The Western Municipal Water District assured customers Tuesday that all workers are taking precautions to prevent exposure to coronavirus and that operations to secure supplies for consumption and other uses are continuing without interruption, despite public health restrictions.
"Our priority is to provide uninterrupted water and sewer services to our customers," WMWD General Manager Craig Miller said. "These services may not be top of mind for most, but without Western, our customers would not have the vital resource they need for hand washing, bathing, doing laundry and staying hydrated. We fulfill a critical and essential need."
Miller said the ongoing COVID-19 emergency is no reason to stockpile water, because the utility's supplies remain safe, and there is no depletion of reserves with which to be concerned.
"Our customers can rest easy, knowing that when they turn to the tap their water will keep flowing," he said.
The utility, which serves Box Springs, March Air Reserve Base, Orangecrest, Norco, Woodcrest and neighboring locations, falls into the "essential'' category of Gov. Gavin Newsom's executive order last month permitting normal workflow, while other entities are directed to rely on telecommuting and other conduct in the interest of coronavirus mitigation.
Miller said customers should not be surprised to see WMWD field staff performing duties with N95 face masks and other protective gear. The safeguards have been in place since county Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser issued an amended order on April 6 stating that face coverings of any quality are necessary when outside the home.
"Employees working in public areas have already been provided masks from our existing supplies, and are being encouraged to bring their own," Miller said. "We understand the importance of preserving the supply of N95 masks, so Western will be providing fabric coverings in the next week to keep N95 supplies in the hands of frontline medical workers."
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Additional information about the utility's actions under the public health emergency can be found at its website.