Since 1991, California water utilities have been providing information on water served to its consumers. This report is a snapshot of the tap water quality that we provided last year. Included are details about where your water comes from, how it is tested, what is in it, and how it compares with state and federal limits. We strive to keep you informed about the quality of your water, and to provide a reliable and economic supply that meets all regulatory requirements.
Where Does My Tap Water Come From?
Your tap water comes from 2 sources: groundwater and surface water. We pump groundwater from local, deep wells. We also use Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s (MWD) surface water from both the Colorado River and the State Water Project in northern California. These water sources supply our service area shown on the adjacent map. The quality of our groundwater and MWD’s surface water supplies is 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, annually or less often depending on the substance. 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 specially trained technicians in state-certified laboratories.
What Are Drinking Water Standards?
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) limits the amount of certain substances allowed in tap water. In California, the State Department of Health Services (Department) regulates tap water quality by enforcing limits that are at least as stringent as the USEPA’s. Historically, California limits are more stringent than the Federal ones.
There are two types of these limits, known as standards. Primary standards protect you from substances that could potentially affect your health. Secondary standards regulate substances that affect the aesthetic qualities of water. Regulations set a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for each of the primary and secondary standards. The MCL is the highest level of a substance that is allowed in your drinking water.
Public Health Goals (PHGs) are set by the California Environmental Protection Agency. PHGs provide more information on the quality of drinking water to customers, and are similar to their federal counterparts, Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs). PHGs and MCLGs are advisory levels that are nonenforceable. Both PHGs and MCLGs are concentrations of a substance below which there are no known or expected health risks.
How Do I Read the Water Quality Table?
Although we test for over 100 substances, regulations require us to report only those found in your water. The first column of the water quality table lists substances detected in your water. The next columns list the average concentration and range of concentrations found in your drinking water. Following are columns that list the MCL and PHG or MCLG, if appropriate. The last column describes the likely sources of these substances in drinking water.
To review the quality of your drinking water, compare the highest concentration and the MCL. Check for substances greater than the MCL. Exceedence of a primary MCL does not usually constitute an immediate health threat. Rather, it requires testing the source water more frequently for a short duration. If test results show that the water continues to exceed the MCL, the water must be treated to remove the substance, or the source must be removed from service.
< = less than
mg/l = milligrams per liter or parts per million (equivalent to 1 drop in 42 gallons)
ND = constituent not detected at the reporting limit
NA = constituent not analyzed
ng/l = nanograms per liter or parts per trillion (equivalent to 1 drop in 42,000,000 gallons)
NTU = nephelometric turbidity units
pCi/l = picoCuries per liter
SI = Saturation Index
µg/l = micrograms per liter or parts per billion (equivalent to 1 drop in 42,000 gallons)
umhos/cm = micromhos per centimeter
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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL): The level of a disinfectant added for water treatment that may not be exceeded at the consumer's tap.
Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG): The level of a disinfectant added for water treatment below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs are set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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.
Treatment Technique (TT): A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
Regulatory Action Level (AL): The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow.
Primary Drinking Water Standard (PDWS): MCLs and MRDLs for contaminants that affect health along with their monitoring and reporting requirements, and water treatment requirements.
Why Do I See So Much Coverage in the News About the Quality Of Tap Water?
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, which 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 gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, agricultural application, and septic systems;
- Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.
In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the State Department of Public Health (Department) prescribe regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Department regulations also establish limits for contaminants in bottled water that must provide the same protection for public health.
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 at (800) 426-4791. You can also get more information on tap water by logging on to these helpful web sites:
Important Health Information
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immunocompromised 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).
Source Water Assessment
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California completed a vulnerability assessment of its Colorado River and State Water Project supplies in 2002. Colorado River supplies are considered most vulnerable to recreation, urban/storm water runoff, increasing urbanization in the watershed, and wastewater. State Water Project supplies are considered most vulnerable to contaminants from urban/storm water runoff, wildlife, agriculture, recreation and wastewater. A copy of the assessment can be obtained by contacting MWD at (213) 217-6000.
The City of Manhattan Beach conducted a vulnerability assessment of its groundwater supplies in 2003. Groundwater supplies are considered most vulnerable to metal plating/finishing/fabricating, chemical/petroleum processing/storage, automobile repair shops, automobile gas stations, dry cleaners, and historic gas stations. A copy of the approved assessment may be obtained by contacting Christina Lopez at (310) 802-5304.
How Can I Participate in Decisions On Water Issues That Affect Me?
You can attend City Council Meetings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6PM, at 1400 Highland Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266.
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 the Public Works Department Utilities Division at (310) 802-5304.
What's Prohibited under the California Emergency Water Conservation Regulations?
• Using potable water to wash sidewalks & driveways.
• Allowing runoff when irrigating with potable water.
• Using hoses with no shutoff nozzles to wash cars.
• Using potable water in decorative water features that do not recirculate the water.
• Using outdoor irrigation during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation.
Low Cost/No-Cost Ways To Conserve Water Anytime!
• Install aerators on the kitchen faucet to reduce flows to less than 1 gallon per minute.
• Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
• Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
• Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator.
• Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap.
• Turn water off when brushing teeth or shaving. Save up to 10 gallons a day
• Test your toilet for leaks at least once a year. Take advantage of high-efficiency toilet rebates.
Save up to 19 gallons per person, per day.
• Take five-minute showers instead of 10-minute showers. Turn off the water while washing your
hair. Install a low flow showerhead.
• Use the washing machine for full loads only.
• Use a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios.
• Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation, keep the soil cool, and prevent
weeds. Save: 20-30 gallons/each time you water/1,000 square feet.
• Water early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler. Save: 25
gallons/each time you water
More water conservation tips and information can be found at Save Our Water website.