Small Drinking Water Systems
The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) Small Drinking Water Systems program's purpose is to protect public health by helping water system owners and operators to provide pure and safe drinking water by preventing waterborne diseases, identifying risks of bacteriological, chemical and/or radiological contamination, conducting inspections, providing technical assistance, and working in partnership with the small drinking water systems in San Diego County. The DEH has an agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water for administration and enforcement of the Federal and State statutes and regulations for any water systems under 200 service connections.
- California Rural Water Association (CRWA): Training Schedule
- Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC): Training Schedule
Small Water System Program
- Provide testing schedules for each water system at the beginning of each calendar year
- Provide technical assistance
- Coordinate with the CRWA and the RCAC to provide drinking water workshops in San Diego County
- Provide assistance in obtaining grants and loans
- Assist small drinking water systems to be in compliance with the CA Safe Drinking Water Act through regular inspections, providing water quality monitoring schedules, and enforcement of statutes and regulations
Water System Classifications
- A Community water system is a public water system that has 15 to 199 service connections used by year-long residents, or regularly serves at least 25 year-long residents. Water systems that have 200 or more service connections used by year-long residents are regulated by the State of California Department of Public Health. An example would be a community with residential homes served by a single water system.
- A Non-Transient Non-Community water system is a public water system that is not a Community water system and regularly serves at least the same 25 persons during 6 months per year. An example would be a school or workplace.
- A Transient Non-Community water system is a Non-Community public water system that does not provide water to the same 25 persons during 6 months per year. An example would be a campground or park.
- A State Small Water System is a public water system that has 5 to 14 residential service connections, and does not regularly serve potable water to more than 25 individuals for more than 60 days out of the year. An example would be a small residential community with 10 homes served by a single water supply.
Water Quality Monitoring
Bacteriological Monitoring Requirements:
All small drinking water systems are required to test for the presence of total coliform bacteria on a regular basis per Federal and State Drinking Water Standards. Community water systems and Non-Transient Non-Community water systems are required to test for bacteria on a monthly schedule. Transient Non-Community and State Small water systems are required to test quarterly for the presence of total coliform bacteria. All water quality testing is required to be analyzed by a State-certified laboratory.
Chemical Monitoring Requirements:
In addition to bacteriological monitoring requirements, small drinking water systems are required to test for chemical constituents that are described in Title 22 California Code of Regulations. Primary Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL's) address health concerns. Secondary MCL's are aesthetic standards that deal with taste and odor of the water, and are not health hazards. Contact the Small Drinking Water Systems Program at (858) 694-3113 for specific water quality testing for your small drinking water system.
For additional information please contact us or see the following links:
- Chemicals and Contaminants in Drinking Water
- Recently Adopted State Drinking Water Regulations
- Consumer Confidence Reports
- Distribution and Treatment System Operator Certification
- TMF (Technical, Management, and Financial Assessment) Requirements
- Groundwater Rule (Effective December 1, 2009)
- Bacteriological Sample Siting Plan For Monthly Testing
- Bacteriological Sample Siting Plan For Quarterly Testing
- Emergency Notification Plan
- Drinking Water Guidelines for PFOA and PFOS