From the time your drinking water is purified at a treatment plant until it arrives at your tap, it may pick up things along the way that change the way it looks. Sometimes this happens as close as your home’s own plumbing.
Cloudy water: Water is cloudy when air gets in and makes tiny bubbles. The bubbles are harmless and will disappear if you let the water sit in a glass for a few minutes.
Dirty water: Usually when water looks dirty, it’s because of changes in the way that the water delivery system is being operated. When the direction that water flows in the pipe is changed — for maintenance work on a water main, when a fire hydrant is broken in a car accident, or there is a break in a water main — materials at the bottom of the pipes get stirred up. Usually, the water looks dirty for a short time and you shouldn’t drink it until it looks clear. One way to speed the dirty water out of your own pipes is to run cold water through all of your faucets for a few minutes. If the water is still not clear, then do the same thing again every half hour or so. The problem should go away within one to two hours. If it doesn’t, call TUD at (209) 532-5536.
Orange, red, brown or yellow water: Rust can turn water orange, red, brown or yellow. Rust gets into the water from two places — your water utility’s pipes or your own plumbing. To find out if the colored water is related to a plumbing problem on your property or your water heater, fill a large white bowl or bucket with water from the hose bib or faucet closest to the your water meter. Let the water run for two full minutes and then fill the bucket or bowl with water. If it is clear, then the problem is most likely related to the inside plumbing or water heater. If not, you should contact TUD at (209) 532-5536.
Every year TUD publishes and mails to all customers an annual water quality report. The free report gives the results of the tests it does in order to make sure your water meets federal and state drinking water regulations. The report also explains where your water comes from and includes other useful information. To see the latest TUD Water Quality Report, Click Here.
Local water suppliers employ highly trained staff to consistently monitor and test the drinking water for compliance with state and federal drinking water standards. Occasional changes to the taste and odor can come from a variety of sources that do not affect the safety of the drinking water.
Your drinking water taste could be affected by your home plumbing, the chlorine used to treat water, organic materials in the water or a change in the source of water. During the summer heat, organic materials can increase. Some water agencies use a blend of imported and local water supplies and the blend changes during times of drought. Different water supplies have different mineral composition and varying levels of hardness, which will affect taste.
A rotten egg or sulfur smell is usually caused by a dirty garbage disposal or organic matter in the drain, such as hair or soap. It can also be caused by a hot water heater not set to the proper temperature or by sewer gases entering the house through a dry p-trap. Cleaning the offending drain, flushing the hot water heater or running water in seldom-used sinks and tubs should eliminate the odor.
An earthy or musty smell or taste is often caused by algae growth in rivers and open reservoirs, which is most common during summer months. The water treatment process eliminates any harmful effects from these blooms.
Chlorine is used to neutralize pathogens like bacteria and parasites during treatment. A low level of chlorine remains to safeguard your water as it travels to your home. Water agencies that use chlorine monitor the levels constantly.
Chlorine taste is less pronounced in cold water, so keep a chilled supply in the refrigerator.
Discolored water is usually caused by the presence of rust or sediment from pipes in the water. This can occur when there are disturbances in the water distribution system, such as nearby fire hydrant use, a break in nearby water lines or system maintenance. Try clearing sediment by running the cold water tap nearest to the sidewalk until the water runs clear. If it does not clear in a few minutes, wait an hour and repeat.
Chlorine taste is less pronounced in cold water, so keep a chilled supply in the refrigerator.
In many cases, chilling the water improves taste. Place a pitcher of tap water in the refrigerator for a ready supply. Adding lemon can also improve the taste.
There are several ways you can pay your TUD bill!
The District accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, e-check, checks and money orders. If sending in a payment via mail, please send checks only- no cash. Customers may also place check payments in our secure drop box located in the parking lot at the TUD office at 18885 Nugget Blvd., Sonora.
Need assistance with your water and/or wastewater bill?
You may be eligible for help. Call ATCAA at (209) 533-1397 or click the following link to get more information about qualifying for the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) through ATCAA: https://www.atcaa.org/utility-bill-assistance
Signing up for an online account is easy and only takes a few minutes. To register for an online account, click here. You will need your account number and the last payment amount made on the account. You can locate these on your bill or contact Customer Service at (209) 532-5536. If no payments have been made on your account yet, you will enter $0.00 for the last payment made.
By creating an online account, you can view and pay your bill, review your consumption history, set up auto pay, pay-by text and sign up for e-billing.
