General Manager's Message

It can be said that when it rains in Ventura, it pours. This rainy season has given us another set of challenges here at Ventura Water. Water and wastewater crews worked 24-hour shifts responding to broken water lines and increased flows in the sewer system. Thanks to one concerned resident, we were alerted to an exposed water line and were able to isolate the line without service interruption. We also lent support to our Public Works coworkers, cleaning debris, and pumping down flooded areas. The best part is you probably didn’t even know it. This is the goal, so that our customers rarely experience disruptions. No matter what obstacles we encounter, Ventura Water’s purpose stays the same; to provide local, reliable, and quality service for all generations.

We are guided by four quality standards: Safety, Reliability, Professionalism, and Stewardship. These are demonstrated routinely by the Ventura Water team, and it is an honor to work with them. One of our teams, the Sewer Collections Department, was honored this past month with the California Water Environment Association (CWEA) Tri-Counties Section Collection System of the Year Award and has been nominated for the State level award. The dedication is so great with this team that when the awards ceremony was held, half of the team was out clearing debris from a pump station that had been inundated by high surf events. Learn more about this award-winning department by viewing our video, linked above.


Gina Dorrington

Water Bill Assistance Program Ends March 31st

California’s Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) was recently extended through March 2024, and we encourage our low-income customers to apply for help paying their current or past due water and sewer bills. 


Many Californians struggling with their water or sewer bills have already received hundreds to even thousands of dollars through LIHWAP. With the deadline quickly approaching, eligible households should apply now as remaining funds are limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.   


The LIHWAP program is administered by the California Department of Community Services and Development. To learn more about the program and apply, go to

Systems Analyst ll Liwen Chen-February 2024

Ventura Water - In Focus

As we course through the systems and people who keep Ventura Water flowing, we’ll focus on the specialized staff who support our mission to provide safe and reliable water and wastewater services to our community. Technology is something that can be taken for granted even as we rely on it every day. We log on to our computers and with a few clicks, we’re off and running. At Ventura Water we utilize multiple applications—programs or software designed and written to fulfill a particular purpose. One is used to collect data from our smart meters, another to process our customers’ water usage data and a third to convert it into information useable for billing purposes or to detect possible leaks. Another application is used to manage our assets, for example, to know how often pipes need to be maintained or to keep track of work orders requested by our customers or generated internally.

Ventura Water staff working in customer service, water conservation and resource management all depend on these software systems. Not only are they necessary to properly bill our customers and to help them save and use water more efficiently, but also for reporting to the California State Water Resources Control Board, who oversees our state’s water resources. These numerous applications need to be monitored to ensure they run smoothly and reliably—the task of computer systems experts.

Systems Analyst ll Liwen Chen has been with the City for three years after working in Information Technology (IT) at Ventura Unified School District and before that, at a private IT company. Liwen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in her native country and followed that up with coursework in computer science here in the U.S. Her background is the hands-on side of software—coding, so she was hired by the City of Ventura as it was upgrading from local to cloud-based data storage, management, and processing.

One of the most challenging aspects of Liwen’s job is that after a particular system has had a problem resolved, when it’s restarted, often not everything comes back working correctly. At that point Liwen must go in and manually fix the new problem. She says that this was more difficult when she first started working for the City but now that she’s very familiar with the applications she can fix them much more quickly. Liwen says her favorite part of her day is helping staff solve issues they may have when utilizing the many applications. She says when they’re happy then she’s happy!

Next, we'll look at the expertise Ventura Water relies on to maintain financial accountability. 


A Sanitary Sewer Management Plan (SSMP) is a comprehensive strategy developed to effectively manage and maintain the sanitary sewer system in a community or municipality. The plan outlines the necessary measures to ensure the safe and efficient collection, treatment, and disposal of wastewater. It includes strategies for inspection, cleaning, and repair of sewer infrastructure, as well as methods to prevent sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), and backups. The SSMP incorporates regular monitoring, assessment, and maintenance practices to identify and address potential issues proactively. By implementing a well-defined SSMP, communities can safeguard public health, protect the environment, and promote the sustainable management of their wastewater infrastructure.

Even with a great deal of proactive maintenance, trash waste like wipes, sanitary napkins, and cotton swabs (like Q-tips®) can jam up equipment and clog sewer pipes when flushed down the drain, potentially leading to overflows and backups. To keep streets, businesses and homes clean from nasty SSOs make sure to think before you flush and only flush the 3 P's- pee, poo and (toilet) paper.

For more information, please visit our Think Before You Flush webpage.

Employment Opportunities

Water Commission

The Water Commission meets on the 4th Monday of the month. The public is invited to join us in-person for the next Water Commission Meeting on Monday, February 26, 2024, at 5:30 p.m. at the Ventura City Hall, Community Meeting Room, Second Floor.

Click here for meeting agendas and more information.

Ocean Outfall Project: Construction Update

The Ocean Outfall Project has started its onshore segment, which is scheduled to be completed by summer 2024. This segment continues the pipeline installation along Anchors Way, Schooner Drive, and Harbor Boulevard.

Sign up for email notifications at to stay updated on the latest news and construction schedules today.

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