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volume 2 - resource management Strategies

Figure 14-1 Public water system class by percent of systems

provided by all public water systems (Box 14-1). In developing drinking water regulations and carrying out the public water system regulatory program, CDPH recognizes that healthy individuals and communities cannot exist without safe, reliable water. This is a necessity for both drinking water and to meet basic sanitary needs.

Community 40% Drinking water regulations mandated by the California SDWA apply to all public water systems regardless of their type of ownership. There are two basic ownership classifications, publicly owned and privately owned water systems. Publicly owned systems include municipalities, districts, and government systems. Privately owned systems include investor-owned utilities, mutual water companies, mobile home parks, and water associations, and may also include various commercial enterprises such as restaurants, hotels, resorts, employee housing, etc., that have their own water supply. While CDPH regulates all public water systems for all aspects that may affect water quality regardless of the type of ownership, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulates only privately owned systems for the purposes of establishing appropriate water rates. The CPUC regulates sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations that provide water service to the public for profit. Mutually owned systems and homeowners associations are exempt from CPUC oversight if they provide water only to their stockholders or members. Table 14-2 provides a summary of the number and size of the CPUC-regulated water systems. Nontransient noncommunity 20% Transient noncommunity 40%

At the federal level, the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has the responsibility to ensure the implementation of the federal SDWA and related regulations. The State of California has primacy for the public water system regulatory program in California and works closely with USEPA in carrying out the program. In addition, local primacy agencies (typically the county environmental health departments) have the responsibility for the regulation of many small public water systems (typically those serving less than 200 homes) in 39 of the 58 California counties. USEPA provides regulatory oversight of Tribal water systems.

Most groundwater wells used for drinking water are constructed in a manner to intercept only high quality groundwater. However, some groundwater wells require some level of treatment to achieve the high level of quality mandated by State and federal regulations for a safe, reliable supply of water. All surface water supplies used for drinking water must receive a high level of treatment to remove dirt, pathogens and other contaminants before they are suitable for consumption. Once the water is treated to drinking water standards, this high level of water quality must be maintained as the water passes through the distribution system to customer taps. Water treatment and distribution issues are discussed in detail in this resource management strategy. An increasing effort is aimed at preventing pollution and matching water quality to water use. This work is described elsewhere in this volume under the resource management strategies Pollution Prevention and Matching Water Quality to Water Use.


caLifoRnia WateR PLan | update 2009

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