main office at 707-259-8600 (M-F 8 am – 5pm), or the operations team at 916-584-1893, at any time.
If you want to test your water yourself, the County Environmental Health department (707-253-4417) or State Division of Drinking Water (916-341-5455) may be able to assist in explaining any tests that you need for various contaminants. If your local health department is not able to help, contact a state certified laboratory to perform the test.
- Who is responsible for sewer repairs?
The Lake Berryessa Resort Improvement District (LBRID) maintains all public sewer mains, and lower laterals within its service area (PDF) which includes Unit 2 of the Berryessa Estates subdivision. This includes ~35,000 ft of sewer mainline that is located both within public streets and easements dedicated for LBRID’s use.
Each residential building has a separate connection to the public sewer main line which is called a sewer lateral. Each sewer lateral has two components:
- Lower lateral – from the curb to the street (District’s responsibility)
- Upper lateral – from the curb to the house and beyond (property owner’s responsibility)
It is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain and repair the upper sewer lateral from the house to the property line cleanout. LBRID maintains the lower sewer lateral and main line. The cleanout is typically located behind the property line and is the connection point between the upper and lower lateral. This cleanout is designed to go one direction (downstream) and cannot be used by homeowners or plumbers to clean the upper lateral. The cap on most cleanouts are designed to fit loosely, allowing it to come off in the event of a backup in the lower lateral or sewer main.
- How can I find out where a sewer problem is?
When a sewer backup or other problem occurs, call the LBRID main office at 707-259-8600 (M-F 8 am – 5pm), or the operations team at 916-584-1893, at any time, and a member of the LBRID operations staff will come out and inspect the public sewer main and lower lateral, free of charge. In many cases it will not be obvious whether the property owner or LBRID is responsible for the problem. If the problem is in the District’s lower lateral, we’ll repair the problem as soon as possible. If the District’s sewer line is clear, the property owner will be informed that the blockage is likely in the upper sewer lateral. In this case, the property owner is responsible for maintenance or repair and may still need to call a plumber.
- Sewage is backing up into my house/building through overflowing toilets, sinks, bathtubs, dishwasher, and/or washing machines. What should I do?
If this problem occurs, stop using water immediately. If you are not using your household water outlets, there may be a problem in the public sewer main. Call the District main office at 707-259-8600 (M-F 8 am – 5pm), or the operations team at 916-584-1893 at any time to request service. If the problem is found on the customer’s side of the service, a plumber will need to be dispatched by the customer.
- Sewage is overflowing from a cleanout or manhole onto the ground, driveway, street, etc. What should I do?
Overflow devices (clean-outs) are usually located at the property line and near the building. There is a 4-inch cap on top of the vertical pipe that should be left on loosely. The purpose of the clean-out is to allow sewage from a plugged sewer line to overflow outside instead of inside the building, as well as provide access for cleaning. If sewage is flowing from a clean-out, call the District main office at 707-259-8600 (M-F 8 am – 5pm), or the operations team at 916-584-1893 at any time to request service.
Manhole structures are usually located in the middle of the street and also provide access for cleaning and pipe inspection. If sewage is coming up through a manhole, call the District office at 707-259-8600 (M-F 8 am – 5pm), or the operations team at 916-584-1893 at any time for service.
- I have slow drainage through my toilets, showers, and sinks. What can I do about it?
The first thing to do is to contact the District main office at 707-259-8600 (M-F 8 am – 5pm), or the operations team at 916-584-1893 at any time to request service. An LBRID crewmember will come to your house to determine if the problem is the responsibility of LBRID or the property owner. If the problem is in our line, we’ll take care of it. If LBRID operators discover that the problem is in the property owner’s lateral sewer line or plumbing fixtures, you may need to make repairs yourself or call a plumber.
- I paid a plumber to repair my sewer lateral line. It turns out the problem was occurring in the public sewer line. Can I be reimbursed for my plumbing bill?
