Vacaville water quality beats federal, state standards

By From page A5 | June 20, 2013

VACAVILLE — For the first time Vacaville city water customers are able to access the city’s water quality report online.

According to the report, released Tuesday, the city’s drinking water in 2012 met or exceeded all state and federal standards for human consumption.

No regulated contaminants were found at levels higher than allowed by either the state Department of Public Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and in nearly all cases levels were significantly below requirements, according to the report.

This is the first year that the report is available online. Previously, community water systems were required to send each customer a printed copy.

You can order a printed copy from the city by calling 469-6400 or sending an email to [email protected] Otherwise, the report is available on the city’s website at www.cityofvacaville.com/2012waterqualityreport.

According to the report, the city distributed more than 5.5 billion gallons of drinking water in 2012.

The water is subjected to a battery of tests and more than 7,000 individual analyses were conducted last year.

A certain level of contaminants is to be expected in all drinking water, even bottled water, the report says, but Vacaville’s water is on the low end with almost all contaminants measured.

The city gets its water from three different sources: Lake Berryessa via the Putah South Canal (30 percent), groundwater from 12 deep wells (30 percent), and from the Sacramento River Delta by the North Bay Aqueduct (39 percent).

Each source is subjected to the tests and all passed, showing levels of key contaminants well below those allowed.

The tests include clarity as well as aluminum, lead, arsenic, chromium, fluoride, barium, nitrate and even radioactivity. Some of the contaminants are naturally occurring while others come from manufacturing and other human activities, including the water treatment process.

The groundwater showed the toxin arsenic at a level of 2.7 parts per billion, far lower than the maximum allowed 10 ppb. Flouride runs at 0.21 parts per million out of an allowed 2 parts per million. Chromium, actually last measured in 2011, registered at 10 ppb out of an allowed 50 ppb. Lead levels, also last checked in 2011, came in at 0.14 ppb and are allowed up to 15.

The complete report also includes the highest and lowest levels of each contaminant found.

Also included in the report is an assessment of the vulnerabilities of each of the water sources – things that could introduce contaminants to the water supply.

The report also cites the cost savings of releasing the report digitally, although no dollar amount is cited.

Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.


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