O'Connor Tract Co-Operative Water Co.
P.O. Box 1375
Palo Alto, California 94302-1375
Telephone (650) 321-2723
For new members and others unfamiliar with your Water Company, the Board of Directors consists of five volunteer members elected by the membership at large. We also have Alternates who attend the monthly Board meetings and participate in Water Company discussions. The number of Alternates is unlimited and any member is encouraged to volunteer and be elected as an Alternate at the Annual Meeting. All members are welcome at the monthly Board meetings held the 2nd Thursday at 7:30pm (historically at 211 Oak Ct, but since the beginning of the pandemic, these are held via Zoom videoconference).
In addition to the Board of Directors, there are part-time Company employees including a secretary-treasurer and water operators. As these are part-time employees, it may be necessary to leave a voicemail message when you call. The Chief Water Operator or his designated backup regularly monitors the Company’s operations.
A member of the Co-Operative is the holder of the legal title to the property. Membership ceases upon transfer of record of the legal title of the property. Each member is entitled to a number of votes related to the size of his/her property in acreage.
It is the responsibility of each member:
If a member does not fulfill these responsibilities, the Board might be unable to conduct business which might affect water rates and water distribution to members.
Members should be aware that fluoride is not added to their water as is done in some neighboring water systems. Members with children can call their pediatrician or dentist for more information. Note that the hot water faucet in your home should not be used for drinking or cooking. Always use cold water and heat it on the stove or other ways such as a microwave, if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the water in a drinking glass sometimes white?
The cold water being pumped up by the well pumps holds more dissolved oxygen than the warmer water being pumped into our distribution system. Pressurized water holds more oxygen than non-pressurized water. When the warmer, non-pressurized water is released into the atmosphere, the dissolved oxygen comes out of solution in the form of bubbles.more...
In addition to maintaining delivery of water service and responding to water emergencies, your Board continually works to improve and update the Water Company facilities.
Water shutoffs of parts of the system are required for periodic flushing of the mains, for planned upgrades and for emergency repairs. Road signs are placed in the area affected in advance, when possible, and email notifications are sent to those who’ve signed up for this service (see above). Discoloration of the water from your tap may occur after water shutoffs. If you observe anything in the water, be sure to turn on a faucet or hose bib and let the water flow until it runs clear before washing clothes or other uses.
The State requires us to distribute a public notice regarding the levels of manganese quarterly. Manganese is a secondary standard, meaning that it is not a health risk. However, the state passed legislation that requires additional steps be taken when the levels of manganese in community water systems is higher than the secondary standard level. See the 2016 Survey tab for more information. http://www.oconnorwater.org/2016-survey.html
The state has mandated that those properties with testable backflow preventers must have them tested once a year. Members with such devices receive a letter from San Mateo County with information on hiring a certified tester to get their devices tested each year.
Billing and Late Fee Policy
Metered Accounts:Your monthly invoice is based on the amount of water used multiplied by the rate per unit. A 10% late fee will be applied if full payment is not received 30 days from the invoice date. For each month that a balance is not paid in full, an additional 1% late fee will be applied.
Unmetered Accounts: A bill for the entire year will be sent at the beginning of February. The Company requests that Members pay the annual bill in full as we have operating expenses to pay throughout the year. However, Members have the option of paying in 4 quarterly payments, or 2 half-year payments. Please send full, half, or quarterly payment within 30 days of the February invoice. If you initially pay one-quarter of the annual bill, we will send you invoices at the beginning of May, August, and November, and those quarterly payments are due within 30 days of each invoice. If you initially pay half of the annual bill, we will send you a second invoice at the beginning of August for the remaining amount.
A 5% late fee will be added to the balance if no payment has been received by July 31st, and another 5% will be added to the balance if full payment has not been received by December 31st. If full payment has not been received by December 31st, water will be shut off and a $150 shutoff fee will apply.
Before digging for construction, homeowners or their contractors should call Underground Service Alert (1-800-227-2600) so the area may be marked by utilities, including your water company. This is to prevent breaking any lines while excavating. Also, homeowners having concrete work done in the yard must ensure that the concrete does not cover the water shut-off valve.