Water quality

EBMUD Water Operations Update 

EBMUD makes adjustments to the way we operate our vast system for reasons including infrastructure improvements, seasonal changes and shifting water demands from customers. In all cases, the water that reaches customer taps meets or exceeds all standards for safe drinking water.

 

  • Briones Reservoir online: Starting late January through February 2021, EBMUD will perform critical work in its Pardee Tunnel, which brings Pardee Reservoir water from the Sierra Nevada foothills to the East Bay, including to our local Briones Reservoir. During this time, we will rely more heavily on water from Briones Reservoir to supply water to customers located from Crockett to Oakland (West of the Oakland Berkeley Hills) and portions of Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda. Some customers may notice slight aesthetic differences in taste or odor.

 

  • Operation of the USL Water Treatment Plant will continue: In November 2020, EBMUD brought Upper San Leandro Water Treatment Plant (which receives water from Upper San Leandro Reservoir) online as part of a seasonal change in operations and to support construction work at the Orinda Water Treatment Plant, which receives water from Pardee Reservoir. The Upper San Leandro plant is expected to remain in service through the spring 2021. Customers in Alameda, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Emeryville, Hayward, Oakland, Piedmont, San Leandro, and San Lorenzo may notice aesthetic differences due to the change in water source. This may include a more salty taste or more noticeable chlorine taste. Regardless of the treatment plant in service, all customers receive high-quality drinking water.  

 

  • Lower water levels visible at USL Reservoir: Hikers along Upper San Leandro Reservoir may notice lower supply levels as EBMUD uses this local reservoir to supply more water than usual to accommodate various construction projects in our water system. In addition, EBMUD is also managing our water supply during a second dry weather year. Our intent is to refill USL later in the spring.

 

For more information about water quality or to report a water quality concern, call EBMUD at 1-866-403-2683. 

snowmelt.jpgOne of the most important factors in water quality is the source: the purer the source, the better the water. EBMUD's primary water source is Sierra Nevada snowmelt.

Before water reaches your tap, EBMUD takes many steps to ensure its quality. This includes carefully managing and protecting watershed lands and reservoirs, treating the water, maintaining that quality through a complex system of distribution pipes, pumping plants and reservoirs, testing water samples in our lab and in the field, and addressing consumer concerns.

Ninety percent of EBMUD's water comes from the 577-square mile watershed of the Mokelumne River on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada.

Every day of the year EBMUD's laboratory tests water samples to ensure that water quality meets federal and state standards, checking for trace organics like pesticides, metals, and microbes. These efforts ensure that all customers receive high-quality drinking water that meets or surpasses all state and federal regulatory requirements. 

Annual water quality report 

AWQR thumbnail.jpgEBMUD is pleased to report that in 2020 your drinking water quality met or surpassed every state and federal requirements that safeguard public health. If you would like a report mailed to you, please email us or call 510-986-7555.

Previous years' reports can be viewed on the Archives page. The 2020 report will be available in Spanish and Chinese soon.

View Annual Water Quality Report

Water quality FAQs

Customers may have similar water quality concerns. Find answers to the most common water quality questions in our Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you still have questions, concerns or problems regarding water quality, such as taste, odor, appearance, etc., or if you have a water quality emergency, please contact us at 1-866-403-2683.

Water treatment

Every drop of water that comes out of your tap is first treated at one of our treatment plants at one of our treatment plants. EBMUD's six water treatment plants in the East Bay can filter and process more than 375 million gallons of water daily.

Take a virtual tour of Orinda Water Treatment Plant.

Water sampling and testing

In laboratories and in the field, EBMUD samples and tests your water extensively to make sure it is safe to drink. We look for more than 100 substances in the water including microorganisms, pesticides, herbicides, asbestos, lead, copper, petroleum products and by-products of industrial and water treatment processes. More than 20,000 annual laboratory tests ensure the safety of your drinking water.

Public Health Goals Report

Every three years, the District is required to prepare a report with information about any contaminants detected above the state's Public Health Goals (PHGs). PHGs are non-enforceable standards set at very low levels that pose no significant health risk. We are also required to hold a public hearing at which the report is discussed, and receive public comment. For the 2016-2018 calendar years, the report can be found below. The report was discussed at the July 9, 2019 Board of Directors public meeting.  

Document Type Size
Public Health Goals Report (2016-2018) PDF <1 MB