Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 104. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH [106500 - 119405]

  ( Division 104 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

PART 12. DRINKING WATER [116270 - 117130]

  ( Part 12 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

CHAPTER 4. California Safe Drinking Water Act [116270 - 116755]

  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

ARTICLE 9. Remedies [116650 - 116686]
  ( Article 9 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

116650.
  

(a) If the state board determines that a public water system is in violation of this chapter or any regulation, permit, standard, citation, or order issued or adopted thereunder, the state board may issue a citation to the public water system. The citation shall be served upon the public water system personally or by certified mail. Service shall be deemed effective as of the date of personal service or the date of receipt of the certified mail. If a person to whom a citation is directed refuses to accept delivery of the certified mail, the date of service shall be deemed to be the date of mailing.

(b) Each citation shall be in writing and shall describe the nature of the violation or violations, including a reference to the statutory provision, standard, order, citation, permit, or regulation alleged to have been violated.

(c) A citation may specify a date for elimination or correction of the condition constituting the violation.

(d) A citation may include the assessment of a penalty as specified in subdivision (e).

(e) The state board may assess a penalty in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for each day that a violation occurred, and for each day that a violation continues to occur. A separate penalty may be assessed for each violation and shall be in addition to any liability or penalty imposed under any other law.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 673, Sec. 8. (AB 1531) Effective January 1, 2016.)

116655.
  

(a)  Whenever the state board determines that any person has violated or is violating this chapter, or any order, permit, regulation, or standard issued or adopted pursuant to this chapter, the state board may issue an order doing any of the following:

(1)  Directing compliance forthwith.

(2)  Directing compliance in accordance with a time schedule set by the state board.

(3)  Directing that appropriate preventive action be taken in the case of a threatened violation.

(b)  An order issued pursuant to this section may include, but shall not be limited to, any or all of the following requirements:

(1)  That the existing plant, works, or system be repaired, altered, or added to.

(2)  That purification or treatment works be installed.

(3)  That the source of the water supply be changed.

(4)  That no additional service connection be made to the system.

(5)  That the water supply, the plant, or the system be monitored.

(6)  That a report on the condition and operation of the plant, works, system, or water supply be submitted to the state board.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 673, Sec. 9. (AB 1531) Effective January 1, 2016.)

116660.
  

(a) Any person who operates a public water system without having an unrevoked permit to do so, may be enjoined from so doing by any court of competent jurisdiction at the suit of the department.

(b) When the department determines that any person has engaged in or is engaged in any act or practice that constitutes a violation of this chapter, or any regulation, permit, standard, or order issued or adopted thereunder, the department may bring an action in the superior court for an order enjoining the practices or for an order directing compliance.

(c) Upon a showing by the department of any violation set forth in subdivision (b), the superior court shall enjoin the practices and may do any of the following:

(1) Enforce a reasonable plan of compliance, including the appointment of a competent person, to be approved by the department, and paid by the operator of the public water system, who shall take charge of and operate the system so as to secure compliance.

(2) Enjoin further service connections to the public water system.

(3) Afford any further relief that may be required to insure compliance with this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 538, Sec. 436. Effective January 1, 2007.)

116665.
  

Whenever the department determines that any public water system is unable or unwilling to adequately serve its users, has been actually or effectively abandoned by its owners, or is unresponsive to the rules or orders of the department, the department may petition the superior court for the county within which the system has its principal office or place of business for the appointment of a receiver to assume possession of its property and to operate its system upon such terms and conditions as the court shall prescribe. The court may require, as a condition to the appointment of the receiver, that a sufficient bond be given by the receiver and be conditioned upon compliance with the orders of the court and the department, and the protection of all property rights involved. The court may provide, as a condition of its order, that the receiver appointed pursuant to the order shall not be held personally liable for any good faith, reasonable effort to assume possession of, and to operate, the system in compliance with the order.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1996.)

116670.
  

