District’s Ongoing Commitment Ensures High-Quality Water

The District’s Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory (AWQAL) received official approval certificates from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for all seven required chemical testing methods required for EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Rule 4 (UCMR4) on the basis of successful performance testing results.

The District will begin UCMR4 monitoring on behalf of the Groundwater Producers in 2018 and will be one of a small number of public agency laboratories in the nation implementing the full UCMR4 program. The seven required chemical methods cover range of inorganic and organic constituents, including trace elements, semi-volatile organic compounds, and disinfection byproducts.

The UCMR Program is mandated by the EPA for large drinking water distribution systems and exists to further protect the public’s health. It develops a list of contaminants every five years and collects occurrence data for suspected drinking water contaminants that do not have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This information is then used to support future regulatory decision-making for the public’s safety and supports the administrator’s determination of whether (or not) to regulate a contaminant listed in the UCMR Program.

OCWD tests for more than 500 compounds, many more than the 106 regulated constituents that are required by state and federal laws and regulations.  It tests water from approximately 1,500 locations throughout the basin, analyzes more than 20,000 samples each year and reports more than 400,000 results. OCWD also provides regional testing of more than 200 drinking water wells for 19 local drinking water providers to help them meet monitoring and reporting requirements mandated by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

OCWD’s AWQAL facility is certified and audited by the State Water Resources Control Board through the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program and the EPA. It was also previously one of only three public agency labs in the nation to provide full Unregulated Contaminants Monitoring Rule 3 (UCMR3) program (2013-2015) testing..

The District’s testing capabilities are some of the best in the nation.  OCWD can monitor for contaminants in its groundwater basin down to a part-per-trillion. That is like looking for one drop of contaminant in a volume of water large enough to fill 26 Olympic-size pools.

Besides extensive monitoring, OCWD has also taken measures to ensure high-quality and safe drinking water by participating in studies, forming work groups, and collaborating with agencies around the world to address and study water quality issues further.

If you would like to tour the Advanced Water Quality Laboratory at OCWD, or to request more information, please contact Becky Mudd at (714) 378-3362 or bmudd@ocwd.com.