Rick Fraites: Protecting and Conserving Our Water

Experience Matters

Years of service. I have served on the North Marin Water District Board since 2003. This is my first contested election and it gives me the opportunity to share with you, the voter, the accomplishments and advances that have taken place at the District over the past fifteen years. We have delivered long-term savings to you, our ratepayers, while improving water quality, fire preparedness, and customer service.

Constant vigilance. Safeguarding and conserving water, while caring for our environment, requires constant vigilance. With your vote I will continue to work hard, keeping my focus on providing clean, safe water at reasonable rates.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

15 Years of Accomplishments

Click on a photo to enlarge.

Our new Stafford Water Treatment Plant: 100% solar energy, state-of-the art water filtration system.

Water Quality

  • New state-of-the-art treatment plant. Our new Stafford Water Treatment Plant is powered by 100% solar energy and now utilizes the state of the art water filtration system. Stafford lake provides approximately twenty 20% of Novato’s potable water supply. The other  80% is supplied by the Sonoma Water (formerly  Sonoma County Water Agency). This water is extremely pure and requires very little treatment.
  • West Marin upgrades. West Marin customers are now assured that their water supply will be further protected. Soon the Paradise Ranch Estates Tank 4A will be replaced with a much larger 130,000 gallon tank. The pumping and filtration plant, located in Pt. Reyes Station, will also be upgraded as part of a long range plan. New locations for water wells are also being explored. 
Rebuilt water storage tanks in critical areas store water for fighting fires.

Fire Safety

  • Rebuilt water storage tanks. Working with the Novato and Marin County Fire Departments, we have developed  strategies to ensure sufficient water supply to protect us from fires, especially in high fire areas. Storage tanks in these critical areas have been rebuilt to provide increased storage, using stronger, longer lasting materials.
  • Tank maintenance. These tanks are to be maintained at the fullest extent possible.
Dedication ceremony for completion of installation of solar panels to power Stafford Lake Treatment Plant.


  • Recycled water system. In cooperation with the Novato and Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary Districts, we have constructed a system using recycled water, and eliminating the need for potable water use to irrigate large areas, such as athletic fields and street medians.
  • Solar powered. Our Stafford Lake Water Treatment Plant is now solar powered.
  • Zero-energy aqueduct. We commissioned an aqueduct designed to use zero energy, thus eliminating pumping costs.
  • Exceeded water reduction target. During the past drought, we worked with and helped educate our customers. We reduced the average consumption of water by 33%, compared with the state mandated target of 24%!
CalTrans 'Narrows Project": new 42" pipes replaced 30" pipeline to move water from Petaluma to Novato.

Fiscal Responsibility

  • Aqueduct Energy Efficiency Project. The recently completed Aqueduct Energy Efficiency Project replaced a 30” diameter pipeline with a 42” pipe. This created an aqueduct much like the ancient Romans used, avoiding  pumping costs by using gravity to move the water.
  • Grant funded. The majority of this project was funded through grants, resulting in additional savings for our ratepayers.
Now NMWD customers can view their water usage and other info online.

Customer Service

  • Advanced Meter Information System. The ongoing implementation of the Advanced Meter Information System (AMI) allows our customers to electronically monitor their home and/or office use and helps our customers quickly identify and repair water leaks, which without this new system often remained undetected until the water bill arrived.
  • Saves thousands of gallons. AMI will save thousands of gallons of water annually and shields our ratepayers from unnecessary costs.