Anything done, maintained, or suffered as a result of failure to comply with any primary drinking water standard is a public nuisance dangerous to health, and may be enjoined or summarily abated in the manner provided by law. Every public officer or body lawfully empowered to do so shall abate the nuisance immediately.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1996.)

116675.
  

Notwithstanding Sections 116340 and 116500, the department shall, after adequate notification of the local health officer, take action authorized by this chapter against a public water system under the jurisdiction of the local health officer if any of the following occur:

(a)  The public water system has been in violation of any provision of this chapter or the regulations adopted hereunder, including any violation of compliance with drinking water standards or waterworks standards, for a period of at least 90 days within the previous year.

(b)  A contaminant is present in, or likely to enter, a public water system and presents an imminent and substantial danger to the health of the users of the system.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1996.)

116680.
  

The Legislature finds and declares as follows:

(a) It is the policy of the state to encourage orderly growth and development, which are essential to the social, fiscal, and economic well-being of the state. The Legislature recognizes that the logical formation, consolidation, and operation of water systems is an important factor in promoting orderly development and in balancing that development against sometimes competing state interests of discouraging urban sprawl, preserving open space and prime agricultural lands, and efficiently extending other government services. Therefore, the policy of the state should be affected by the logical formation, consolidation, and operation of water systems.

(b) The powers set forth in Section 116682 for consolidation of water systems are consistent with the intent of promoting orderly growth.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 27, Sec. 1. (SB 88) Effective June 24, 2015.)

116681.
  

Except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (j) of Section 116686, the following definitions shall apply to this section and Sections 116682, 116684, and 116686:

(a) “Adequate supply” means sufficient water to meet residents’ health and safety needs.

(b) “Affected residence” means a residence within a disadvantaged community that is reliant on a water supply that is either inadequate or unsafe.

(c) “Consistently fails” means a failure to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water.

(d) “Consolidated water system” means the public water system resulting from the consolidation of a public water system with another public water system, state small water system, or affected residences not served by a public water system.

(e) “Consolidation” means joining two or more public water systems, state small water systems, or affected residences not served by a public water system, into a single public water system.

(f) “Disadvantaged community” means a disadvantaged community, as defined in Section 79505.5 of the Water Code, that is in an unincorporated area, is in a mobilehome park, or is served by a mutual water company or a small public water system.

(g) “Extension of service” means the provision of service through any physical or operational infrastructure arrangement other than consolidation.

(h) “Receiving water system” means the public water system that provides service to a subsumed water system through consolidation or extension of service.

(i) “Safe drinking water” means water that meets all primary and secondary drinking water standards.

(j) “Small public water system” has the same meaning as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 116395.

(k) “Subsumed water system” means the public water system, state small water system, or affected residences not served by a public water system consolidated into or receiving service from the receiving water system.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 773, Sec. 1.5. (SB 552) Effective January 1, 2017.)

116682.
  

(a) Where a public water system or a state small water system, serving a disadvantaged community, consistently fails to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water, the state board may order consolidation with a receiving water system as provided in this section and Section 116684. The consolidation may be physical or operational. The state board may also order the extension of service to an area within a disadvantaged community that does not have access to an adequate supply of safe drinking water so long as the extension of service is an interim extension of service in preparation for consolidation. The state board may set timelines and performance measures to facilitate completion of consolidation.

(b) Before ordering consolidation or extension of service as provided in this section, the state board shall do all of the following:

(1) Encourage voluntary consolidation or extension of service.

(2) Consider other enforcement remedies specified in this article.

(3) Consult with, and fully consider input from, the relevant local agency formation commission regarding the provision of water service in the affected area, the recommendations for improving service in a municipal service review, and any other relevant information.

(4) Consult with, and fully consider input from, the Public Utilities Commission when the consolidation would involve a water corporation subject to the commission’s jurisdiction.

(5) Consult with, and fully consider input from, the local government with land use planning authority over the affected area, particularly regarding any information in the general plan required by Section 65302.10 of the Government Code.

