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While SMWD operates a water quality lab, independent testing cannot be performed there. If you'd like additional testing performed, SMWD would suggest contacting an independent laboratory accredited through the State's Environmental Laboratory Accrediation Program (ELAP). The State has a helpful tool located here to assist you in finding a certified commercial lab.
While SMWD can't recommend a specific product, the following organizations might be able to:
While it varies on the time of year and drought conditions, SMWD water is considered hard. When water is considered hard, it is high in dissolved minerals. As the concentration of dissolved minerals increase, the water becomes harder.
The hardness of the water is completely dependent on the water SMWD imports. During the 2015 drought, 100% of the water was being imported from the Colorado River which resulted in very hard water. When available, SMWD imports water from the State Water Project which conveys water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta which is much softer.
The California Department of Public Health and the US Environmental Protection Agency both consider hard water only an aesthetic issue and is completely safe to drink.
SMWD utilizes chloramines (chlorine plus ammonia) to maintain disinfection throughout it's 600+ mile distribution system.
The use of chlorine to disinfect drinking water dates back to 1908, when Dr. John Leal recommended that chlorine be used to disinfect the municipal water supply in Jersey City to reduce the spread of typhoid fever. Chloramines began being utilized for disinfection in the 1930s.
Since then, chloramines have become a popular disinfection since they provide a longer lasting disinfection and are better at preventing disinfection byproducts. According to the EPA, more than one in five Americans uses drinking water treated with chloramines.
SMWD is devoted to strict compliance with all drinking water laws and monitors chloramine levels throughout the distribution system.
Cloudy water is often caused by air that enters pipes and escapes in the form of oxygen bubbles. Cloudiness created by air bubbles is not a health risk.
Air bubbles are more prevalent in cold months because water from outside pipes is colder and holds more oxygen than water in household pipes. Consequently, when the cold water enters your home and begins to warm up, the oxygen bubbles escape and cause the water to look cloudy or even milky. Construction in the distribution system can also allow air to enter the pipes and cause the appearance of cloudy water.
The air bubbles should naturally disappear in a few minutes. Test this by filling a clear container with water. After a few minutes, the air bubbles rise to the surface and the water should clear up from the bottom to the top of the container.
If the cloudiness does not disappear, please email Customer Service or call 949-459-6420.
The odor you smell is most likely coming from the sink drain and not the water. Over time the plumbing beneath your sink, which is typically a u-shaped pipe, can collect debris and create an odor. If you smell an odor, fill a clean glass with tap water and smell the water in a separate room or outdoors. If the odor is no longer present, the odor is likely from the plumbing beneath your sink. To get rid of the pipe odor, pour about a half cup of liquid bleach into the drain
If the odor is not from the sink drain or the problem persists, please email Customer Service or call 949-459-6420.
The white residue commonly found in showers and kitchenware is the result of dissolved minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium.
SMWD imports a large portion of water from the Colorado River. As the water travels through rock canyons it picks up an appreciable amount of dissolved minerals, which is often referred to as “hard water”. These minerals do not pose a health risk, but may be a nuisance when they buildup on fixtures or hinder detergent performance.
Commercial products are available to remove white residue. SMWD recommends that you read the owner’s manuals for your dishwasher and washing machine for the manufacturer's recommendations regarding settings for mineral buildup or hard water.
On occasion, SMWD receives questions from customers about how to remove the chlorine taste from their water. One method is to fill a pitcher with water and place it in your refrigerator overnight; the trace amounts of chlorine gas in your water will dissipate.
SMWD does not add fluoride to the water supply; however, Metropolitan Water District, the regional wholesale water supplier does add fluoride.
In 1995, AB 733 required the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW) to adopt regulations that require the fluoridation of the water of any public water system with at least 10,000 service connections. Metropolitan Water District joined the majority of the nation’s public water suppliers by adding fluoride to drinking water in December 2007. MWD’s current fluoride level of 0.7 to 1.3 parts per million follows the recommended range by the DDW.
Every July, SMWD produces an annual Water Quality Report to share the results of water quality testing from the previous calendar year. This year's report is available here and copies are available at the District’s office.
The District tests its drinking water for lead and copper to ensure that levels are below the set limits of the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW) and USEPA‘s Safe Drinking Water Standards. Lead and copper found in drinking water is primarily from materials used in service lines and home plumbing lines. The District’s most recent testing for lead and copper was performed on September 2015, and levels did not exceed the respective action level in any water samples.
As your local water supplier, we are writing you about communications you may have received regarding copper pitting or “pinhole leaks” in residential plumbing systems. One of our most important jobs is to ensure that the water we deliver to our residents and customers is safe to drink and meets Federal and State water quality standards. Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) has its own significant testing program to ensure that the water delivered to your home meets these standards.