Drinking Water Program

Summary: To provide reasonable and adequate guidance to the campus community in addressing issues related to the campus drinking water supplies.

  1. Program Description
  2. Scope
  3. Definitions
  4. Responsibilities
  5. Specific Program Components
  6. Reporting Requirements
  7. Information and External References
  8. Competency Assessment and Training Requirements

1. Program Description

  • The campus Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) serves as a resource person for the campus community for current information on drinking water issues.
  • To provide reasonable and adequate guidance to the campus community in addressing issues related to the campus drinking water supplies.

2. Scope

EH&S is designated as the official campus office for contact or coordination with all agencies having interests or jurisdiction affecting UC Irvine in the field of drinking water quality. EH&S works with the Irvine Ranch Water District and the State Health Department in the protection of the campus drinking water supplies.

3. Definitions

Irvine Ranch Water District-(IRWD): The water utility that supplies drinking water to the campus community.

Primary Drinking Water Standards: Contaminants in drinking water that adversely affect human health.

REHS: Registered Environmental Health Specialist (i.e. Health Inspector).

Secondary Drinking Water Standards: Constituents in drinking water that may adversely affect the taste, odor or appearance of the water.

Service Connection: The water meter where the IRWD water main connects to the customer’s plumbing system.

State Health Department- (DHS): For the purpose of this program, refer to the California State Department of Health Services Division of Drinking Water and Environmental Management.

4. Responsibilities

4.1 The Department of Health Services is responsible for the enforcement of the Federal and California Safe Drinking Water Acts (SDWAs) and the regulatory oversight of approximately 8,700 public water systems to assure the delivery of safe drinking water to all Californians. This includes the Irvine Ranch Water District.

4.2 The Irvine Ranch Water District is responsible for monitoring the campus water supply and ensuring that the water delivered to the campus community meets the standards required by the DHS.

4.3 Environmental Health and Safety:

4.3.1 Serves as the campus liaison between the Department of Health Services, the Irvine Ranch Water District and the campus community.

4.3.2 Oversees the installation of all new water distribution lines on campus property-see Section 5.01 - Disinfection Procedure for Water Distribution Lines

5. Specific Program Components

5.1 Sources of Supply:

5.1.1 IRWD tap water is a blend of surface water imported by the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) and local well water pumped from the Dyer Road Wellfield in Santa Ana.

5.1.2 MWD surface water sources include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs or springs located in the Colorado River Basin and the California State Water Project in Northern California.

5.2. Drinking Water Quality:

The California State Drinking Water Act prescribes regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water. IRWD's Water Quality staff conducts over a quarter of a million laboratory tests each year from water taken from over 70 sample points throughout the District.

5.2.1 Primary Drinking Water Standards:

  • Bacteriological Quality:
    • IRWD's Water Quality staff continuously monitors the campus water supply, conducting over 100 bacteriological tests each week from water taken from sample points located near the campus service connections.
    • EH&S supports the IRWD sampling program by conducting bacteriological tests on water taken from the distribution systems of all new construction on campus.
  • Regulated Inorganic and Organic Chemicals and Radiological Contamination:
    • Typical sources of these contaminants include agricultural runoff, erosion of natural deposits and industrial pollution. Some of these contaminants include arsenic, nitrates, organic solvents and Tri-halomethanes.
    • IRWD monitors for these contaminants on a yearly basis except for Nitrates/Nitrites. Nitrate/Nitrite monitoring is performed on a quarterly basis.

5.2.2 Secondary Drinking Water Standards:

  • These contaminants are regulated to maintain the aesthetic qualities of the water. Their presence in tap water does not pose a health hazard.
  • These contaminants include color, odor or turbidity of the water and other organic and inorganic chemicals not listed as primary contaminants.

5.2.3 Unregulated Organic Chemicals

  • Some of these contaminants include organic chemicals used as agricultural pesticides and other industrial solvents.
  • IRWD monitors for these contaminants every five years.

5.3 Records:

5.3.1 Records of all bacteriological analyses are kept for 5 years.

5.3.2 Records of all chemical analyses are kept for 10 years.

5.3.3 Records of all water quality and system water outage complaints are kept for 5 years.

5.3.4 These records are available for review by IRWD customers upon request.

6. Reporting Requirements

6.1 IRWD provides the DHS a monthly summary of all sampling activities performed in the previous month.

6.2 IRWD provides an annual water quality report to its customers. The latest IRWD annual water quality report is available for review at:

2014 Water Quality report

6.3 IRWD notifies its customers, in writing, when the IRWD water supply fails to meet the provisions of the California Safe Drinking Water Act. The notification letter outlines the nature and extent of the violation(s) and what steps the IRWD has taken to correct the violation(s).

7. Information and External references

Drinking Water Program Links

California State Water Resources Control Board
Department of Water Resources
State Water Resources Control Board
California Code of Regulations

8. Competency Assessment and Training Requirements

Not applicable

Document Initiator: Jim Pack