(6) Consult with, and fully consider input from, all public water systems in the chain of distribution of the potentially receiving water systems.

(7) (A) Notify the potentially receiving water system and the potentially subsumed water system, if any, and establish a reasonable deadline of no less than six months, unless a shorter period is justified, for the potentially receiving water system and the potentially subsumed water system, if any, to negotiate consolidation or another means of providing an adequate supply of safe drinking water.

(B) During this period, the state board shall provide technical assistance and work with the potentially receiving water system and the potentially subsumed water system to develop a financing package that benefits both the receiving water system and the subsumed water system.

(C) Upon a showing of good cause, the deadline may be extended by the state board at the request of the potentially receiving water system, potentially subsumed water system, or the local agency formation commission with jurisdiction over the potentially subsumed water system.

(8) Obtain written consent from any domestic well owner for consolidation or extension of service. Any domestic well owner within the consolidation or extended service area who does not provide written consent shall be ineligible, until the consent is provided, for any future water-related grant funding from the state other than funding to mitigate a well failure, disaster, or other emergency.

(9) (A) Hold at least one public meeting at the initiation of this process in a place as close as feasible to the affected areas. The state board shall make reasonable efforts to provide a 30-day notice of the meeting to the ratepayers, renters, and property owners to receive water service through service extension or in the area of the subsumed water system and all affected local government agencies and drinking water service providers. The meeting shall provide representatives of the potentially subsumed water system, affected ratepayers, renters, property owners, and the potentially receiving water system an opportunity to present testimony. The meeting shall provide an opportunity for public comment.

(B) An initial public meeting shall not be required for a potentially subsumed area that is served only by domestic wells.

(c) Upon expiration of the deadline set by the state board pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (b), the state board shall do the following:

(1) Consult with the potentially receiving water system and the potentially subsumed water system, if any.

(2) (A) Conduct a public hearing, in a location as close as feasible to the affected communities.

(B) The state board shall make reasonable efforts to provide a 30-day notice of the hearing to the ratepayers, renters, and property owners to receive water service through service extension or in the area of the subsumed water system and to all affected local government agencies and drinking water service providers.

(C) The hearing shall provide representatives of the potentially subsumed water system, affected ratepayers, renters, property owners, and the potentially receiving water system an opportunity to present testimony.

(D) The hearing shall provide an opportunity for public comment.

(d) Before ordering consolidation or extension of service, the state board shall find all of the following:

(1) The potentially subsumed water system has consistently failed to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water.

(2) All reasonable efforts to negotiate consolidation or extension of service were made.

(3) Consolidation of the receiving water system and subsumed water system or extension of service is appropriate and technically and economically feasible.

(4) There is no pending local agency formation commission process that is likely to resolve the problem in a reasonable amount of time.

(5) Concerns regarding water rights and water contracts of the subsumed and receiving water systems have been adequately addressed.

(6) Consolidation or extension of service is the most effective and cost-effective means to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water.

(7) The capacity of the proposed interconnection needed to accomplish the consolidation is limited to serving the current customers of the subsumed water system.

(e) Upon ordering consolidation or extension of service, the state board shall do all of the following:

(1) As necessary and appropriate, make funds available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the receiving water system for the costs of completing the consolidation or extension of service, including, but not limited to, replacing any capacity lost as a result of the consolidation or extension of service, providing additional capacity needed as a result of the consolidation or extension of service, and legal fees. Funding pursuant to this paragraph is available for the general purpose of providing financial assistance for the infrastructure needed for the consolidation or extension of service and does not need to be specific to each individual consolidation project. The state board shall provide appropriate financial assistance for the infrastructure needed for the consolidation or extension of service. The state board’s existing financial assistance guidelines and policies shall be the basis for the financial assistance.

(2) Ensure payment of standard local agency formation commission fees caused by state board-ordered consolidation or extension of service.

(3) Adequately compensate the owners of a privately owned subsumed water system for the fair market value of the system, as determined by the Public Utilities Commission or the state board.

