Posts

EPA Puts Additional Delay On Trump Lead and Copper in Drinking Water Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency has put another delay on a Trump-era update to a rule governing lead and copper in drinking water, according to a new federal register notice.

The notice says that the rule, which was previously expected to take effect on Thursday, will now take effect on December 16. It also pushed back the date at which it requires compliance by one month until October 16, 2024.

Ditch the Bottled Water. MWD, Santa Ana Win Prizes for Best-Tasting Tap Water in U.S.

In victories that make the state’s drought even crueler, two Southern California water districts have won the top prizes for best tap water in the U.S. at an international tasting contest.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California finished first and Santa Ana took second place for the nation’s Best Municipal Water on Saturday at the 31st annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting in West Virginia. Those two competitors finished first in the category in 2008 and 2018, respectively.

Third place went to the Southwest Water Authority of Dickinson, in North Dakota.

Worsening Droughts Could Increase Arsenic Exposure for Some Americans

More than half of the continental US is currently experiencing some level of drought, and about a quarter is in severe drought or worse. In recent years, the western and southwestern US has been in a seemingly continual state of reduced rainfall and snowpack. Droughts have many well-known, potentially catastrophic consequences, from crop failures to water shortages to wildfires. Yet they can also have more direct human health impacts by not only affecting how much water there is, but also the quality of that water.

Gov. Doug Ducey Signs Historic Water Protection Legislation

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a landmark water protection bill Wednesday to ensure clean water in nearly 800 Arizona streams, lakes and rivers that are critical for everyday use.

The legislation will preserve water quality, list protected Arizona waters and develop management practices that will protect the waterways.

Where are the Lead Pipes? Finding Them May Prove Tough for EPA

Incomplete local record-keeping may stymie EPA efforts to locate the nation’s lead pipes to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of replacing them and improving drinking water quality, authorities say. A better way to reduce lead contamination in the nation’s drinking water, a former Environmental Protection Agency water chief says, is by enforcing an existing rule requiring utilities to replace some of their lead pipes every year.

The Biden administration’s infrastructure plan, released March 31, calls for replacing all lead drinking water pipes throughout the U.S. to avoid lead contamination drinking water similar to the crisis in Flint, Mich. As many as 10 million U.S. homes have lead service lines, the EPA said.

New City Report Looks at Water Quality Issues in Local Watersheds

The City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department has completed the 2020 Watershed Sanitary Survey, which evaluates any potential water quality issues at the source and will be used as a basis for future watershed management and planning efforts. A watershed is an area of land that drains water into a specific body of water. Everything that is on the land, whether a natural feature or a human activity, is part of the watershed. Issued every five years, the report identifies actual or potential causes of local source water contamination that might adversely affect the quality and treatability of water used by the City. The City’s tap water meets all state and federal drinking water health standards, which are the primary standards for treating and monitoring water.

Earth Week Cleanup in San Diego County

After its postponement and production of a smaller cleanup in 2020 due to COVID-19, I Love A Clean San Diego County returns its Creek to Bay Cleanup to its traditional annual date during Earth Week on Saturday, April 24.

This year’s environmental event will operate under the decentralized, socially-distanced model introduced last year where volunteers clean up close to their homes. Organizers aim to double the event’s litter removal impact by issuing a 30,000-pound, one-day challenge to all participants. This is an opportunity for all county residents to safely volunteer and cleanup streets, parks, canyons and beaches within their own neighborhoods. Free online volunteer registration opened on April 1 at CreektoBay.org.

 

Watershed Survey Helps Maintain San Diego Regional Water Quality

The City of San Diego Public Utilities Department conducts regular surveys of its watersheds to monitor and maintain high water quality within those watersheds. The City recently released its 2020 Watershed Sanitary Survey. Conducted and issued every five years since 1996 as required by California law, the report identifies actual or potential causes of local source water contamination that might adversely affect the quality and treatability of City of San Diego water.

Watershed areas such as the land around the El Capitan Reservoir was assessed in the 2020 Watershed Survey by the City of San Diego. Photo: City of San Diego

Watershed Survey Helps Maintain San Diego Regional Water Quality

The City of San Diego Public Utilities Department conducts regular surveys of its watersheds to monitor and maintain high water quality within those watersheds.

The City recently released its 2020 Watershed Sanitary Survey. Conducted and issued every five years since 1996 as required by California law, the report identifies actual or potential causes of local source water contamination that might adversely affect the quality and treatability of City of San Diego water.

The updated information is used as a basis for future watershed management and planning efforts. City of San Diego tap water meets all state and federal drinking water health standards, the primary standards for treating and monitoring water.

“Development and other activities in our watersheds can have a profound influence on the quality of our water,” said Shauna Lorance, director of the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department. “The Watershed Sanitary Survey is important for identifying potential negative impacts and ways to better protect our watersheds.”

Watershed protection critical to safe, reliable water supply

Everything that is on the land, whether a natural feature or a human activity like grazing cattle at this area near the Sutherland Reservoir, is part of the watershed. Photo: City of San Diego

Everything that is on the land, whether a natural feature or a human activity like grazing cattle at this area near the Sutherland Reservoir, is part of the watershed. Photo: City of San Diego

A watershed is an area of land that drains water into a specific body of water. Everything that is on the land, whether a natural feature or a human activity, is part of the watershed. Many places San Diego County residents live, work, and play in are watershed areas.

There are 11 westward draining watersheds in San Diego County.  Six are within the City of San Diego: San Dieguito River, Los Peñasquitos, Mission Bay and La Jolla, San Diego Bay, San Diego River, and Tijuana River.

The City of San Diego’s nine water supply reservoirs have a combined capacity of over 550,000 acre-feet and more than 900 square miles of watershed lands tributary to these reservoirs. Local runoff from watersheds captured in City reservoirs accounted for about 11% of total drinking water production from 2015-2020.

Six of San Diego County's watershed regions lie within the City of San Diego boundaries. Map: City of San Diego

Six of San Diego County’s watershed regions lie within the City of San Diego boundaries. Map: City of San Diego

Reservoirs are critical components of the regional water supply system, as water is supplied to nearly two million people in the City of San Diego and neighboring communities. Protecting these water sources is vital to providing healthy and safe drinking water. The public can assist in preventing watershed damage through source reduction and preventing stormwater runoff.

The 2020 survey noted these changes since the 2015 Watershed Sanitary Survey:

  • Total area of residential and commercial development in the watersheds increased slightly by about 2%.
  • A total of 412 new construction permits were recorded for onsite wastewater treatment systems located within the watersheds.
  • The number of fires occurring in the watersheds increased by about 8%.
  • Leaking underground storage sites decreased by 53%.
  • Sanitary sewer overflows increased by 36%.

The survey offers recommendations including continuing and expanding public awareness programs to help protect watershed, and implementing projects and programs to improve land management and water quality of source waters. All recommendations will be used for future watershed management and planning efforts.

The full 2020 Watershed Sanitary Survey, as well as past surveys, is available on the City’s website.

Editors Note: The City of San Diego is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies working collaboratively with the Water Authority to increase the value, reliability, and safety of water for ratepayers in San Diego County.

Oceanside Officials Counter Firm’s Claim That City Among Worst Water Quality

City officials in Oceanside described their drinking water as consistently “high-quality, safe and reliable” Wednesday in the hope of reassuring residents after a lawn care company ranked its water at 198 out of 200 cities nationwide. Rosemarie Chora, the city’s water utilities division manager, said a March 23 report from LawnStarter “hit big” as residents expressed alarm on social media.