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chapter 14 - Drinking Water treatment and Distribution

Chapter 14. Drinking Water Treatment and Distribution

Providing a reliable supply of safe drinking water is the primary goal of public water systems in California. To achieve this goal, public water systems must develop and maintain adequate water treatment and distribution facilities. In addition, the reliability, quality, and safety of the raw water supply are critical to achieving this goal. In general, public water systems depend greatly on the work of other entities to help protect and maintain the quality of the raw water supply. Many agencies and organizations have a role in the protection of water supplies. For example, the basin plans developed by the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Boards) recognize the importance of this goal and emphasize the protection of water supplies in California—both groundwater and surface water.

A public water system is defined as a system for the provision of water for human consumption, through pipes or other constructed conveyances, which has 15 or more service connections or regularly serves at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days of the year (Health & Saf. Code, § 116275(h).).

Public water systems are classified into three categories depending on the permanency of the customers: (1) a community water system serves yearlong residents; (2) a nontransient noncommunity water system serves the same people for at least six months per year; and (3) a transient noncommunity water system serves 25 or more people for at least 60 days per year. Table 14-1 shows the number of public water systems in California by class. Public water systems serve approximately 36.6 million of the estimated 37.7 million people throughout the state, or 97 percent of the state’s population. The remaining estimated 1.1 million people in the state (3 percent of the population) receive their drinking water from private wells serving individual residences and from other sources. Figure 14-1 shows water system class by percent of total number of public water systems in California.

Healthy individuals and communities cannot exist without safe, reliable water

Under the California Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the California Department of Public Health or CDPH (formerly the Department of Health Services) Drinking Water Program has established regulations to ensure high quality drinking water is

Table 14-1 Public water systems in California by class

Public Water System Classification

Number

Community

3,117

Nontransient noncommunity

1,517

Transient noncommunity

3,140

Total number of public water systems

7,774

Note: Based on CDPH records. Does not include water systems serving Native American Tribes.

caLifoRnia WateR PLan | update 2009

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iMPRove WateR QuaLitY

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