To whom it may concern, I am contacting you regarding an ongoing serious health issue affecting our community. We reside in the CZU fire zone in the 5th district of Santa Cruz County. The CZU fire damaged the water system which serves approximately 400 + families in our area. The system is privately owned by Big Basin Water Company. For the last 2 ½ years our community has endured countless water outages and unsafe water conditions which have required boiling before use among other struggles. This was exacerbated by the recent major flooding disaster.
There have been many discussions with the owners, and we have been given many excuses as to why they can't provide us with consistent and safe water. The owners of BBW blame their incompetence predominantly on the fire damage and the fact that they're a private small business who hasn't been able to pass a rate increase to cover the costs of keeping their system up to code. They state this is also the reason why they aren’t eligible for assistance. It has come to light that these issues existed prior to the fire, have been long standing, and have been documented by the CPUC and the State Water Board. These are not acceptable excuses for why their customers are still struggling to have reliable and safe water service.
There have been discussions and negotiations to merge BBW with the adjacent public company San Lorenzo Water District, however at the board meeting held on February 16, 2023, the board voted to terminate any further negotiations with Big Basin Water company. Many of the affected have tried to contact Bruce McPherson (our district supervisor) regarding this issue with no response.
We deserve clean, drinkable water. We pay our bills. We pay our taxes. Our elected officials and BBW have not been fulfilling their obligation to provide our community with a safe, reliable, and consistent water source. In addition, there are growing concerns the BBW system is not adequate for fire fighting needs.
We need you to recognize the importance of this issue and do whatever you can to help us find a solution.