Generally speaking, California’s drinking water supply is one of the safest in the world. Your drinking water is regulated by the California Department of Public Health. The Division of Drinking Water and Environmental Management monitors public water systems to ensure their safety. It also oversees water recycling projects, permits water treatment devices, certifies drinking water treatment and distribution operators, and supports and promotes water system security.
Public water systems are not the only means by which people obtain their water. In California, about four million people get their water through domestic or private wells. These wells are not regulated by the same federal or state standards as the public water systems. It is up to the owners of a private well to test their water for chemical or bacterial contamination.
While water from a public water system is considered very safe, some contaminants in your drinking water may be a health risk for certain populations. The Environmental Health Investigations Branch, within the Center of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, has been studying relationships between health effects and drinking water for over three decades. The Environmental Health Investigations Branch is currently working on a statewide outreach to provide information on private wells and health.
This page provides information about the drinking water studies and projects conducted by the Environmental Health Investigations Branch, and links to other information on drinking water.
Semen Quality and Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water
Summary In 2003, the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) completed a study that looked at the relationship between semen quality and chemicals in drinking water....
Biological Monitoring and Health Interview Study Among Residents of an Area with Pentachlorophenol Contaminated Groundwater
Biological monitoring and health interview study initially conducted in 1985-85 among residents of an area south of Oroville, California, whose household wells were contaminated with the wood preservative...
Chlorination By-Products in Drinking Water and Menstrual Cycle Function
We analyzed data from a prospective study of menstrual cycle function and early pregnancy loss to explore further the effects of trihalomethanes (THM) on reproductive end points....
Report on Water Sampling Coyote Hills, Fullerton
Water exposure and pregnancy outcomes
In 1981, a leak of toxic chemicals into a drinking water well in San Jose, California was discovered to have come from an underground waste solvent storage tank at the Fairchild Camera and Instrument Company....
California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP)
-- California Environmental Health Tracking Program Improving Public Health With Better Information air quality asthma birth defects cancer carbon monoxide poisoning climate change drinking...
Environmental Health Symposium for Promotores and Community Health Workers
-- In June 14, 2011, EHIB hosted an environmental health symposium for promotores and community health workers....
Methods for Tracking Exposures to Contaminants in Drinking Water
-- As a one year supplementary project to the larger California Environmental Health Tracking project, we worked with several states (NM, NJ, WA, WI) that are facing similar, specific technical problems with...
Perchlorate in Drinking Water and Newborn Thyroid Function
-- Historic waste disposal practices at the Aerojet-General Corporation facility in Rancho Cordova contaminated some of that city's underground drinking water supply with perchlorate, starting in the late...
Private Water Well Statewide Outreach
-- The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is conducting a statewide outreach to provide information on private wells and health....
Testicular Cancer: Etiologic Factors
-- Although testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young males in the United States, and its incidence is increasing worldwide, not much is known about the etiology of this illness....