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chapter 14 - Drinking Water treatment and Distribution

intertie which can be used to transfer untreated water between EBMUD and CCWD in an emergency.

Interties are one of the strategies for improving water supply reliability and quality which were recommended by the CALFED August 28, 2000, Record of Decision.

Potential Benefits of Drinking Water Treatment and Distribution

Improved water quality can directly improve the health of Californians, thereby improving the state’s standard of living and reducing the burden and costs on the state’s healthcare system.

The recently adopted California MCL for perchlorate and the federal MCL for arsenic reduce the permissible level of these contaminants and result in direct benefits. Perchlorate exposure is of public health concern because it interferes with the ability of the thyroid gland to produce hormones. In the very young, hormones are needed for normal prenatal and postnatal growth and development, particularly normal brain development. Therefore, a reduction of thyroid hormones is a serious concern. In adults, thyroid hormones are needed for normal body metabolism. About 515,000 people in California will avoid exposure to perchlorate at levels above the MCL annually as a direct result of the perchlorate regulation (CDPH, 2007). The federal arsenic MCL of 10 ug/L will result in a reduction in exposure for more than 790,000 people and a theoretical reduction of 57 lung and bladder cancer cases per year in California (CDPH, 2004).

Adequate operation and maintenance of the distribution system network will reduce delivery problems (main or tank ruptures, water outages) and ensure delivery of high quality water. In California, operators of drinking water distribution systems must be certified at the appropriate level depending on the size and complexity of the distribution system. This requirement for certification helps to ensure a competent level of operation of distribution systems.

Similarly for water treatment facilities, proper operation and maintenance is essential for achieving optimum water treatment plant performance. In California, operators of drinking water treatment facilities must be certified at the appropriate level depending on the size and complexity of the treatment facilities.

Water fluoridation ranks as one of ten great public health achievements of the 20th century according to the Surgeon General in 2000. Fluoridation of public water supplies targets the group which would benefit the most from its addition, namely infants and young children under the age of 12, decreasing cavities and improving dental health. Studies have shown unequivocally that fluoridation, at the optimal concentration of 1.0 ppm, reduces the incidence of dental caries by 50-70 percent. It has also been

caLifoRnia WateR PLan | update 2009


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