Sometimes, but you will need to complete a claim form (PDF) and submit as directed to be considered. This is why we encourage homeowners to contact LBRID first when a sewer problem occurs. LBRID operators can typically determine who is responsible for the maintenance or repair prior to repairs being made. If the problem is in LBRID’s portion of the sewer, we’ll repair it. However, if the problem is in the property owner’s portion of the sewer line, a plumber may still be necessary. Call us first!
- How do I proceed with a sewer lateral repair problem?
If the sewer problem is found to be in the upper lateral portion (between the building and cleanout at the property line), the property owner is responsible for repair and can hire a plumbing contractor or make the repairs themselves. Contractors are listed in the yellow pages of the phone book under "Plumbing Drain and Sewer Cleaning" or "Sewer Contractors." If you plan to hire a contractor, we recommend getting estimates from more than one company.
- Is there information available on the history or cleaning frequency of a sewer line?
Call the District at 707-258-6000 to request records. Include the area(s) you wish more information on, and District staff will get back to you with additional information.
- There is a manhole cover in my neighborhood that rattles every time a vehicle drives over it. What can I do about it?
Occasionally, there may be a separation between the base and the cover of the manhole or rodding inlet, causing the cover to rattle when a vehicle drives over it. To report a rattling manhole or rodding inlet cover, call the District at 707-259-8600 (M-F 8 am – 5pm), or the operations team at 916-584-1893 at any time to request service.
- What can I do about terrible sewer odors?
First, try to determine where the odor is coming from; inside the home or outside in the street. If an odor is coming from inside the home, there may be a problem with the internal plumbing system. Check your internal system first, such as ensuring that all of your p-trap drains have water in them, or call a plumbing company. If the problem exists outdoors, call the District at 707-259-8600 (M-F 8 am – 5pm), or the operations team at 916-584-1893 at any time.
- Can I pour paint that down the drain?
Paint should not go down the drain. Neither should solvents, pesticides, automotive fluids including oil, or any of a range of potentially toxic products. These products can all be disposed of at the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility in Napa. Other disposal options may also exist with your garbage service provider.
- Is there any assistance for low-income households?
LBRID does not have programs available to assist low-income households.
- How can I connect to an existing sewer?
To connect to the LBRID sewer system, your property must be within LBRID’s service area, and pay all fees and connection charges. Additional information about the connections process can be found here. Please contact the District office at 707-259-8600 (M-F 8 am – 5pm), or email questions to [email protected]
- Can I tour the wastewater treatment plant?
If you would like a tour of the LBRID wastewater facility, please give us a call at 707-259-8600.
- I know I shouldn’t flush old medications down the toilet; where can I take them?
Even advanced wastewater treatment processes can’t remove medications/pharmaceuticals from wastewater. Traces of medications that pass through the treatment plant can harm aquatic organisms and potentially affect groundwater sources or people. To reduce the threat of medications in the environment, dispose of them at a collection facility. The following is listing of medication drop-off locations in Napa County – please call in advance to confirm drop-off capabilities and hours:
For drop-off of non-controlled substances and medications only:
- Hazardous Waste Collection Facility | 889A Devlin Road, American Canyon | 1-800-984-9661 | Open Friday and Saturday 9am to 4pm
For drop-off of narcotics and other controlled substances and medications (and non-controlled substances/medications):
- American Canyon Safeway |103 American Canyon Road, American Canyon | (707) 649-5160 (Pharmacy)
- Napa County Sheriff’s Office | 1535 Airport Blvd, Napa | (707) 253-4509
- Napa Police Department | 1539 First St, Napa | (707) 257-9223 (Non-Emergency Number)
- Napa Safeway | 3375 Jefferson Street, Napa | (707) 225-3040 (Pharmacy)
- Yountville Sheriff Station | 1950 Mulberry St, Yountville | (707) 944-9228 (Use call box at front door for access)
- Yountville Veterans Home | 123 California Drive, Yountville | (707) 944-4500
- Vasconi’s Pharmacy | 1381 Main St, St. Helena | (707) 963-1444 | Open Monday through Saturday 9am to 6pm, closed Sundays
- St. Helena Police Station | 1480 Main St, St. Helena | (707) 967-2850
- Calistoga Police Station | 1235 Washington St, Calistoga | 707-942-2810