(4) Coordinate with the appropriate local agency formation commission and other relevant local agencies to facilitate the change of organization or reorganization.

(f) (1) For the purposes of this section, the consolidated water system shall not increase charges on existing customers of the receiving water system solely as a consequence of the consolidation or extension of service unless the customers receive a corresponding benefit.

(2) For purposes of this section, fees or charges imposed on a customer of a subsumed water system shall not exceed the cost of consolidating the water system with a receiving system or the extension of service to the area.

(g) Division 3 (commencing with Section 56000) of Title 5 of the Government Code shall not apply to an action taken by the state board pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 773, Sec. 2. (SB 552) Effective January 1, 2017.)

116684.
  

(a) Liability of a consolidated water system, wholesaler, or any other agency in the chain of distribution that delivers water to a consolidated water system shall be limited as described in this section.

(b) (1) The consolidated water system, wholesaler, or any other agency in the chain of distribution that delivers water to a consolidated water system, shall not be held liable for claims by past or existing customers or those who consumed water provided through the subsumed water system concerning the operation and supply of water from the subsumed water system during the interim operation period specified in subdivision (d) for any good faith, reasonable effort using ordinary care to assume possession of, to operate, or to supply water to the subsumed water system.

(2) The consolidated water system, wholesaler, or any other agency in the chain of distribution that delivers water to a consolidated water system, shall not be held liable for claims by past or existing customers or by those who consumed water provided through the subsumed water system for any injury that occurred prior to the commencement of the interim operation period specified in subdivision (d).

(c) (1) The consolidated water system, wholesaler, or any other agency in the chain of distribution that delivers water to a consolidated water system, shall not be held liable for claims by past or existing customers or by those who consumed water provided through the subsumed water system concerning the provision of supplemental imported water supplies to the subsumed water system during the interim operation period specified in subdivision (d) for any good faith, reasonable effort using ordinary care to supply water to the subsumed water system.

(2) The consolidated water system, wholesaler, or any other agency in the chain of distribution that delivers water to a consolidated water system, shall not be held liable for claims by past or existing customers or by those who consumed water provided through the subsumed water system concerning the operation and supply of water from the subsumed water system for any injury that occurred prior to the commencement of the interim operation period specified in subdivision (d).

(3) This subdivision shall only apply if the water supplied by the consolidated water system through a temporary potable service pipeline to the subsumed water system meets or exceeds federal and state drinking water quality standards.

(d) (1) The interim operation period shall commence upon the connection of a temporary potable service pipeline by the consolidated water system to the subsumed water system, or upon the execution of an agreement between the consolidated water system, subsumed water system, and any other signatories to provide service to the customers of the subsumed water system, whichever occurs first.

(2) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the interim operation period shall last until permanent replacement facilities are accepted by the consolidated water system with the concurrence of the State Water Resources Control Board and the facilities and water supply meet drinking water and water quality standards.

(B) Upon the showing of good cause, the interim operation period shall be extended by the State Water Resources Control Board for up to three successive one-year periods at the request of the consolidated water system.

(3) The acceptance date of permanent replacement facilities shall be publicly noticed by the consolidated water system.

(e) Subdivision (b) shall only apply if the consolidated water system provides water to the subsumed water system in accordance with all of the following conditions:

(1) Water provided by the consolidated water system through a temporary potable service pipeline to the subsumed water system shall meet or exceed federal and state drinking water quality standards.

(2) Reasonable water system flow and pressure through a temporary potable service pipeline shall be maintained during the interim operation period based upon the condition and integrity of the existing subsumed water system, and any disruptions to water delivery resulting from construction-related activities associated with the installation of permanent replacement facilities shall be minimal.

(3) The consolidated water system shall notify fire officials serving the subsumed water system service area of the condition and firefighting support capabilities of the subsumed water system and planned improvements with the installation of permanent replacement facilities thereto. The consolidated water system shall maintain or improve the condition and firefighting support capabilities of the subsumed water system during the interim operation period.

