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 1. Pure and Safe Drinking Water [116270 - 116293]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

116270.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)  Every resident of California has the right to pure and safe drinking water.

(b)  Feasible and affordable technologies are available and shall be used to remove toxic contaminants from public water supplies.

(c)  According to the State Department of Health Services, over 95 percent of all large public water systems in California are in compliance with health-based action levels established by the department for various contaminants.

(d)  It is the policy of the state to reduce to the lowest level feasible all concentrations of toxic chemicals that, when present in drinking water, may cause cancer, birth defects, and other chronic diseases.

(e)  This chapter is intended to ensure that the water delivered by public water systems of this state shall at all times be pure, wholesome, and potable. This chapter provides the means to accomplish this objective.

(f)  It is the intent of the Legislature to improve laws governing drinking water quality, to improve upon the minimum requirements of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996, to establish primary drinking water standards that are at least as stringent as those established under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, and to establish a program under this chapter that is more protective of public health than the minimum federal requirements.

(g)  It is the further intent of the Legislature to establish a drinking water regulatory program within the state board to provide for the orderly and efficient delivery of safe drinking water within the state and to give the establishment of drinking water standards and public health goals greater emphasis and visibility within the state.

(h) This act shall be construed to ensure consistency with the requirements for states to obtain and maintain primary enforcement responsibility for public water systems under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 673, Sec. 3. (AB 1531) Effective January 1, 2016.)

116271.
  

(a) The State Water Resources Control Board succeeds to and is vested with all of the authority, duties, powers, purposes, functions, responsibilities, and jurisdiction of the State Department of Public Health, its predecessors, and its director for purposes of all of the following:

(1) The Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Act (Article 3 (commencing with Section 100825) of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 101).

(2) Article 3 (commencing with Section 106875) of Chapter 4 of Part 1.

(3) Article 1 (commencing with Section 115825) of Chapter 5 of Part 10.

(4) This chapter and the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Law of 1997 (Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 116760)).

(5) Article 2 (commencing with Section 116800), Article 3 (commencing with Section 116825), and Article 4 (commencing with Section 116875) of Chapter 5.

(6) Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 116975).

(7) The Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006 (Division 43 (commencing with Section 75001) of the Public Resources Code).

(8) The Water Recycling Law (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 13500) of Division 7 of the Water Code).

(9) Chapter 7.3 (commencing with Section 13560) of Division 7 of the Water Code.

(10) The California Safe Drinking Water Bond Law of 1976 (Chapter 10.5 (commencing with Section 13850) of Division 7 of the Water Code).

(11) Wholesale Regional Water System Security and Reliability Act (Division 20.5 (commencing with Section 73500) of the Water Code).

(12) Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002 (Division 26.5 (commencing with Section 79500) of the Water Code).

(b) The State Water Resources Control Board shall maintain a drinking water program and carry out the duties, responsibilities, and functions described in this section. Statutory reference to “department,” “state department,” or “director” regarding a function transferred to the State Water Resources Control Board shall refer to the State Water Resources Control Board. This section does not impair the authority of a local health officer to enforce this chapter or a county’s election not to enforce this chapter, as provided in Section 116500.

(c) The State Water Resources Control Board shall succeed to the status of grantee or applicant, as appropriate, for any federal Drinking Water State Revolving Fund capitalization grants that the State Department of Public Health and any of its predecessors applied for.

(d) Regulations adopted, orders issued, and all other administrative actions taken by the State Department of Public Health, any of its predecessors, or its director, pursuant to the authorities now vested in the State Water Resources Control Board and in effect immediately preceding the operative date of this section shall remain in effect and are fully enforceable unless and until readopted, amended, or repealed, or until they expire by their own terms. Regulations in the process of adoption pursuant to the authorities vested in the State Water Resources Control Board shall continue under the authority of the State Water Resources Control Board unless and until the State Water Resources Control Board determines otherwise. Any other administrative action adopted, prescribed, taken, or performed by, or on behalf of, the State Department of Public Health, or its director, in the administration of a program or the performance of a duty, responsibility, or authorization transferred to the State Water Resources Control Board shall remain in effect and shall be deemed to be an action of the State Water Resources Control Board unless and until the State Water Resources Control Board determines otherwise.