The district has various types of water meters, but the most common meter is a Neptune brand meter. Reading your meter can help you determine if you have a water leak and also see how much water consumption your home may be using. For instructions, click this link to download the Neptune-How to Read Your Meter pdf.
Depending on the services provided at your location, you will be billed a base water rate, a water consumption rate and/or a base sewer rate. Your bill will contain charges incurred for the prior 60-day period (billed in arrears).
Please call Customer Service at (209) 532-5536 for any billing questions.
For questions concerning your bill, contact Customer Service at (209) 532-5536.
For assistance with changes to your water/sewer service, call Customer Service at (209) 532-5536 or email [email protected].
Click here to go to TUD’s customer service forms: https://tudwater.com/customer-service/
If your water bill is higher than normal, it may be time to check for a leak. Leaking water causes higher than normal water bills. What can you do?
Check the easy things first:
It might be out of sight:
Call TUD 24–hours a day, seven days a week at (209) 532-5536 to report a water or sewer emergency. If the emergency occurs after normal business hours (after 4 PM), our answering service will notify our on-call staff.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your water and/or sewer service, please contact Customer Service at (209) 532-5536, or email: [email protected].
Hours: 7am to 4pm (Monday thru Friday). Closed on Major Holidays.
Thank you for your interest in joining the TUD team! The District will post current job opportunities on this website on the Careers/Job Openings page. Applications are only accepted for open and posted positions. For more information go to this page, https://tudwater.com/careers/job-openings/
PG&E owns Lyons and Strawberry Reservoirs (Pinecrest) and the Tuolumne Main Canal. PG&E owns and operates a canal and flume system to deliver water from Lyons Reservoir to the Phoenix Powerhouse. TUD owns, operates, and maintains approximately 71 miles of ditch, flume, pipe, and tunnel infrastructure downstream of the Tuolumne Main Canal that diverts raw water from the PG&E system. While TUD owns and operates this portion of the ditch system, it does not own the majority of the land on which it exists.
A miner’s inch is a historic unit of measurement that dates back to the Gold Rush. A miner’s inch equals 11.22 gallons per minute, on a 24-hour per day basis. Click the following link to watch a video on measuring water by means of a miner’s inch.
The ditch system is essential in helping TUD provide the community with reliable water. Without water coming from the ditches, the only water available is what remains in the storage tanks and wells, hardly enough for drinking, sanitary use, and fire protection for an extended period. If routine ditch and flume maintenance is deferred, we run the risk of losing water supply at any time during the year. Due to its importance, preventative maintenance and improvements are vital to keep the water flowing each year.
The annual ditch outage is typically scheduled during the first few weeks in October by PG&E. PG&E owns the Tuolumne Main Canal from Lyons Reservoir down to Twain Harte. Because PG&E turns water off to the Tuolumne Main Canal during this time, TUD must take advantage of the outage to perform its own ditch maintenance while the source water is already off.
Raw water rates can be viewed by following this link:
Heavy rains and warm summers can lead to algae overgrowth in water reservoirs, including Phoenix Lake. Although not harmful, in the right conditions, algae can bloom out of control, causing taste and odor problems in the water distribution system. In an effort to control algae growth and improve water quality taste and odor for our customers, Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) will be applying treatment to Phoenix Lake for algae beginning in the summer of 2023. Below is a list of frequently asked questions about this treatment process.
Phoenix Lake is being treated with an algaecide to control the growth of algae and improve water quality.
An algaecide is a treatment used to control or eliminate algae growth in bodies of water
The Lake Doctor, a contractor hired by the District, will complete the treatment. Treatment typically takes less than one day. The length of treatment depends on the severity of the algae growth and weather conditions, however, will most likely reoccur monthly, for up to 6 months depending on its effectiveness.
Yes, the algaecide being used is safe for humans and animals when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Yes. The algaecide being used is approved for use in water reservoirs and is rated safe for drinking water.
TUD has performed similar lake treatments over the years in various locations within its service area yielding positive results and improving water quality for our customers. Should we see improvement from the treatment at Phoenix Lake, the district may begin performing treatments annually each spring.
TUD staff, under advisement of its expert contractor, considered other methods such as active mixing and aeration; however, the algaecide treatment was deemed the most efficient, effective, and affordable solution to improve the water quality for our customers.
Contact our office at (209) 532-5536, ext. 554 for additional questions. For the Phoenix Lake Application Plan and Permit documents, click the following links: