Small Water Systems
In California, the Department of Health Services (DHS) is responsible for regulating drinking water and for monitoring approximately 7,500 public water systems to assure the delivery of safe drinking water to all Californians. For small systems with 200 or fewer connections, the DHS’ Drinking Water Field Operations Branches (DWFOB) work with county health departments, planning departments, and boards of supervisors that have primary regulatory oversight.
Many small systems are located in low-income communities, making it more difficult to raise funds for improvement.
Small water systems face huge challenges. Water sources are not always adequate for their needs or protected from contamination by nearby agricultural or industrial uses. The small number of ratepayers limits their ability to fund needed infrastructure improvement, including those needed to comply with evolving drinking water standers. For more information, visit http://www.dhs.ca.gov/ps/ddwem/technical/dwp/smallwatersystemsunit.htm
Many small systems are located in low-income communities, making it more difficult to raise funds for improvement. The lack of financial resources means small water providers often use volunteered for operation and maintenance. The SDWA amendments established financial assistance programs for infrastructure and training, but the effort is limited by the large number of entities in need of assistance and the extent of the resources provided by EPA. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/safewater/smallsys/ssinfo.htm