879 Morro Street
990 Palm Street
25 Prado Road
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday-Friday, closed on national holidays or as posted
UTILITIES NEWS & PROJECTS
2015-16 Neighborhood Matching Grant Cycle Opens
Do you have an idea for a project, event, or initiative that could help improve your neighborhood?
9/14/2015 12:50:00 PM
Recent Testing Shows City of San Luis Obispo Water Supply Meets all State Regulatory Levels
Third quarter water quality testing results indicate the city’s drinking water quality meets the state and federal regulatory compliance levels for Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) at all regulatory sample sites.
9/28/2015 1:00:00 AM
Fall 2015 Resource Newsletter - Now Available Online
The Fall 2015 Resource Newsletter can be found online today. Expect the hard copy to hit your mail box the week of September 21st.
9/16/2015 12:33:00 PM
How do I learn more about my drinking water?
The City of San Luis Obispo encourages people to learn more about their drinking water. Learn more at:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/index.html
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency http://water.epa.gov/drink/
You can also contact the US EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
Why did City of San Luis Obispo customers receive a public notification concerning TTHM’s ?
Water sample results for the 2nd quarter of 2015 showed TTHM’s at levels of 82.1 parts per billion (ppb) as calculated in the locational running annual average (average of the four most recent quarters of sampling results) at the sample site on Johnson Avenue and Southwood Drive. This is above the standard or maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 80 ppb. All public water systems are required by state and federal law to notify users of any exceedance of any water quality standard and any other noncompliance events affecting their water system. The purpose of the notice is to keep consumers informed about water quality. When routine monitoring indicated that TTHM levels were above regulatory standards, the City was required to issue a Tier 2 notice and notified their customers as soon as practical, but no later than 30 days after learning of the violation. Had this been a more severe Tier 1 violation, involving an immediate risk to public health such as a waterborne illness, customers would have been notified immediately within 24 hours with more specific details.
What are the health risks of TTHM’s?
The information below is based on best available health studies. Studies of populations that have been exposed to TTHM’s suggest a possible connection between long-term TTHM exposure and certain types of cancer (bladder, colon, and rectal), developmental (e.g. fetal growth) and reproductive effects (e.g. miscarriages, stillbirths). Cancer risks generally accrue over lifetimes and very long periods of exposure. These risks are normally expressed as lifetime risks as a result of averaging daily exposure levels (associated with the lifetime daily average of ingesting 2 liters drinking water/day) over a lifetime of 70 years. More research is being conducted to better understand the potential risks between TTHM exposures and these diseases. It is important that people be aware of these potential health effects from TTHM exposure.
How did the EPA determine drinking water regulations for disinfection by-products (TTHM’s)?In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act. This law requires EPA to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur. These non-enforceable health goals, based solely on possible health risks and exposure over a lifetime, with an adequate margin of safety, are called maximum contaminant level goals (MCLG). Contaminants are any physical, chemical, biological or radiological substances or matter in water. EPA sets MCLG’s based on the best available science to prevent potential health problems. Based on the MCLG, EPA sets an enforceable regulation called a maximum contaminant level (MCL). MCL’s are set as close to the health goals as possible, considering cost, benefits and the ability of public water systems to detect and remove contaminants using suitable treatment technologies.
What are Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM’s)?
TTHM’s are a group of substances known as disinfection by-products. They form when chlorine used for disinfection reacts with naturally occurring organic material in surface and ground waters. TTHM’s are formed based on the amount of time chlorine is allowed to react with available organic matter in the water. The highest levels of TTHM’s typically occur in the water distribution system where water age is the greatest. All water systems that use chlorine to disinfect the water are required by federal and state law to sample for disinfection by-products on a regular basis at several specifically identified locations in the water distribution system.
Why is chlorine added to City water?To protect drinking water from disease-causing organisms, or pathogens, water suppliers add a disinfectant, such as chlorine. The practice of disinfection has nearly eliminated most acute waterborne diseases such as dysentery, typhoid fever, and cholera in the United States. However, disinfection practices can be complicated because disinfectants themselves can react with naturally occurring materials in the water to form by-products (Total Trihalomethanes -TTHM’s) which might potentially pose health risks. It is critical to provide protection from pathogens using disinfection, while simultaneously reducing potential health risks to the population from disinfection by-products.
Do I need a permit for my rainwater collection system?
Per City of San Luis Obispo Municipal Code, the following must be met to be exempt from a permit for rainwater collection:
"A water tank or a group of water tanks intended for storage of irrigation water only supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed 600 gallons in total on a parcel, the height does not exceed seven feet, the ratio of height to width does not exceed 2:1 (provided that water tanks with minor ratio deviances may be allowed under this section in the discretion of the Chief Building Official, subject to review of the deviation by the Chief Building Official and verification that such minor deviations do not adversely impact structural stability), and it is not visible from the public right-of-way that abuts the front yard".
Is the City offering turf removal rebates?
Currently, the City does not offer any incentives for homeowners to remove their lawn. Over the years the City adopted and administered many rebate programs such as the low flow toilet/faucet/shower head rebate program (1990-2007), the high efficiency washing machine rebate program (2000-2011), the high efficiency sprinkler rebate program (2007-2010), and the weather based irrigation control rebate program (2007-2010). Each of these programs was available city-wide and highly utilized by the community. As participation dwindled, these programs were eliminated and we turned our focus to water audit and leak detection programs.
While we don’t have a turf removal program in place at this time, it doesn't mean we won’t in the future. We acknowledge that we are in a very severe drought and have taken many measures to conserve water. For instance, most of the City’s large parks as well as many large private development lawns are irrigated with recycled water.