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The original item was published from 11/15/2017 12:31:00 PM to 6/12/2018 1:27:01 PM.

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Santa Rosa Water

Posted on: November 8, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Water Quality FAQs

Water Quality (2)



Is our drinking water safe?

  • Your drinking water is safe. The water quality of municipal drinking water is continuously monitored and tested to ensure it meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards.
  • The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) supplies water to more than 600,000 residents who live in the cities of Santa Rosa, Windsor, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Sonoma, North Marin Water District, Valley of the Moon Water District, and California-American Water.
  • The Water Agency is actively monitoring the watershed for any potential changes in water quality. To date, the Water Agency hasn’t seen any water quality issues associated with the recent wildfires.
  • Your water utility may supplement water supply with other local sources. For more information on drinking water quality in your neighborhood, visit

How will I know if my water is contaminated?

  • If water quality is compromised, your water supplier is required to notify you with a “Boil Water Notice”, “Do Not Drink Water Notice” or a “Do Not Use Water Notice.” If you receive a boil water notice, do not drink the water without boiling it first. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one (1) minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. If under a Boil Water Notice, boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking and food preparation until further notice, as boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

What is being done to protect the water supply impacts from the fire?

  • In collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Water Agency has developed a water quality monitoring program to assess the potential impacts to the Water Agency’s drinking water facilities resulting from the wildfires.
  • Data collected from this program will also be helpful in assessing potential impacts to other water supply systems within and downstream of the affected areas, as well as potential ecosystem effects.
  • To protect our drinking water system, multiple local agencies are working together to prevent fire-related debris, pollutants and sediment from burned areas from being carried into our storm drains, creeks and rivers.


Is the water from my well safe to drink?

Private well water is not regulated by any government agency. Although your well water may taste and smell fine, the only way to know your well water is safe is by testing it. It is the responsibility of the individual property owner to ensure that their drinking water supply is safe by having the well water tested by a state certified laboratory. View a list of Laboratories that can perform these tests on the County of Sonoma Environmental Health & Safety website.


How can residents tell if a septic system was affected?

Onsite septic systems have most of their functional components below ground and are typically more resistant to fire damage. However, it is important to inspect the aboveground electrical and plumbing system for damage to PVC piping that may have been impacted by heat. If your wastewater disposal system has been damaged, or if your system is backing up or malfunctioning, discontinue use and contact Permit Sonoma 707-565-2849 or visit:

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