(e) Permits, licenses, accreditations, certificates, and other formal approvals and authorizations issued by the State Department of Public Health, any of its predecessors, or its director pursuant to authorities vested in the State Water Resources Control Board pursuant to this section are not affected by the transfer and remain in effect, subject to all applicable laws and regulations, unless and until renewed, reissued, revised, amended, suspended, or revoked by the State Water Resources Control Board or its deputy director, as authorized pursuant to subdivision (k).

(f) Any action or proceeding by or against the State Department of Public Health, including any officer or employee of the State Department of Public Health named in an official capacity, or any of its predecessors, pertaining to matters vested in the State Water Resources Control Board by this section shall not abate, but shall continue in the name of the State Water Resources Control Board. The State Water Resources Control Board shall be substituted for the State Department of Public Health, including any officer or employee of the State Department of Public Health named in an official capacity, and any of its predecessors, by the court or agency where the action or proceeding is pending. The substitution shall not in any way affect the rights of the parties to the action or proceeding.

(g) On and after the operative date of this section, the unexpended balance of all funds available for use by the State Department of Public Health or any of its predecessors in carrying out any functions transferred to the State Water Resources Control Board are available for use by the State Water Resources Control Board.

(h) Books, documents, data, records, and property of the State Department of Public Health pertaining to functions transferred to the State Water Resources Control Board shall be transferred to the State Water Resources Control Board. This subdivision does not transfer any part of property commonly known as the Richmond Campus that is owned by the State Public Works Board.

(i) A contract, lease, license, or any other agreement, including local primacy agreements, as described in Section 116330, to which the State Department of Public Health, any of its predecessors, its director, or their agents, is a party, are not void or voidable by reason of this section, but shall continue in full force and effect, with the State Water Resources Control Board assuming all of the rights, obligations, liabilities, and duties of the State Department of Public Health and any of its predecessors as it relates to the duties, powers, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction vested in the State Water Resources Control Board pursuant to this section. This assumption does not affect the rights of the parties to the contract, lease, license, or agreement.

(j) If the Department of Water Resources entered into agreements on behalf of the State Department of Public Health or its predecessor, the State Department of Health Services, pursuant to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 116760), the State Water Resources Control Board shall also succeed the Department of Water Resources as a party to those agreements and to all related security instruments, including, but not limited to, fiscal services agreements, deeds of trust, guarantees, letters of credit, and deposit control agreements.

(k) (1) The State Water Resources Control Board shall appoint a deputy director who reports to the executive director to oversee the issuance and enforcement of public water system permits and other duties as appropriate. The deputy director shall have public health expertise.

(2) The deputy director is delegated the State Water Resources Control Board’s authority to provide notice, approve notice content, approve emergency notification plans, and take other action pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 116450), to issue, renew, reissue, revise, amend, or deny any public water system permits pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 116525), to suspend or revoke any public water system permit pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 116625), and to issue citations, assess penalties, or issue orders pursuant to Article 9 (commencing with Section 116650). Decisions and actions of the deputy director taken pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 116450) or Article 7 (commencing with Section 116525) are deemed decisions and actions taken, but are not subject to reconsideration, by the State Water Resources Control Board. Decisions and actions of the deputy director taken pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 116625) and Article 9 (commencing with Section 116650) are deemed decisions and actions taken by the State Water Resources Control Board, but any aggrieved person may petition the State Water Resources Control Board for reconsideration of the decision or action. This subdivision is not a limitation on the State Water Resources Control Board’s authority to delegate any other powers and duties.

(3) The State Water Resources Control Board shall not delegate any authority, duty, power, purpose, function, or responsibility specified in this section, including, but not limited to, issuance and enforcement of public water system permits, to the regional water quality control boards.

(l) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2014.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 35, Sec. 63. (SB 861) Effective June 20, 2014. Section operative July 1, 2014, by its own provisions.)

116275.
  

As used in this chapter:

(a) “Contaminant” means any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in water.

(b) “Department” means the state board.

(c) “Primary drinking water standards” means:

(1) Maximum levels of contaminants that, in the judgment of the state board, may have an adverse effect on the health of persons.

(2) Specific treatment techniques adopted by the state board in lieu of maximum contaminant levels pursuant to subdivision (j) of Section 116365.

