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Water Quality

Our Commitment to Provide Quality Water
Drinking water for Scotts Valley Water District customers comes from wells that vary from 350 feet to 1,750 feet deep. Groundwater is pumped from the ground and filtered through a pressurized system of sand, gravel, and anthracite to remove iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide. Chemicals are introduced before and after filtration to oxidize the iron and clean the water. This treatment enables the District water to meet and exceed Federal and State drinking water standards. 

Water Quality Testing
Providing our customers with the highest quality of water is a top priority. To meet this priority, the District employs State-certified water treatment operators who continuously monitor and test our water. Everyday water samples from various locations around the District are collected and analyzed either by District staff or by independent State-certified laboratories. Daily testing checks for residual chlorine, turbidity (cloudiness), color, odor, PH, iron, and manganese. But we don’t stop there. Extensive monthly, quarterly and annual tests are performed for the many other substances regulated by state and federal agencies.

Water provided by the District meets or exceeds the strict requirements of both the State Water Resources Control Board and the Federal Drinking Water Drinking Standards.

Lead in Drinking Water
Lead is a naturally occurring metal that can be found in air, soil, dust, food, and water.  However, lead is harmful if inhaled or swallowed.  To minimize exposure to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a standard and action level for drinking water. Currently, the Action Level for lead is 15 micrograms per liter (or parts per billion). The District tests for lead quarterly in source water pumped from wells and treated water as it leaves the treatment plants and our samples are always absent of lead. Since 1993, the District has regularly tested the water at a selected number of higher-risk homes that were constructed using copper pipes with lead solder prior to the 1986 federal ban on lead solder. Our monitoring is conducted in accordance with regulatory requirements and guidance. Get more information here.

Water Quality Report 
The District is committed to transparency and providing comprehensive information about its water and operations to the community. To help with this commitment, the District produces an annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) that describes where your water comes from, what it contains and how it compares with State and Federal Drinking Water Standards. The report contains the actual result of hundreds of water quality tests conducted throughout the year as well as other information. We are proud of our water quality!  Download 2020 CCR

Backflow Prevention
Water flows to your tap through pressurized pipes. Normally it flows only in one direction but in certain circumstances, it can backflow, or travel in the opposite direction. When backflow occurs, the flow of water or other substances from a customer's plumbing goes into the District's water distribution system. It is a hazardous situation that can threaten the safety of the water supply. Backflow prevention devices are required on properties where there is a potential for this to occur. Also, all sites that use recycled water for irrigation must have an approved backflow device installed. Backflow prevention devices must be tested annually. To protect the water supply, the District is constantly on the lookout for backflow situations.

Flushing Program
The District's Flushing program is an integral part of maintaining water quality.  The District regularly flushes its system and notifies its customers of the flushing schedule.

There are three benefits of flushing:

  • Scouring the inside of pipes with a high-velocity flow of water that removes sediment buildup and improves water quality.
  • Valves, hydrants, and water mains can be inspected
  • The District stays in compliance with requirements set by the California Department of State Water Resources Control Board.

Mains are cleaned by systematically flushing the pipelines at high velocity (5 feet per second) for a few minutes by opening and closing fire hydrants.