On February 26, 2021, The Guardian published an article about the disproportional impact of drinking water quality violations on some communities.
It is important to keep in mind that there are more than 50,000 water systems in the United States, and more than half of those serve fewer than 500 customers. Because of this massively fragmented water grid, aging infrastructure, and increasingly stringent water quality standards, many small systems struggle to meet water quality standards. Of course, all Americans—regardless of the size of the city or town they live in—deserve to have safe water.
Cal Water’s highest priority is protecting our customers’ health and safety. We continuously monitor our systems to ensure the water our customers receive meets or surpasses all federal and state water quality standards. In fact, our water quality experts conduct more than 400,000 water quality tests per year for more than 300 contaminants in our state-certified, state-of-the-art lab. That averages more than 1,000 tests per day.
The water quality standards are set by public health experts, and as data and regulations evolve, Cal Water is committed to meeting all new regulations. For example, although there is no maximum contaminant level set yet for PFAS compounds, we have proactively tested our water sources, and in the few cases where we detected elevated levels of PFOS or PFOA, we have taken those sources out of service until treatment can be installed. In addition, Cal Water completed over 700 infrastructure projects in 2020 to strengthen water system reliability and infrastructure resiliency.
Cal Water recognizes that serving our customers means more than complying with regulations. We have and continue to work with community-based organizations across the state to find new and innovative ways to assist residents served by small, failing water systems. We also work hard to provide all customers in our service areas—regardless of their socioeconomic situation—a reliable supply of safe, high-quality water. For those experiencing financial hardship in our service areas, we are committed to helping them through a variety of ways. If you have concerns about your water system or are experiencing difficulty paying your water bill due to COVID-19 or other circumstances, please Contact Us. We are here to help.