Understanding Water Quality

Understanding Water Quality

At SCV Water, water quality is our top priority. We are proud to provide safe, clean water that our customers can trust. We are also committed to transparency, and we’re always happy to answer any questions that our customers may have about water quality. We’ve compiled a list of common questions below, along with information about backflow testing and some helpful video resources. You’ll also find our current and previous Consumer Confidence Reports. These water quality reports are filled with detailed information about your water.

Santa Clarita Valley Consumer Confidence Reports

The Consumer Confidence Report, or CCR, is an annual water quality report that the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires SCV Water to provide all of its customers. The purpose of the CCR is to raise customers’ awareness of the quality of their drinking water, where their drinking water comes from, what it takes to deliver water to their homes, and the importance of protecting drinking water sources.

Consumer Confidence Reports


Understanding Water Quality

Should residents be concerned about water quality?

SCV Water is committed to maintaining high quality water for our customers. We continue to meet standards set by the State Water Resources Control Board-Division of Drinking Water and other regulatory agencies. In addition, SCV Water has an ongoing program of water supply testing and protection. This means security measures, to protect the Santa Clarita Valley’s water supply, are in place at all facilities. Each year we send out a water quality report to every household in the valley, which shows residents how water meets standards by providing a summary of our frequent testing.

My water is hard. Does that mean it is unhealthy?

The hard water experienced by many residents is due to minerals in our groundwater supply and are not a result of drinking water contaminants. Hardness is caused by calcium and magnesium, which occur naturally in all waters. Under certain conditions the calcium and magnesium will leave deposits on some hard surfaces. While these do not pose any threat to the quality of your drinking water from a health perspective, hard water can create aesthetic problems such as spots on glass and porcelain.

Why is my water cloudy?

Occasionally you may notice that water from your faucet has a cloudy, or milky-white, color. This is nothing more than dissolved air in the water. When you turn on your tap, pressure is released and the air comes out of solution. If you let the water sit for a minute or two (in a glass or pitcher), you should notice that it clears up.

Why do some residents complain of abnormal taste and odor in the water?

At times, you may notice a slight chlorine-like smell in your water. By regulation, we add chlorine to the water to protect against harmful bacteria. Numerous tests are done each week to ensure the proper chlorine levels are in the water. Depending on the form of chlorine used, and an individual’s sensitivity to chlorine, chlorine odor may be more apparent at different times.

In addition to chlorine smells, some customers may notice “rotten egg” odors.  Generally speaking, this odor is usually not caused by the water itself—but instead by odors coming from customers’ drain. As the water flows into the drain, it displaces rotten egg odors which people smell and associate with the water. If you are experiencing rotten egg odors, then try filling a glass with water and smelling it away from the drain. This should clear up any confusion about where the odors are coming from.

Occasionally customers might experience a “swampy-musty” odor due to summer algae blooms in Castaic Lake. Efforts are made to prevent these growths from entering the treatment plants. In addition, SCV Water uses ozone to treat the lake water, which usually destroys these odor-causing byproducts of algal growth.

Is perchlorate still an issue of concern in the Valley?

Not only is SCV Water expertly qualified to address the contamination of the groundwater with perchlorate, our efforts have resulted in the completion of treatment facilities to clean up perchlorate contamination and prevent future spreading of the chemical.  These facilities, along with continuous groundwater monitoring by SCV Water, ensures that drinking water meets all state and federal standards.

Does SCV Water use chloramines to treat the Valley's water? Is it dangerous?

Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia and is one of several U.S. EPA approved disinfectants used to protect against disease-causing microorganisms in water. It has been safely used in the United States since the early 1900s, and is commonly used in southern California, across the nation, and worldwide.

The disinfection treatment for the valley’s water was changed from chlorine to chloramine in 2005. This change ensures that higher water quality standards set by the U.S. EPA are met.  Another benefit of using chloramine is it lasts longer than chlorine—adding to the disinfectant’s protection of our water.

As with chlorine, chloramines must be removed or neutralized for aquatic animals and kidney dialysis patients.

Water Quality in the SCV