(3) The monitoring and reporting requirements as specified in regulations adopted by the state board that pertain to maximum contaminant levels.

(d) “Secondary drinking water standards” means standards that specify maximum contaminant levels that, in the judgment of the state board, are necessary to protect the public welfare. Secondary drinking water standards may apply to any contaminant in drinking water that may adversely affect the odor or appearance of the water and may cause a substantial number of persons served by the public water system to discontinue its use, or that may otherwise adversely affect the public welfare. Regulations establishing secondary drinking water standards may vary according to geographic and other circumstances and may apply to any contaminant in drinking water that adversely affects the taste, odor, or appearance of the water when the standards are necessary to ensure a supply of pure, wholesome, and potable water.

(e) “Human consumption” means the use of water for drinking, bathing or showering, hand washing, oral hygiene, or cooking, including, but not limited to, preparing food and washing dishes.

(f) “Maximum contaminant level” means the maximum permissible level of a contaminant in water.

(g) “Person” means an individual, corporation, company, association, partnership, limited liability company, municipality, public utility, or other public body or institution.

(h) “Public water system” means a system for the provision of water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances that has 15 or more service connections or regularly serves at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year. A public water system includes the following:

(1) Any collection, treatment, storage, and distribution facilities under control of the operator of the system that are used primarily in connection with the system.

(2) Any collection or pretreatment storage facilities not under the control of the operator that are used primarily in connection with the system.

(3) Any water system that treats water on behalf of one or more public water systems for the purpose of rendering it safe for human consumption.

(i) “Community water system” means a public water system that serves at least 15 service connections used by yearlong residents or regularly serves at least 25 yearlong residents of the area served by the system.

(j) “Noncommunity water system” means a public water system that is not a community water system.

(k) “Nontransient noncommunity water system” means a public water system that is not a community water system and that regularly serves at least 25 of the same persons over six months per year.

(l) “Local health officer” means a local health officer appointed pursuant to Section 101000 or a local comprehensive health agency designated by the board of supervisors pursuant to Section 101275 to carry out the drinking water program.

(m) “Significant rise in the bacterial count of water” means a rise in the bacterial count of water that the state board determines, by regulation, represents an immediate danger to the health of water users.

(n) “State small water system” means a system for the provision of piped water to the public for human consumption that serves at least five, but not more than 14, service connections and does not regularly serve drinking water to more than an average of 25 individuals daily for more than 60 days out of the year.

(o) “Transient noncommunity water system” means a noncommunity water system that does not regularly serve at least 25 of the same persons over six months per year.

(p) “User” means a person using water for domestic purposes. User does not include a person processing, selling, or serving water or operating a public water system.

(q) “Waterworks standards” means regulations adopted by the state board entitled “California Waterworks Standards” (Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 64551) of Division 4 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations).

(r) “Local primacy agency” means a local health officer that has applied for and received primacy delegation pursuant to Section 116330.

(s) “Service connection” means the point of connection between the customer’s piping or constructed conveyance, and the water system’s meter, service pipe, or constructed conveyance. A connection to a system that delivers water by a constructed conveyance other than a pipe shall not be considered a connection in determining if the system is a public water system if any of the following apply:

(1) The water is used exclusively for purposes other than residential uses, consisting of drinking, bathing, and cooking, or other similar uses.

(2) The state board determines that alternative water to achieve the equivalent level of public health protection provided by the applicable primary drinking water regulation is provided for residential or similar uses for drinking and cooking.

(3) The state board determines that the water provided for residential or similar uses for drinking, cooking, and bathing is centrally treated or treated at the point of entry by the provider, a passthrough entity, or the user to achieve the equivalent level of protection provided by the applicable primary drinking water regulations.

(t) “Resident” means a person who physically occupies, whether by ownership, rental, lease, or other means, the same dwelling for at least 60 days of the year.

(u) “Water treatment operator” means a person who has met the requirements for a specific water treatment operator grade pursuant to Section 106875.

(v) “Water distribution operator” means a person who has met the requirements for a specific water distribution operator grade pursuant to Section 106875.

(w) “Water treatment plant” means a group or assemblage of structures, equipment, and processes that treats, blends, or conditions the water supply of a public water system.

(x) “Water distribution system” means any combination of pipes, tanks, pumps, and other physical features that deliver water from the source or water treatment plant to the consumer.

