Water Quality 2018-06-25T08:18:37+00:00


This annual report, which began to describe water supply conditions in 1998, provides current information about the water requirements and water supplies of the Santa Clarita Valley. The report was prepared for the imported water wholesaler, Castaic Lake Water Agency (CLWA), and for the four local retail water Purveyors that serve the Valley: CLWA, Santa Clarita Water Division, Los Angeles County Waterworks District 36, Newhall County Water District, and Valencia Water Company. These entities and representatives from the City of Santa Clarita and the County of Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning meet as required to coordinate the management of imported water with local groundwater, now augmented by recycled water, to meet water requirements in the Valley.


In 1991, The EPA published a regulation to control lead (Pb) and copper (Cu) in drinking water. This regulation is known as the Lead and Copper Rule. This requires NCWD to perform Pb and Cu sampling on a triennial basis and publish the results in the annual Consumer Confidence Report which is posted above. Due to enhanced public interest in drinking water quality, NCWD is providing an informational fact sheet with the latest Pb and Cu results, a locational sampling map, and links to additional resources. Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns about any of the results or maps.

Lead and Copper Fact Sheet


SCV Water is committed to maintaining high quality water for our customers.  In partnership with the local water retail divisions, we continue to meet or exceed water standards set by the California Department of Public Health and other regulatory agencies.

In addition, SCV Water has an ongoing program of water supply testing and protection.  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 or exceeds standards by providing the results of our frequent testing and protection standards.

Water naturally contains dissolved minerals and higher mineral levels in water cause hard water.  One sign of hard water—spots on the dishes—is purely aesthetic.  Valley water meets or exceeds all drinking water standards.

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 deposit 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.

Abnormal taste and odor in local tap water is occasionally caused by two sources, chemicals released by bacteria growth in unused pipes and algae growth in Castaic Lake. When a pipe remains unused for an extended period of time, bacteria can grow and release foul “rotten egg” odor.

Additionally, occasionally you might experience a “swampy-musty” odor due to summer algae growth in Castaic Lake.  Efforts are made to prevent these growths from entering the treatment plants.  SCV Water now uses ozone to treat the lake water, which usually destroys these by-products of algal growth.  Even when not destroyed, they are not harmful.

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

In August 2010, Valencia Water Company detected perchlorate in Well 201 near City Hall.  Although the perchlorate levels were within safe drinking water standards at the time, the company immediately took the well out of service and notified the State Department of Public Health.  Valencia Water Company continued to monitor the inactive well on a monthly basis.  The most recent sample confirmed that perchlorate is still present and that wellhead treatment or a replacement well is needed as outlined by the settlement agreement with Whittaker Bermite.  Valencia Water Company has notified the Whittaker Bermite property owners that it will seek remediation funds to clean up the closed well.

SCV Water is undertaking additional analysis to determine the significance of perchlorate at Well 201 and insure that the Whittaker Bermite property owners remediate the impacts.

The disinfection treatment for the valley’s water was changed from chlorine to chloramines in 2005.  Chloramines are used throughout the world and are a more effective way of disinfecting our water, in particular the imported water.  This change ensures that higher water quality standards set by the U.S. EPA are met.

Chloramines are a combination of chlorine and ammonia and are one of several U.S. EPA approved disinfectants used to remove disease-causing microorganisms in water.  Chloramines last longer than chlorine in water and more effectively remove pathogens including bacteria and viruses.

Chloramines have been safely used in the United States since the early 1900s, and are commonly used in southern California, across the nation, and worldwide.  SCV Water continues to use chloramines and is confident in its performance as an effective disinfectant.

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

The 2011 Santa Clarita Valley Water Quality Report shows that the amount of chloride found in imported water is comparable to, and in many cases lower than, the concentrations found in local groundwater.  The highest reported values for chlorides in the groundwater sources generally exceed the highest chloride values for imported water.

Local groundwater and imported water meet by a significant margin the water quality standards for chloride proposed by the Regional Water Quality Control Board.  Chloride levels in wastewater are the responsibility of the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District, and they are working on a plan to ensure their discharges to the river help to meet the new Total Maximum Daily Load standards for the Santa Clara River.

