Annual water quality report: SCV water clean, safe

Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency

The annual report card on Santa Clarita Valley’s water quality is in and the results reflect, as expected, top marks for clean, safe drinking water.

This week, the 2019 Annual Water Quality Report or, Consumer Confidence Report, was released. It describes, in detail, the quality of local water supplies in the Santa Clarita Valley during 2018. 

The State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water requires water agencies such as the SCV Water Agency to provide all customers with an annual report on the quality of drinking water and to show how it meets federal and state drinking water standards.

This year, SCV Water officials are making the report available to customers online.

“Due to a change in the law and a desire to save our ratepayers money, SCV Water is posting the report on its website and mailing notices of its availability to customers,” SCV Water General Manager Matt Stone said in a news release issued this week. 

SCV Water and Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 36 continuously work to ensure local water users have a reliable supply of high-quality water at a reasonable price, he said in the announcement.

In light of recent well closures, Stone pointed out Wednesday that the annual report reflects the quality of water last year.

“The 2019 annual water quality report covers the prior calendar year of testing results for 2018,” he said.

Last month, acting on “an abundance of caution,” SCV Water officials shut down one of their wells after routine testing detected the presence of perchlorate, a suspected carcinogen and long-standing concern in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“We contacted our regulators, even though we are not out of compliance, and out of an abundance of caution as soon as we receive notification we shut the well off,” said Mike Alvord, the agency’s director of operations and maintenance. “And, it will continue to be off and we’re going to sample it monthly.”

A couple of weeks after the well closure, SCV Water officials shut down another well — this time after tests for a non-stick chemical revealed levels that exceeded the response level, which is a level set by the state calling for the removal of a drinking water source.

The chemical is part of a family of manmade chemicals referred to as PFAS, or polyfluoroalkyl substances.

Although there are many industrial uses for PFAS, it’s perhaps most commonly known as the non-stick component that went into making Teflon useful in non-stick pans.

State officials are trying to figure out what constitutes a safe level of PFAS in drinking water, since one of its component chemicals is a suspected carcinogen.

“This well was taken offline,” Stone said Wednesday. “We are now evaluating treatment options to put in place at that well, and it remains offline.

“We also recently had a recurrence of perchlorate at just below the maximum contaminant level at one well and that well was also taken offline,” he said. “This well had seen some perchlorate in the past and treatment was installed and used for a number of years until it disappeared.” 

“It has tested non-detect for many years,” he added. “We are looking into reinstalling treatment equipment there, but it will remain offline until we do so.

“Results of these samples taken in 2019 will also be included with our next annual water quality report published in 2020,” he said.

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