(y) “Public health goal” means a goal established by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 116365.

(z) “Small community water system” means a community water system that serves no more than 3,300 service connections or a yearlong population of no more than 10,000 persons.

(aa) “Disadvantaged community” means the entire service area of a community water system, or a community therein, in which the median household income is less than 80 percent of the statewide average.

(ab) “State board” means the State Water Resources Control Board.

(ac) “Deputy director” means the deputy director appointed by the state board pursuant to subdivision (k) of Section 116271.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 305, Sec. 17. (AB 2890) Effective January 1, 2017.)

116276.
  

(a) The state board shall establish a program, in consultation with the State Department of Education, to award grants to local educational agencies for the purposes of improving access to, and the quality of, drinking water in public schools consistent with the Legislature’s intent that school facilities be maintained in “good repair,” as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 17002 of the Education Code. Eligible entities shall be limited to local educational agencies serving kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and preschools and child day care facilities, as defined in Section 1596.750, located on public school property. The program shall include, but not be limited to, funding for at least one of the following:

(1) Installation of water bottle filling stations.

(2) Installation or replacement of drinking water fountains with devices that are capable of removing contaminants that are present in the facility’s water supply.

(3) Installation of point-of-entry or point-of-use treatment devices for drinking fountains, and up to three years of postinstallation replacement filters, and operation, maintenance, and monitoring of the devices, including training on how to operate and maintain the treatment devices and community outreach and education about their use.

(b) The state board shall implement the program by taking actions that include, but are not necessarily limited to, the development of procedures and guidelines for the submission of grant applications and criteria for the evaluation of those applications.

(c) (1) In developing the procedure for awarding grants pursuant to this section, the state board shall do all of the following:

(A) Set requirements for grant recipients to adopt a program for inspecting and maintaining any water treatment device funded by the grant.

(B) Establish a maximum grant amount.

(C) Give priority to each of the following:

(i) Projects for schools within, or serving pupils from, a small disadvantaged community, as defined in Section 13193.9 of the Water Code.

(ii) Projects that have high effectiveness in increasing access to safe drinking water at schools.

(2) In developing the procedure for awarding grants pursuant to this section, the state board may require applicants to commit additional resources to the project, except that the state board shall not require matching funds for local educational agencies serving small disadvantaged communities or interfere with the prioritization of grant funding to small disadvantaged communities.

(d) (1) Procedures and guidelines for the program developed by the state board under this section are not be subject to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(2) Before finalizing the procedures and guidelines for the distribution of grants pursuant to this section, the state board shall hold at least one public meeting to receive and consider public comment on the draft procedures and guidelines.

(e) The state board shall provide technical assistance to applicants, including completing applications, overseeing installations, and assisting with operation and maintenance.

(f) A contract entered into under the authority of this section is not be subject to Section 10295 of the Public Contract Code.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 29, Sec. 32. (SB 828) Effective June 27, 2016.)

116280.
  

This chapter does not apply to a public water system that meets all of the following conditions:

(a)  Consists only of distribution and storage facilities and does not have any collection and treatment facilities.

(b)  Obtains all of its water from, but is not owned or operated by, a public water system to which this chapter applies.

(c)  Does not sell water to any person or user. For purposes of this subdivision, sale of water shall not include the sale of water, obtained from a public water system that is subject to this chapter, through a submetered distribution system if each user of the system is charged no more than the rate the user would be charged by the public water system.

By enacting this subdivision, it is not the intent of the Legislature to change existing law as to responsibility or liability for distribution systems beyond the mastermeter.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 516, Sec. 2. (AB 1194) Effective January 1, 2012.)

116283.
  

This chapter shall apply to a food facility that is regulated pursuant to the California Retail Food Code only if the human consumption includes drinking of water.

(Amended (as added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 874) by Stats. 2009, Ch. 298, Sec. 10. (AB 1540) Effective January 1, 2010.)

116285.
  

Before August 6, 1998, this chapter shall not apply to an irrigation canal system if the owner or operator of the system certifies to the department, and notifies each user, in writing, that the water is untreated and is being furnished or supplied solely for agricultural purposes to either of the following:

(a)  A user where the user receives the water, by pipe or otherwise, directly from the irrigation canal system.

