CA Health & Safety Code Section 116395


The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:


The large water system testing program has discovered chemical contamination of the state’s drinking water with increasing frequency.


A significant number of California residents rely on the state’s small water systems to provide their water.


The small systems, because they tend to be located in outlying rural areas where pesticide use is prevalent, and because they draw their water from shallow aquifers, face a serious threat of contamination.


Unchecked water sources that may be contaminated pose a potentially serious threat to the health of the citizens of California, particularly those living in outlying rural areas.


It is in the interest of all Californians that a testing program for small public water systems be implemented and carried out as expeditiously as possible.


For purposes of this section, “small public water system” means a system with 200 connections or less, and is one of the following:


A community water system that serves at least 15 service connections used by yearlong residents or regularly serves at least 25 yearlong residents.


A state small water system.


A noncommunity water system such as a school, labor camp, institution, or place of employment, as designated by the department.


The department shall conduct training workshops to assist health officers in evaluation of small public water systems for organic chemical contamination, and in sampling and testing procedures. The department shall, at a minimum, provide health officers with guidelines for evaluating systems and instructions for sampling.


The department shall develop a schedule for conduct of the programs by the local health officers. The schedule shall establish a program to address first those systems with the most serious potential for contamination. The department shall enter into agreements with the local health agencies to conduct the necessary work to be performed pursuant to the schedule. The department shall begin the program no later than three months after September 19, 1985. All local health officers shall complete the evaluation, sampling, testing, review of sampling results, and notification to the public water systems within their jurisdiction in accordance with the agreements entered into with the department and within the schedule established by the department. All work required by this section shall be completed within three years after September 19, 1985.


In consultation with the department, the local health officer shall conduct an evaluation of all small public water systems under their jurisdictions to determine the potential for contamination of groundwater sources by organic chemicals. The evaluation shall include, but not be limited to:


A review of the historical water quality data of each system to determine possible evidence of degradation.


A review, to be coordinated with the State Water Resources Control Board, and the California regional water quality control boards, of past and present waste disposal practices that may potentially affect the respective well water supply.


A review of other organic chemicals used in the water supply area that have potential health risks and that may have the potential for contaminating drinking water supplies because of environmental persistence or resistance to natural degradation under conditions existing in California.


Based upon the evaluation of each system, the local health officers shall develop a sampling plan for each system within their jurisdiction. The health officer shall collect samples in accordance with the plan and shall submit the samples for analysis to a certified laboratory designated by the department. When applicable, the laboratory shall test water samples using the Environmental Protection Agency’s 13 approved analytical techniques established under subdivision (h) of Section 304 of the Clean Water Act to qualitatively identify the complete range of contaminants in the same class as the specific contaminant or class of contaminants being analyzed.


Within 10 days of the receipt from the laboratory of the testing results, the local health officer shall notify the small public water system, the department and the California regional water quality control board for that region of the results.


Following a review of the testing results, the local health officer may order the public water system to conduct a periodic water sampling and analysis program in accordance with conditions specified by the local health officer. The department shall provide ongoing advice and assistance to local health officers in interpreting test results and determining appropriate notification and followup activities in those instances where contaminants are found.


This section shall be operative during any fiscal year only if the Legislature appropriates sufficient funds to pay for all state-mandated costs to be incurred by local agencies pursuant to this section during that year.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 116395’s source at ca​.gov