Trout Gulch Mutual Water (TGW) is a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation and is member owned and managed since 2008.

Mission Statement

TGW is dedicated to managing water, a precious resource, through production, storage, and distribution in the safest and most cost effective manner possible. Our Board of Directors shall assure good stewardship of company operations entrusted to them by its members and remain transparent with each and every action and activity undertaken. Decisions shall reflect integrity and fairness to all members served.

Brief History of TGW

The original water company was started sometime in the mid 1920's. The Forrest Glen subdivision was formed in the 1920's. The homes were located among the redwoods between Trout Gulch Creek and Valencia Road. The Mar Vista Water Company was created to supply water to the homes in this subdivision. The company was formed and owned by Jimmy Smith Sr, the father of Jimmy Smith Jr and Herb Smith. Jimmy Smith's (senior) primary occupation was the owner of Jimmy Smith Plumbing which has been active in Santa Cruz County for decades. He installed the water system for most of the Seascape residential area.

A well (well #1) was drilled to provide water to the Forrest Glen homes in 1932. Over time, the watersystem expanded to include homes in the surrounding area along Trout Gulch Road, up Skyward Drive, and Old Farm Lane.

In 1980 most of the system's mains were upgraded per the design of the local engineering firm of Washington-Jensen. In 1986, the Meadow Ranch Estates subdivision was created. A partnership was formed between the Meadow Ranch Estates developer and Jimmy Smith for Jimmy Smith to provide water to the new homes in this subdivision. At this time a second well was activated and a second storage tank was installed above Meadow Ranch Estates.

Some time in the late 1980's or early 1990"s, ownership and operation of the water system was passed on from Jimmy Smith Sr. to his son Jimmy Smith Jr. and ownership of Jimmy Smith Plumbing was passed on to another son, Herb Smith.

Expansion of the system since the Meadow Ranch development has been slow. Aptos Heights, a mini subdivision was created about 2004 of the five residential parcels. Jimmy Smith Jr., the owner of Mar Vista Water Company, also ran a tractor service, and decided to put his company up for sale in 2007.

Acquisition of Mar Vista Water Company

In late 2006 one of Mar Vista Water company customers accidentally learned that Mar Vista was for sale and that California American Water Co (Cal Am was interested in purchasing the company. In January 2008, Jim Brownson contacted Ellen Pirie for assistance and organized a meeting for all Mar Visa Water customers. Felton FLOW discussed the issues that Felton FLOW had with Cal Am. Other options were presented and discussed one being the recommendation that the customers put together an interim board of directors that night and purchase Mar Vista Water. Aptos Flow was then born. The Board of Directors worked diligently on the purchase of Mar Vista, which was completed by July 1, 2008.



  • Trout Gulch Mutual Water Company was founded on July 1, 2008

  • Transfer of knowledge and assets

  • Freitas Engineering Report


  • Soquel Creek Intertie for emergency water. 700 feet of 6 inch main from Soquel Creek intertie to 275 Valencia. 110 feet of 6 inch main bridge across the creek to Trout Gulch Rd with 2 new Fire Hydrants.

  • New Meadow Ranch Well #3 installed

  • 4 new meters installed


  • New Storage Facility Building at Meadow Ranch Well Site and Security fence

  • Emergency member contact system

  • 2 new meters installed

  • Rate Study conducted

  • 1 new membership


    • Norman Tank: Clean, recoated inside of Tank and painted exterior. Security fence and gate added.

    • Meadow Ranch Tank: Cleaned

    • Installed Electronic tank monitoring system (SCADA) for both tanks with phone alert.

    • Electrical Box upgrade for Meadow Ranch Well and pumps

    • Installed 27 New Radio Read Meters as of July 1st.


    • Installed 29 New Radio Read Meters (95% complete)

    • Lower Valencia extension main. upgraded to 4 inch with wharf head

    • Emergency Training implemented and Operating Procedures updated and posted at Wells

      • 17 TGW Emergency Responder volunteers in place & briefed. 94% TGW district covered

    • Utility Building and pipes painted. Additional storage space added.

    • New Website layout! www.troutgulchwater.org

    • New 3 Water Volume Teir Structure rates


    • Meadow Ranch Tank: Cleaned, Recoated & Exterior Painted

    • 2013 TGW members voted by the rules outlined in Title 22 of the California Health and Safety Code, to not treat and filter our water to further reduce Mn levels. TGW has a treatment waiver, issued by Santa Cruz County EHS, to distribute water with Mn up to 150 ppb (greater than the 50 ppb MCL set by the State).

    • Norman Tank ceiling Repaired and Recoated

    • New Emergency Generator for power outages

    • Well #2: New Motor & Pump

    • New SCADA with Shut Off and On features enabling TGW to keep up with demand during tank reconditioning.

    • TGW Emergency Drill Held.


  • New Bypass Valve

  • New Fence & Retaining Wall at the Lower Creek Crossing

  • New 6 inch Water Main from Valencia Rd. Intertie to Lower Trout Gulch with Fire Hydrant

  • New 6 inch Water Main on Mid Trout Gulch Rd. with Fire Hydrant

  • New 6 inch Water Main on Cherokee Lane with Fire Hydrant

  • 99% Meters installed

  • Water conservation 26%


  • Valencia & Trout Gulch Roads slurried and stripped

  • 2 connections moved to Lower Trout Gulch

  • USDA Phase 2 Project: Engineering Plan and Specification completed

  • Chlorination system installed

  • Norman and Meadow Ranch Tanks cleaned

  • Meadow Ranch Security fence installed

  • Water conservation 21%


    • Obtained 4 easements for the Skyward Tank, Skyward pump station & new water mains

    • Valencia Rd. Emergency Work: 2 inch by water line, cut and cap Valencia main

    • Connected Trout Gulch Rd. main to Old Farm Lane

    • Met USDA letter of conditions

    • Storage building remodeled into Office

    • 9 Meadow Ranch & Trout Gulch meters replaced

    • Breakaway valve on Trout Gulch Hydrant

    • Indian Hollow Leak Repair

    • GIS mapping of system


  • Closed USDA loan for $2.9M. Paid off all other bank loans and Construction begins!

    • Installed Skyward Tank

    • Installed Well #4

    • Installed New 6 inch Water Mains & Hydrants on Hayward & Robideaux Rd.

    • Installed New 6 inch Water Mains on Norman-Valencia Backyards

    • Installed New 6 inch Water Mains & Hydrant on 700 Valencia Block

    • Extended & enforced Norman Tank Concrete pad, & Cleaned Tank

    • Electrical upgrades for New Well & Skyward Pump Station


  • USDA Project:

    • Installed new 2 inch Skyward Tank fill line and 6 inch main from Trout Gulch road to top of Skyward Dr. with 6 Fire Hydrants

    • Well #3 new Motor & Drop pipe replacement

    • New Chlorination system.

    • Upgraded SCADA system and Skyward internet line.

    • Norman Tank replumbing

  • FEMA/CALOES mitigation : Valencia Rd Storm damage. 910 feet of new pipeline to connect Old Farm Lane to Lower Trout Gulch

  • FEMA/CALOES Repair: Valencia Rd Storm damage : Replaced 160 feet of 6 inch main on Valencia Rd.



    • New fence around Meadow Ranch yard.

    • New Treatment & Power Structure at Meadow Ranch yard.

    • Installed Earthquake Flex coupler at Meadow Ranch Tank

    • Purchased large chlorination tank

    • Purchased Solar Battery Backup SCADA kits

    • Purchased Larger Generator to run 3 wells

    • Purchase new Sample Stations