(4) Customers of the subsumed water system shall receive written notice upon any change in possession, control, or operation of the water system.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to do any of the following:

(1) Relieve any water district, water wholesaler, or any other entity from complying with any provision of federal or state law pertaining to drinking water quality.

(2) Impair any cause of action by the Attorney General, a district attorney, a city attorney, or any other public prosecutor, or impair any other action or proceeding brought by or on behalf of a regulatory agency.

(3) Impair any claim alleging the taking of property without compensation within the meaning of either the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution or Section 19 of Article I of the California Constitution.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 27, Sec. 4. (SB 88) Effective June 24, 2015.)

116686.
  

(a) (1) To provide affordable, safe drinking water to disadvantaged communities and to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse, the state board may do both of the following, if sufficient funding is available and if the state board finds that consolidation with another system or extension of service from another system is either not appropriate or not technically and economically feasible:

(A) (i) Contract with an administrator to provide administrative and managerial services to a designated public water system to assist the designated public water system with the provision of an adequate and affordable supply of safe drinking water.

(ii) To fulfill the requirements of this section, the state board may contract with more than one administrator, but only one administrator may be assigned to provide services to a given designated public water system.

(iii) An administrator may provide administrative and managerial services to more than one designated public water system.

(B) Order the designated public water system to accept administrative and managerial services, including full management and control, from an administrator selected by the state board.

(2) In performing its duties pursuant to paragraph (1), the state board may use criteria from the policy handbook adopted pursuant to Section 116760.43.

(b) Before the state board determines that a public water system is a designated public water system, the state board shall do both of the following:

(1) Provide the public water system with notice and an opportunity to show either of the following:

(A) That the public water system has not consistently failed to provide an adequate and affordable supply of safe drinking water.

(B) That the public water system has taken steps to timely address its failure to provide an adequate and affordable supply of safe drinking water.

(2) (A) Conduct a public meeting in a location as close as feasible to the affected community.

(B) The state board shall make reasonable efforts to provide a 30-day notice of the meeting to affected ratepayers, renters, and property owners.

(C) Representatives of the public water system, affected ratepayers, renters, and property owners shall be provided an opportunity to present testimony at the meeting.

(D) The meeting shall provide an opportunity for public comment.

(c) The state board shall make financial assistance available to an administrator for a designated public water system, as appropriate and to the extent that funding is available.

(d) An administrator may do any of the following:

(1) Expend available moneys for capital infrastructure improvements that the designated public water system needs to provide an adequate and affordable supply of safe drinking water.

(2) Set and collect user water rates and fees, subject to approval by the state board. The provisions of this section are subject to all applicable constitutional requirements, including Article XIII D of the California Constitution.

(3) Expend available moneys for operation and maintenance costs of the designated public water system.

(e) The state board shall work with the administrator of a designated public water system and the communities served by that designated public water system to develop, within the shortest feasible timeframe, adequate technical, managerial, and financial capacity to deliver safe drinking water so that the services of the administrator are no longer necessary.

(f) A designated public water system shall not be responsible for any costs associated with an administrator.

(g) Administrative and managerial contracts pursuant to this section shall be exempt from Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 10290) of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code and may be awarded on a noncompetitive bid basis as necessary to implement the purposes of this section.

(h) For purposes of this section, a local government, as defined in Article XIII C of the California Constitution, that sets water rates in accordance with Article XIII D of the California Constitution shall be deemed to be providing affordable water.

(i) This section does not apply to a charter city, charter county, or charter city and county.

(j) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) “Administrator” means a person whom the state board has determined is competent to perform the administrative and managerial services of a public water system, as described in subdivision (d). In determining competency, the state board may consider demonstrated experience in managing and operating a public water system.

(2) “Designated public water system” means a public water system that serves a disadvantaged community, as defined in Section 79505.5 of the Water Code, and that the state board finds consistently fails to provide an adequate and affordable supply of safe drinking water.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 773, Sec. 3. (SB 552) Effective January 1, 2017.)

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