Contractor Prequalification

Notice is hereby given that Coachella Valley Water District (“CVWD”) has determined that all contractors bidding on its construction projects for underground pipeline facilities under $20 million must be prequalified prior to submitting a bid on any project.  A separate list will be created for projects under $5 million based on Contractors completed volume and experience. Contractors that meet the requirements for projects up to $20 million will automatically be included in both lists. CVWD reserves the right to cancel this Notice or to reject any and all responses and Prequalification Applications, if it determines, in its sole discretion, that such cancellation or rejection is in the best interest of CVWD. CVWD reserves the right to bid construction of underground pipeline projects under $20 million without use of an established Approved Annual Bidders List during the effective period of this list or to require bidders to be separately prequalified for specific projects.

Contractors shall review the required criteria for each type of prequalification to ensure all requirements can be satisfied prior to submitting an application:

Unless expressly stated in future CVWD Notices Inviting Bids, no bid will be accepted from any contractor that is not on CVWD’s applicable Approved Bidders List.  If two or more business entities expect to submit a bid as part of a Joint Venture, each entity within the Joint Venture must submit a fully completed Prequalification Application and be separately qualified to bid.

The Prequalification Application, its completion and submission by the contractor, and its use by CVWD, shall not give rise to any liability on the part of CVWD to the contractor or any third party or person.  This is not a solicitation for bid.   No guarantees are made or implied that any construction of underground pipeline projects under $20 million will be constructed, either in part or whole.  The contractor accepts all risk and cost associated with the completion of the Prequalification Package without financial guarantee.

Who is Required to Prequalify? 

Prequalification shall be for all contractors who intend to submit bids for CVWD projects for pipeline repair and installation projects on domestic water, storm drain, sewer collection, irrigation, and non-potable water facilities.  The scope of work may include trench excavation, bore trenching, shoring, dewatering, surface restoration, potholing, surveying, traffic control, pavement restoration/replacement, air-valve/blow off facilities, pipeline flushing, hydro-static testing/disinfection, cathodic test stations, CCTV inspections and appurtenances. Some of these projects might include grant funding such as State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan or USDA Rural Grants.   Accordingly, the Davis-Bacon Act, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) regulations, American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and other related regulations will apply.

The construction cost of the projects requiring prequalification is estimated to range between $50,000 and $20 million. 

Prequalification Periods

Bidders may submit applications between the dates listed below only. Applications submitted outside these dates will be reviewed during the following prequalification period.

1st Quarter Update: Applications may be submitted July 1 – July 18
2nd Quarter Update: Applications may be submitted October 1 – October 18
3rd Quarter Update: Applications may be submitted January 1 – January 18
4th Quarter Update: Applications may be submitted April 1 – April 18

CVWD anticipates posting an updated Approved Bidders List every quarter on the first of September, December, March, and June. 

How to Prequalify? 

Prequalification Applications shall be submitted electronically through our PlanetBids Vendor Portal during one of the prequalification periods as stated above.  No other method of submitting Prequalification Applications will be accepted. Any Prequalification Applications received through any means other than PlanetBids will be returned unopened.      

As provided in Public Contract Code Section 20101, the Prequalification Applications and financial information submitted by contractors are not public records and are not open to public inspection. All information provided will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.  However, the contents may be disclosed to third parties for purpose of verification or investigation, or in the appeal hearing. State law requires that the names of contractors applying for prequalification status shall be public records subject to disclosure.

The Prequalification Application must be completed in its entirety, including answers to questions contained in the Prequalification Application, information about current bonding capacity, a notarized statement from surety, and the most recent reviewed or audited financial statements, with accompanying notes and supplemental information. This information will be used by CVWD in order to rate contractors with respect to their qualifications to bid on projects. CVWD reserves the right to check any other sources available to verify contractor’s statements, prior performance and veracity. CVWD’s decision will be based on objective evaluation criteria.

CVWD reserves the right to adjust, increase, limit, suspend or rescind the prequalification rating based on subsequently learned information. Contractors whose rating changes sufficient to disqualify them will be notified and given an opportunity for a hearing consistent with the hearing procedures contained under Questions and Appeals on this page.

Technical Difficulties 

Prospective bidders experiencing any technical difficulties with the Prequalification Application submission process may contact Planet Bids Support at 818-992-1771. If you continue to have difficulty, call CVWD Engineering Administration at 760-398-2661, extension 2415. Neither CVWD, nor Planet Bids, make any guarantee as to the timely availability of assistance or assurance that any given problem will be resolved by the prequalification period deadline.


The prequalification of contractors will be determined by evaluation of the information submitted by contractors.  CVWD may verify any or all information provided in the completed Prequalification Package, consider information provided by sources other than the contractor, and conduct such investigations as CVWD deems appropriate to assist in the evaluation of contractor's responsibility, qualifications, and financial capacity.

If a contractor seeking prequalification has not been in business for the time period for which information is requested, it shall submit information on predecessor entities covering that time period.

CVWD will evaluate all completed Prequalification Applications on a Pass/Fail basis and a points-based rating system.

Scoring is divided into four categories: (1) General Questionnaire – Essential Criteria Questions, (2) Supplemental Criteria Questions, (3) Project References, and (4) Required Criteria – Contractor and Project Manager Experience. In order to be deemed prequalified and listed on the applicable CVWD’s Annual Bidders List, a contractor must obtain a successful rating in all four categories listed above. Categories 1 and 4 require a “Pass” and categories 2 and 3 must meet the minimum rating requirements.

Prequalification Results 

CVWD reserves the right to waive minor irregularities and omissions in the information contained in a Prequalification Application and to make all final determinations. Prospective bidders will receive results in writing before or at the time that Approved Bidders List is updated every quarter. Prequalification approval will remain valid for one year from the date of approval.  

Prequalification Applications that are incomplete will be denied. There is no appeal from CVWD’s decision not to prequalify a contractor due to an incomplete or late application. Prospective bidders may resubmit a prequalification application during a future prequalification period.

Questions and Appeals

Where a timely and completed prequalification application results in a rating below that necessary to prequalify, an appeal can be made. To appeal, the contractor must deliver notice to CVWD of its appeal of the decision with respect to its prequalification rating, no later than five (5) calendar days after CVWD staff issues its recommendation of the qualified bidders list of contractors.  Without a timely appeal, the contractor waives any and all rights to challenge the decision of CVWD, whether by administrative process, judicial process, or any other legal process or proceeding.

If a contractor provides the required notice of appeal and requests a hearing, the hearing shall be conducted so that it is concluded no later than ten (10) calendar days after CVWD’s receipt of the notice of appeal.  The hearing shall be an informal process conducted by CVWD’s General Manager or designee, who is delegated responsibility to hear such appeals (the “Appeals Panel”). At or prior to the hearing, the contractor will be advised of the basis for CVWD’s prequalification determination.  The contractor will be given the opportunity to present information and reasons opposing the rating.  Within two (2) business days after the conclusion of the hearing, the Appeals Panel shall render its decision, which will be final and binding.  It is the intention of CVWD that the date for the submission and opening of any bids will not be delayed or postponed to allow for completion of an appeal process.

If you have any other questions or to submit an appeal, please contact Elizabeth Carrazco, Supervising Management Analyst, by email at or (760) 398-2661, ext. 2350.