Water FAQs

Here are some steps you can take to reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water:

  • Run your water to flush out lead. If it hasn’t been used for several hours, run the water for three to five minutes to clear most of the lead from the water. To conserve water, remember to catch the flushed tap water for plants, cleaning or flushing toilets.
  • Always use cold water for drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula.  Never cook with or drink water from the hot water tap. Never use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
  • Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
  • Periodically remove and clean the faucet screen/aerator. While removed, run the water to eliminate debris.
  • You may consider investing in a point-of-use home water treatment device. When purchasing a water treatment device, make sure it is certified under NSF/ANSI 53 to remove lead.  
  • Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead. Brass faucets, fittings, and valves may leach lead into drinking water. Products sold in California after the 2010 law went into effect must contain very low levels of lead.
  • Have a licensed electrician check your wiring. Your home electrical system may be attached to your service line or elsewhere in your plumbing.

If you’re concerned your home plumbing may contain lead in its pipes or fittings, you may want to have your water tested by a state-certified laboratory. Testing is the only way to confirm if lead is present or absent. For more information on testing your water, contact a drinking water laboratory. 

Here are three in our area:
Soil Control Lab (831) 724-5422
Monterey Bay Analytical Services (831) 375-6227
Bolsa Analytical Lab (831) 637-4590

Lead is rarely found to naturally exist in water supply sources, like surface water or groundwater. More commonly, lead leaks into water over time through corrosion—a dissolving or wearing away of metal caused by a chemical reaction between water and your plumbing. Lead can leach into water from pipes, solder, fixtures, faucets (brass) and fittings. Lead service lines and pipes have not been found to be used in construction in the Scotts Valley Water District. Therefore, sources of lead in our drinking water are primarily limited to lead-based solder and fixtures located at residential and commercial sites where water is received. The amount of lead in your water depends on the types and amounts of minerals in the water, how long the water stays in the pipes, the water’s corrosivity, and water temperature.

Lead can cause a variety of adverse health effects when people are exposed. These effects may include increases in blood pressure for adults, delays in normal physical and mental development in babies and young children, and deficits in the attention span, hearing, and learning abilities of children.

The most common source of lead exposure is from paint in homes and buildings built before 1978. Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust are the main sources of exposure for lead in U.S. children. Lead-based paints were banned for use in housing in 1978.

Although the main sources of exposure to lead are ingesting paint chips and inhaling dust, lead also can be found in some household plumbing materials and some water service lines. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 10-20 percent of human exposure to lead may come from lead in the drinking water.

Scotts Valley Water District tests for lead quarterly in source water pumped from wells and treated water as it leaves the treatment plants. Our samples are always negative for lead. Since 1993, the District has regularly tested the water at a selected number of higher-risk homes. These homes were constructed using copper pipes with lead solder prior to the 1986 federal ban on lead solder. Our monitoring is conducted in accordance with regulatory requirements and guidance.

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that is harmful if inhaled or swallowed. Lead can be found in the air, soil, dust, food, and water.

Please visit the Water Quality page for more information.

No.  Scotts Valley Water District does not currently add, or have any plans to add fluoride to the potable or recycled water supply.

No, we do not add fluoride to the potable water supply or the recycled water supply. 

Please visit our Recycled Water page for more information.

Please visit the Recycled Water page for more information.

The recycled water distributed by the Scotts Valley Water District may be used for many non-potable uses including construction purposes, irrigation of schools, parks, golf courses, HOA common landscape areas and commercial landscapes, and irrigation of all types of food crops (including those eaten raw).

Please visit the Recycled Water page to learn more.

Drinking water standards are adopted by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Drinking Water Program pursuant to the California Safe Drinking Water Act.  Drinking water standards are enforced and monitored by the CDPH and local health departments.

SVWD water, which comes from groundwater wells, has continuously met or exceeded every water quality standard set by State and Federal Water Quality Standards.

The Scotts Valley Water District monitors water quality at the groundwater production wells for the constituents required by the Safe Drinking Water Act and under Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations. The District annually prepares and distributes the SVWD Annual Water Quality Report to keep customers informed on water quality issues. This report provides the public with detailed results of water-quality testing, a description of the water source, answers to common questions about water quality, and other useful water quality information.

The Scotts Valley Water District's annual water quality report can be found here.

Please visit the Water Supply page for more information.