About the Safe Drinking Water Plan
With the transition of the Drinking Water Program from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on July 1, 2014, the State Water Board now has the primary enforcement authority (primacy) to enforce federal and state safe drinking-water acts, and is responsible for the regulatory oversight of about 8,000 public water systems throughout the state.
In 1993, the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) (now CDPH) submitted to the Legislature the report entitled, “Drinking Water into the 21st Century: Safe Drinking Water Plan for California” (1993 Plan). In 1996, the California Legislature enacted Senate Bill (SB) 1307 (Chapter 755, Statutes of 1996). SB 1307 amended Health and Safety (H&S) Code Section 116355 to require a periodic update of the original Plan. The issues that were to be addressed were essentially the same as those included in the 1993 Plan.
CDPH assembled a team of experts that conducted extensive reviews and analyses, resulting in a draft plan that included an overview of drinking water regulation, reviews and plans for drinking water quality/monitoring and threats, treatment technologies, funding aspects and financial assistance, and a focus on the challenges faced by small drinking water systems. Following the July 1, 2014 transition of the Drinking Water Program to the State Water Board, the draft plan’s recommendations and implementation plan has been enhanced based on the synergies and resources resulting from incorporation of the program into the State Water Board.
The Safe Drinking Water Plan for California includes the State Water Board’s assessment of the overall quality of the state’s drinking water, the identification of specific water quality problems, an analysis of the known and potential health risks that may be associated with drinking water contamination in California, and specific recommendations to improve drinking water quality.