Water Services

Lyons Reservoir

Many people take water for granted. It’s easy to expect, clean cool water when you turn on a faucet in your home. TUD is dedicated to delivering this expectation to its customers. Over the years, TUD has developed extensive water transmission and distribution systems to continue to service its customers now and in the future.

Water Cross Connection

Cross-connections can be found in all plumbing systems. They are physical connections between a drinking water pipe and something that is not safe to drink – such as raw/untreated water, a swimming pool, well or gray water system. “Backflow” can happen if there is a water main break, water line repair, fire, or during a period of high water usage. These events may lower the pressure in the street enough to reverse the flow of water from your house. As required by the California State Resources Control Board, the District periodically will ask our customers to complete a Water Cross-Connection Survey. It is important that if you receive a survey that you complete it and return it back to our office. Your cooperation is much appreciated.

Backflow Testing

TUD has provided a list for those contractors who meet TUD standards for adequate backflow testing. See the attached list by clicking here, Backflow Testers

Where Our Water Comes From:

The topography of Tuolumne County varies greatly from gently rolling terrain at the lower elevations, to steep hilly uplands deeply traversed by streams and tributaries that drain south to the Tuolumne River or north to the Stanislaus River. The majority of TUD customers reside in or near the community of Sonora which is at about elevation 2,000 feet. TUD also serves customers in several communities to the east up to about elevation 6,000 feet in the Sierras and west of Jamestown at an elevation of less than 1,500 feet. Through its history, the water system, which is now operated by TUD, has changed from a utility serving mainly gold rush mining operations to one that serves the 21st century vibrant and diverse residential, commercial and industrial sectors of Tuolumne County.

Main Canal

TUD has a contract with PG&E which provides for perpetual water supply for TUD from the South Fork Stanislaus River. This water is stored in Pinecrest Lake, Lyons Reservoir, Phoenix Lake and other small reservoirs on the TUD ditch system. PG&E owns Lyons Reservoir and the 15.7-mile Main Canal that leads to its Phoenix powerhouse. From the Main Canal, TUD’s water splits into three branches – one serves Twain Harte, Soulsbyville and Tuolumne; and another feeds TUD’s network of ditches, pipelines and treatment plants that serve Crystal Falls, Big Hill and Columbia. The remainder goes into Phoenix Reservoir to serve Phoenix Lake, East Sonora, Sonora and Jamestown.

A Look at the TUD Water System: (Areas served by TUD)

  • Water Connections – 14,037 homes and businesses
  • Delivered 1.1 billion gallons of treated drinking water in 2015
  • Operates 14 Surface Water Treatment Plants
  • 81 Treated Water Storage Tanks
  • 71 miles of ditch system, some of it originally built in the 1850s
  • Maintains 330 miles of treated water pipeline