The Santa Fe Springs Water Utility Authority (SFSWUA) is pleased to present this year's Annual Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act.  This report is a snapshot of the drinking water quality that we provided to you last year.  It is designed to provide you with details about where your water comes from, how it is tested, what it contains, and how it compares to standards set by regulatory agencies. We continue to strive to provide a reliable and economical supply that meets all regulatory requirements.  We believe that informed customers are our best allies and therefore, we continue to be committed to providing you with this information.

Where Does My Drinking Water Come From?

Water supplied by the City of Santa Fe Springs comes from two sources: groundwater and surface water. The City of Santa Fe Springs pumps groundwater from our local well and disinfects this water with chlorine before distributing it to our customers. Also, last year the City purchased treated and disinfected water from the Central Basin Municipal Water District’s groundwater treatment facility in Whittier Narrows. The City also uses Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s (MWD) filtered and disinfected surface water from both the Colorado River and the State Water Project in northern California. These water sources supply our service area as shown on the map below. The quality of our groundwater and MWD’s treated surface water supplies are presented in this report.

How Is My Drinking Water Tested?

Your drinking water is tested regularly for unsafe levels of chemicals, radioactivity and bacteria at the source and in the distribution system. We test weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.  State and Federal laws allow us to test some substances less than once per year because their levels do not change frequently. All water quality tests are conducted by professionally-trained technicians in state-certified laboratories.

Why Do I See So Much Coverage in the News About the Quality of Tap Water and Bottled Water?

All drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.  The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk.  More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the USEPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791).  You can also get information on tap water by logging on to these helpful websites:

The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells.  As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. 
Contaminants that may be present in source water include: 

  • Microbial contaminants, including viruses and bacteria, that may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems,  agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife;
  • Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, that can be naturally-occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining or farming;
  • Pesticides and herbicides, that may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses;
  • Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, that are byproducts of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gasoline stations, urban stormwater runoff, agricultural application, and septic systems;
  • Radioactive contaminants, that can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

What Are Water Quality Standards?

In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the USEPA and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) prescribe regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems.  CDPH regulations also establish limits for contaminants in bottled water that must provide the same protection for public health.

What is a Water Quality Goal?

In addition to mandatory water quality standards, USEPA and CDPH have set voluntary water quality goals for some contaminants.  Water quality goals are often set at such low levels that they are not achievable in practice and are not directly measurable.  Nevertheless, these goals provide useful guideposts and direction for water management practices.  The chart in this report includes three types of water quality goals.

Should I Take Additional Precautions?

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population.  Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections.  These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.  The USEPA/Centers for Disease Control guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection of Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the USEPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791). 

Lead in Tap Water

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children.  Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing.  SFSWA is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components.  When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking.  If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested.  Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the USEPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at:  

Source Water Assessment

Every five years, MWD is required by CDPH to examine possible sources of drinking water contamination in its State Water Project and Colorado River source waters.  In 2012, MWD submitted to CDPH its updated Watershed Sanitary Surveys for the Colorado River and State Water Project, which include suggestions for how to better protect these source waters.  Both source waters are exposed to stormwater runoff, recreational activities, wastewater discharges, wildlife, fires, and other watershed-related factors that could affect water quality.  Water from the Colorado River is considered to be most vulnerable to contamination from recreation, urban/stormwater runoff, increasing urbanization in the watershed, and wastewater.  Water supplies from Northern California’s State Water Project are most vulnerable to contamination from urban/stormwater runoff, wildlife, agriculture, recreation, and wastewater.  USEPA also requires MWD to complete one Source Water Assessment (SWA) that utilizes information collected in the watershed sanitary surveys.  MWD completed its SWA in December 2002.  The SWA is used to evaluate the vulnerability of water sources to contamination and helps determine whether more protective measures are needed.  A copy of the most recent summary of either Watershed Sanitary Survey or the SWA can be obtained by calling MWD at (213) 217-6850.

SFSWUA conducted an assessment of its groundwater supplies in 2002.  Groundwater supplies are considered most vulnerable to chemical/petroleum processing/storage, automobile repair shops, automobile gasoline stations, dry cleaners, fleet/truck/bus terminals, landfills/dumps, motor pools, sewer collection systems, water supply wells, electrical/electronic manufacturing, metal plating/finishing/fabricating, furniture repair/manufacturing, machine shops, plastics/synthetic producers, airport maintenance/fueling areas, food processing, photograph processing/printing, and hardware/lumber/parts stores.  A copy of the approved assessment may be obtained by contacting Frank Beach at 562-868-0511 x 3611.

How Can I Participate in Decisions On Water Issues That Affect Me?

The public is welcome to attend City Council meetings which are normally scheduled on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11710 East Telegraph Road, Santa Fe Springs.

How Do I Contact My Water Agency If I Have Any Questions About Water Quality?

If you have specific questions about your tap water quality, please contact Frank Beach, Utility Services Manager at (562) 868-0511, Ext. 3611. 

Este informe contiene información muy importante sobre su agua potable.  Para mas información ó traducción, favor de llamar al  (562) 868-0511, Ext. 3601.


Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL): The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water.  There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial pathogens.
Primary Drinking Water Standard: MCLs and MRDLs for contaminants that affect health along with their monitoring and reporting requirements and water treatment requirements.
Regulatory Action Level (AL): The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow.
Notification Level (NL): An advisory level which, if exceeded, requires the drinking water system to notify the governing body of the local agency in which users of the drinking water reside (i.e. City Council, County Board of Supervisors).
Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL): The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water.  Primary MCLs are set as close to the PHGs (or MCLGs) as is economically and technologically feasible.  Secondary MCLs are set to protect the odor, taste, and appearance of drinking water.
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG): The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health.  MCLGs are set by the USEPA.
Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG): The level of a disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health.  MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.
Public Health Goal (PHG): The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health.  PHGs are set by the California Environmental Protection Agency.