Knowing Your Water is Safe to Drink
The availability of safe and high-quality drinking water is a top concern for many homeowners — and for San Jose Water (SJW). Every year, we make significant investments to replace and upgrade key components of our water system to help ensure our customers receive safe, clean drinking water directly from their tap. How can you be sure the water coming out of your tap is safe to drink? Let us walk you through how we’re working every day to ensure high-quality water is coming out of your tap.
Water Quality Monitoring:
SJW staff collects over 100 water samples every week throughout our service area. Some of the samples are analyzed by a State-certified laboratory for up to 200 possible contaminants that cover primary drinking water standards. Secondary drinking water standards such as taste, odor and color are also analyzed. It’s important to note that the water provided by SJW meets or surpasses federal and state water quality standards. If you would like more information, check out the latest Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).
SJW invests over $100 million per year in updating and improving its infrastructure. This annual capital investment includes replacing 1% of its water mains on an annual basis, replacing older storage and pumping facilities, and investing in systems designed to automatically monitor and maintain water quality. In addition, SJW is completing this summer the upgrade of its 40-year-old Montevina Filter Plant. The upgrade will provide SJW and its customers with a state of the art membrane filtration plant. The upgraded plant will allow SJW to treat the turbid water that is available during storms.
While changes in your water’s taste, color or smell are not always necessarily a health concern, they can be indicative of problems within your home or the water distribution system. If you are concerned about the quality of water coming out of your tap, you can reach out to SJW for help in identifying the potential causes of the problem and, if necessary, request a water quality investigation. However, you should feel safe in the knowledge that, in addition to our ongoing efforts to maintain and improve on high-quality water, water providers are legally bound to inform customers when tap water ceases to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state standards. Additionally, water providers like SJW publish an annual CCR to keep customers up to date on water quality and potential issues.
SJW has maintained and exemplary water quality compliance record over our 150-year history, and we are continually enhancing our knowledge and management of the water quality in our water system. For instance, SJW is involved in several research projects aimed at accurately monitoring and optimizing the quality of the water we serve. We have partnered with other organizations in the industry to study ways to better disinfect water and to optimize the way water is mixed in our water system tanks to ensure reliable, high-quality water stays that way all the way to the tap.
It is worth noting that all of these improvements, screenings and safety measures are carried out while working to ensure SJW’s water remains affordable. SJW tap water costs less than a penny a gallon. For a frame of reference, the EPA considers an affordable rate for water to be 2.5% of the median household income. SJW’s average annual water bill is 1.5% of the median household income.
In short, we are dedicated to knowing exactly what’s going to your tap, and working hard to make sure it’s the kind of clean, refreshing, affordable water you’ve come to count on from SJW.