Issues tied to salinity of wastewater are handled by the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District.  Any questions regarding that matter should be directed to a Sanitation District representative.  SCV Water is cooperating with the Sanitation District to investigate lower cost options.  Specifically, SCV Water is assisting the Sanitation District by conducting a study of projected chloride levels in the SWP supply.

While water supply will always be an issue of concern for all of southern California due to its semi-arid climate, water supplies in the Santa Clarita Valley are sufficient to meet residents’ needs.  In addition, SCV Water is constantly working to enhance the future reliability of its imported water supply and is investigating new supply opportunities.  We participate in water banking programs to maximize the availability of our State Water Project deliveries, which involve storing water in groundwater “banks” in Kern County and allow us to maintain water reserves for years of low rainfall and decreasing imported water deliveries.

Our water supply remains sufficient to meet residents’ needs, in part due to the community’s ongoing conservation efforts.  Water conserved today is stored for a future dry year.

We are currently designing Recycled Water Projects Phases 2A and 2C.  These projects will supply about 1,600 acre feet per year of recycled water to the Santa Clarita Valley and are designed to serve areas with large irrigation customers that are currently located away from the existing recycled water system.  Some examples of large irrigation customers are Central Park, College of the Canyons and the California Institute of the Arts.  The Recycled Water Phase 2 estimated cost is $46.4 million.

The Honby Pipeline Project is also in design and, when completed, will eliminate a restriction in water supply distribution.  The new pipeline will increase the ability of the Agency to distribute water to the eastern part of the service area.  The estimated project cost is $21.0 million.

The Castaic Conduit Bypass Pipeline Replacement project will also expand the ability to distribute water in the valley.  This project will replace a section of aging pipe that is difficult to maintain and represents a bottleneck in the distribution system.  The estimated project cost is $14.9 million.

The Agency recently finished an expansion of its Rio Vista Water Treatment Plant that increased capacity from 30 mgd to 66 mgd.  The plant treats State Water Project and other imported water and delivers it to the four local water purveyors.  The expansion provides additional treatment capacity to meet the growing needs of the Valley.  Total project cost is approximately $58.4 million.

The Agency and local retailers continuously work to make sure the valley has a reliable water supply.  We have developed a diverse water supply portfolio with two principal sources of imported water, two sources of groundwater, recycled water and banked water for dry-years.

We have a variety of banking programs in place and have stored a combined 145,000 acre feet of water.  This water is stored during years of adequate rainfall in northern California, the source of our imported State Water Project supply.  This water will be accessible in future dry or drought years.

That diverse supply portfolio is reflected in our recently completed Urban Water Management Plan, which projects water demand and supply through 2050.  Existing supplies along with the development of recycled water and implementation of water use efficiency practices for residents and businesses in the Valley ensure a reliable water supply into the future.  You can review the Urban Water Management Plan here.

It is SCV Water’s responsibility to provide supplemental imported water to meet the needs of current and future water users located within our boundaries. SCV Water is not responsible for planning future growth in the Santa Clarita Valley.  The County of Los Angeles and the City of Santa Clarita have that responsibility.  The City adopted its One Valley One Vision (OVOV) General Plan Update, and the County is current considering its OVOV update.  These are documents that propose future land use, analyze the impacts and propose mitigation measures.

SCV Water is not currently annexing additional lands into its service area unless landowners bring a fully reliable water supply for their property.  This policy protects SCV Water residents and property owners from development outside the existing service negatively impacting the water supply availability and reliability to residents, businesses and property owners inside the service area.

SCV Water recognizes the importance of a reliable, high quality water supply to the residents of the Santa Clarita Valley.  We encourage residents to be good stewards of this natural resource.  SCV Water looks to assist its customers in that effort and has several programs in place to promote water conservation, efficiency and public education programs.


Water quality is an important issue for water utilities and its consumers. Water quality regulations are ever changing and, as a result of the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments passed by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1996, they are becoming even more stringent.

SCV Water is dedicated to supplying its customers with safe and healthy drinking water. As part of maintaining a safe and reliable water supply, SCV Water implements a stringent Cross-Connection Control Program. A cross-connection is an illegal connection between a potable water system and a non-potable water system.

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