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Drinking Water Regulatory Program

Click here to submit your Monthly/Quarterly Bacteriological Sampling Results

This program regulates the quality and quantity of drinking water for systems ranging from 5 to 199 connections. Systems with 1-4 connections are regulated solely by County Code through the EHS Land Use Section's Individual Water System Ordinance.

The first quarterly Santa Cruz, Small Water Systems Forum will be held on - Tuesday, March 24th – in the Large Conference Room, at the Santa Cruz Community Foundation from 7 pm – 9 pm.  The SC Community Foundation is located at 7807 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003 (ph. 831-662-2000).

Discussion topics will include Water Quality, new Hex Chrom VI reg.s, Loans, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, Metering/Submittal of Water Use Data, and Setting Rates. These topics will be the main focus of our discussion however, we will be open to answering questions regarding other topics as well. Please spread the word, we look forward to meeting you all.

Santa Cruz County drinking water supplies are generally of excellent quality.  However water from ground or surface sources is never "pure".  It may accumulate whatever it comes in contact with; naturally occurring minerals, microorganisms, silt, organic matter, radionuclides, and at times agricultural runoff.  Some of these substances may even pose a health risk.  In order to reduce or eliminate these risks and protect public health, the Drinking Water Program works with local small water systems to implement federal and state regulations.  Adhering to these guidelines will help every water system to provide the cleanest, safest, and most reliable drinking water possible. 

  • Those with 5-14 connections are regulated under both County and State regulations through the EHS Drinking Water Program as State Small Water Systems.
  • Public Water Systems located within communities serving 15-199 connections and those that serve non-community or transient uses (businesses, schools, restaurants, camps, etc.) are regulated by the EHS Drinking Water Program acting for the State Department of Health Services through a Local Primacy Agency agreement.  As a Local Primacy Agency, the County is responsible for implementing and enforcing the State and Federal Safe Drinking Water Acts to ensure small public water supply systems deliver a reliable and adequate supply of water that is pure, wholesome, and potable to the users at all times.  For more information on Public Water Systems, please see: Public Water System Types

Please check this website frequently for updates and additional information.

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Chemical Monitoring System Metering Organizing a Water Company

Monthly/Quarterly Bacteriological Monitoring

Chemical Monitoring

Well Construction

Organizing a Mutual or Private Water Company

  • Map of existing small water systems
  • California Corporations Code – In order to organize a private or mutual public water system, interested parties must first legally incorporate under the California Corporations Code.
  • CPUC - The CPUC regulates privately owned water systems along with other utilities. They are dedicated to ensuring that consumers have safe, reliable utility service at reasonable rates, protecting against fraud, and promoting the health of California's economy. In addition they investigate water and sewer system service quality issues and analyzes and processes utility rate change requests.




  • CRWA - Incorporated in 1990, California Rural Water Association (CRWA) has emerged as the State's leading association dedicated to providing on-site technical assistance and specialized training for rural water and wastewater systems. Tapping into the expertise of experienced water and wastewater professionals, CRWA's governing Board of Directors, administrative staff, and technical field specialists work in concert to offer CRWA members an expansive range of essential programs and member services. An excellent source for online training, onsite training, or technical assistance.
  • RCACHeadquartered in West Sacramento, California, RCAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting rural communities achieve their goals and visions by providing training, technical assistance and access to resources. RCAC has 35 field offices in our 13-Western state service region. Excellent Drinking Water Workshops. Another excellent source for training or assistance.

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