County Environmental Health Regulated and Federally Regulated Water Systems

Local County Environmental Health Department Regulated Water Systems

The following are the types of water systems that are regulated by local county environmental health departments:

  1. Water systems with 5-14 connections. These water systems are called State Small Water Systems and are defined as a system that pipes drinking water for human consumption and meets the following conditions:
    • serves at least five (5), but not more than fourteen (14) service connections
    • does not regularly serve drinking water to more than an average of 25 individuals daily for more than 60 days out of the year
  2. If you are served water by a State Small water system, contact your local Environmental Health Department to find information about the water quality. To find contact information for your local Environmental Health Department, it is recommended that you do an internet search for the name of the county you are located in, then a comma, and then the phrase “environmental health”, for example: “Shasta County, environmental health”, or call your local Environmental Health Department. If you are interested in testing your drinking water quality yourself, click here for more information.

  3. Some public water systems with less than 200 service connections. In California, 29 of the 58 county environmental health departments have been delegated the authority to regulate public water systems with less than 200 service connections. If county environmental health departments are regulating these size water systems, they are known as Local Primacy Agencies (LPAs). In addition, the State of California oversees the LPAs, since these types of systems are considered public water systems. Map of the LPA counties - LPA contact information. Whether the LPA or the State formally regulates a public water system, click here to find information about a PWS’s water quality. For more information about these types of water systems, contact the State Division of Drinking Water Primacy Liaison Unit at (916) 449-5158.

Definition of a Public Water System (PWS)

“Public Water System” means a system for the provision of water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances that has 15 or more service connections or regularly serves at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year.

Federally Regulated and Enforced Drinking Water Systems

Federally regulated drinking water systems include water systems on lands owned by or held in trust for federally recognized Indian tribes.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has regulatory jurisdiction over all tribal lands. Use the links below to find more information on Federally regulated drinking water systems.