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UPDATE: SCV water quality gets high marks from state health officials

Posted: June 18, 2014 9:46 a.m.
Updated: June 18, 2014 5:50 p.m.

While beer brewed with local water may turn out a little funky due to miniscule amounts of metal, the drinking water in the Santa Clarita Valley is safe, clean and problem-free, according to a California Department of Public Health report released Wednesday.

The Santa Clarita Valley 2014 Annual Water Quality Report reveals the amounts of harmful chemicals, metals and other contaminants in Santa Clarita Valley tap water.

The bottom line of the study, conducted under the direction of the state Public Health Department, is that local water is completely safe to drink.

“Some aspects, such as sodium and potassium, affect beer making,” said Jeff Ford, principal water resources planner for Santa Clarita Valley’s water wholesaler, the Castaic Lake Water Agency. “Sometimes the beer comes out with a funny taste.”

In examining a list of worrisome potential water contaminants that includes metals such as lead and copper and inorganics such as arsenic, fluoride and nitrate, scientists found Santa Clarita Valley water well below the levels at which health officials demand cleanup.

Tests were done on more than 36 contaminants identified as health concerns by state officials, and none exceeded the limits of “safe” set by state health officials.

“Everything is below the drinking water threshold,” Ford said.

Two contaminants have sparked local concerns more than any of the others in recent years — chloride and perchlorate.

The health standards for chloride concentration are set well above the standard of 100 milligrams of chloride per liter expected by downstream Ventura County farmers for their salt-sensitive avocados.

The health department and the Environmental Protection Agency deem drinking water containing 250 milligrams per liter of chloride safe for human consumption, and as much as 500 mg/L safe to drink over short periods.

Chloride levels for drinking water tested during the past year average about 80 mg/L and range between 63 mg/L and 120 mg/L.

Although there exists no federal safety threshold set for perchlorate, California health officials in October 2007 set a threshold of 6 micrograms per liter of water for perchlorate.

Tests showed no perchlorate in Santa Clarita Valley drinking water, Ford said.

Perchlorate is an inorganic chemical used in solid rocket propellant, fireworks, explosives and a variety of industries.

It usually gets into drinking water as a result of environmental contamination from historic industrial operations that used, manufactured, stored or disposed of fuel, munitions or explosives.

It is believed to have entered Santa Clarita Valley groundwater through the former munitions manufacturing plant at the Whittaker-Bermite site.

Perchlorate has been shown to interfere with uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland, and thereby reduce the production of thyroid hormones leading to adverse affects associated with inadequate hormone levels.

Some local wells have tested positive for perchlorate, but those are either shut down or have a perchlorate treatment facility removing the chemical before the water is used.

Tests were carried out at the Castaic Lake Water Agency’s perchlorate treatment plant in Saugus. Equipment used to detect minute particles of harmful substances can detect one microscopic part of perchlorate in a billion parts of water, officials say.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




lars1: Posted: June 18, 2014 7:48 p.m.

.....Some aspects, such as sodium and potassium, affect beer making

Chloride levels for drinking water tested during the past year average about 80 mg/L and range between 63 mg/L and 120 mg/L....

The water we get exceeds the 100mg/L chloride limits imposed on our wastewater. Let the members of Santa Clarita Urban Management(Kellar, Weste and Mclean) tax us hundreds of dollars each year.

Just say the public is misinformed on this matter!

src: Posted: June 19, 2014 8:05 a.m.

Bull. The water quality sucks. Ever boil water and get a ring around your pot? Vegetable steamer? Cloudy shower doors? That's the solids in the water. God forbid your vehicle gets hosed down by the sprinklers and the sun hardens the minerals on your finish. Learned that the hard way with a motorcycle. White spots all over the body work.

Since I installed MY OWN R-O filtration system, I get none of this any more.

Why the F can't the "farmers downstream" do this, since we puny plebeians have to foot the bill to get decent water quality? I'd like someone from the sanitation board or city council to answer that and attempt to prove they're not corrupt rip off artists.

chefgirl358: Posted: June 19, 2014 8:43 a.m.

PROBLEM FREE MY A**!!! We have THE WORST water I have ever seen. We stopped buying nice fixtures years ago because we have to replace all of our faucets like every two years max due to the wretched hard water here. The fact that we can't even get a water softener now sucks beyond belief.

We have fish, a frog and water turtles and so we have to buy a special additive so the chloramines in the tap water doesn't KILL THEM!

Guess they glossed over the wells contaminated by Bermite with perchlorate? Or the fact that we all have to pay a jillion dollars for non-existent chloride issues that they insist are toxic...what happened to that alleged fact?

Did the water company pay for this study or something? This is the most crooked bunch of garbage I've ever heard.

Seriously, I am not exaggerating, this truly is the WORST water I have ever seen. It is absolutely abysmal. I cannot fathom how any unbiased, authentic study could ever come to this conclusion...there is no way this study isn't cooked.

I have a family member in No Cal in a lovely town called Lafayette, their water is beautiful. You don't even have to squeegee the shower doors! You can wash dishes and actually leave them wet, and they don't waterspot...hand to god that is true. I never would have believed that if I didn't see it with my own eyes. THAT is awesome water. Here in SCV though...definitely not the case. We even give our pets bottled water and I have a friend who does too.

garyr: Posted: June 20, 2014 10:07 a.m.

This report is about "safe to drink" and that's all. The fact that our water is high in carbonates and TDS has nothing to do with drinking safety. In many ways our water sucks, but it is safe to drink. Doesn't taste good either, but if you let it set for 1/2 hour so it can outgas that improves

chefgirl358: Posted: June 20, 2014 2:38 p.m.

I don't believe it's safe to drink either, luckily there are plenty of alternatives. I won't even use it for cooking, I use bottled water.

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