(b)  A person who owns or operates an integrated pipe system where the person receives the water, by pipe or otherwise, directly from the irrigation canal system.

“Irrigation canal system,” as used in this section, means a system of water conveyance facilities, including pipes, tunnels, canals, conduits, pumping plants and related facilities operated to furnish or supply water for agricultural purposes where a substantial portion of the facilities is open to the atmosphere.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 734, Sec. 2. Effective October 7, 1997.)

116286.
  

(a)  A water district, as defined in subdivision (b), in existence prior to May 18, 1994, that provides primarily agricultural services through a piped water system with only incidental residential or similar uses shall not be considered to be a public water system if the department determines that either of the following applies:

(1) The system certifies that it is providing alternative water for residential or similar uses for drinking water and cooking to achieve the equivalent level of public health protection provided by the applicable primary drinking water regulations.

(2) The water provided for residential or similar uses for drinking, cooking, and bathing is centrally treated or treated at the point of entry by the provider, a passthrough entity, or the user to achieve the equivalent level of protection provided by the applicable primary drinking water regulations.

(b) For purposes of this section, “water district” means any district or other political subdivision, other than a city or county, a primary function of which is irrigation, reclamation, or drainage of land.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 298, Sec. 12. (AB 1540) Effective January 1, 2010.)

116287.
  

(a)  The department, in implementing subdivision (s) of Section 116275 and Section 116286, shall place requirements on affected public water systems and water districts that are consistent with this chapter and the guidelines established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for implementing comparable provisions of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996.

(b)  The department, in making the determinations specified in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (s) of Section 116275 and subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 116286, shall utilize criteria that are consistent with this chapter and those used by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in administering the comparable provisions of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

(c)  The department shall periodically monitor and review the conditions under which a public water system, or a water district as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 116286, has met the requirements of this chapter pursuant to subdivision (s) of Section 116275 or Section 116286, or pursuant to the federal act, to ensure that the conditions continue to be met.

(d)  The department may prescribe reasonable, feasible, and cost-effective actions to be taken by a public water system, water district, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 116286, or users subject to subdivision (s) of Section 116275 or Section 116286 to ensure that alternative water or treated water provided by the water systems, water districts, or users pursuant to Section 116275 or 116286 will not be injurious to health.

(e)  A notice prominently titled “Notice of Noncompliance with Safe Drinking Water Requirements” at the top of the document that states the requirements and actions prescribed by the department under subdivisions (a) and (d), describes the real property by assessors parcel number or legal description to which these requirements and actions apply, and names the record owners of that real property, may be recorded by the affected public water system or water district in the county where the real property is located. Recordation and proper indexing, as prescribed by law, shall provide constructive notice of these requirements and actions and shall not constitute a title defect, lien, or encumbrance. The public water system or water district shall provide notice of this recordation to the record owners of the real property by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the address as shown on the latest county assessment roll. If the public water system or water district later determines that the record owners of the real property have complied with the requirements and actions prescribed by the department, the public water system or water district, within 10 days of that determination, shall record a subsequent notice titled “Notice of Compliance with Safe Drinking Water Requirements” that states that the “Notice of Noncompliance with Safe Drinking Water Requirements” has no further force or effect.

(f)  A water district subject to this section shall annually publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation describing any requirements and actions prescribed by the department to be taken by the water district and any record of compliance by the water district with these requirements and actions.

(g)  This section shall not relieve a water district from complying with any other provisions of law.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 167, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2004.)

116290.
  

Before August 6, 1998, in areas where the water service rendered by a person is primarily agricultural, and domestic service is only incidental thereto, this chapter shall not apply except in specific areas in which the department has found its application to be necessary for the protection of the public health and has given written notice thereof to the person furnishing or supplying water in the area.

The department may prescribe reasonable and feasible action to be taken by those persons or the users to insure that their domestic water will not be injurious to health.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 734, Sec. 5. Effective October 7, 1997.)

116293.
  

(a)  On January 1, 2003, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment shall perform a risk assessment and, based upon that risk assessment, shall adopt a public health goal based exclusively on public health consideration for perchlorate using the criteria set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 116365.

(b)  On or before January 1, 2004, the department shall adopt a primary drinking water standard for perchlorate found in public water systems in California in a manner that is consistent with this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 425, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2003.)

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