Drinking Water Regulatory Program
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.
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.
Monthly/Quarterly Bacteriological Monitoring
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.
- RCAC – Headquartered 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.
- Funding Programs through the California Department of Public Health
- USDA Funding
- Emergency Preparedness
- Parcel Maps for Systems
- Check Up Program for Small Systems – uses information provided on the system's assets, operation and maintenance activities, and financial status to produce a prioritized asset inventory, financial reports, and a customized asset managements plan.
- Water Treatment Database – A USEPA survey of common treatment processes.
- Assess Your Water Footprint – Calculate how much water you use and how to conserve.
- Smart About Water – Learn more about source water and wellhead protection for small and rural communities.
- Sustainable Infrastructure for Water & Wastewater – Much of the drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in the US was built 30 years following World War II, mirroring the increase in population. We cannot ignore the arriving wave of infrastructure rehabilitation and replacement we will face over the next several decades.
- Upcoming Regulations for Drinking Water - CDPH's Drinking Water Program has regulations in draft form.
- Water Related Diseases – In the United States, the drinking water supply is normally safe. Yet diseases that spread through water are still a very real problem. When there's a water main break or other interruption, or in areas where clean water is unavailable, what should you do? When you camp or travel, how do you lower your risk of getting sick from waterborne germs? How about avoiding diseases that can be spread when you and your family swim or play in lakes, streams, pools, or water parks?
- Water Quality Goals