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Where Does My Water Come From?

Where Does My Water Come From?

Calaveras County Water District customers are fortunate to enjoy an abundant water supply from four sources. CCWD has rights to the water on the three major rivers that flow through our county: Calaveras, Mokelumne, and Stanislaus. Five of our water systems draw from these surface water sources. The source for our Copper Cove system is the Stanislaus River at Lake Tulloch. The source for the Ebbetts Pass system is the Stanislaus River at McKay’s Reservoir. The source for our Jenny Lind system is the Calaveras River below New Hogan Dam. The source for our Sheep Ranch system is San Antonio Creek below White Pines Reservoir, a tributary to the Calaveras River. The source for our West Point system is Bear Creek, a tributary to the Middle Fork of the Mokelumne River. Our sixth water system in Wallace draws water from two groundwater wells in the South San Joaquin Groundwater Basin. All three river watersheds have been surveyed for potential contaminants, and the watersheds were determined to be pristine. No man-made organic constituents have ever been detected. These survey reports are available for viewing at the District office in San Andreas. To learn more about our watershed, go to the U.S. EPA’s Surf Your Watershed at

Substances That Could Be in Water

The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) prescribe regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations and California law also establish limits for contaminants in bottled water that provide the same protection for public health. Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk.

Contaminants that may be present in source water include: Microbial Contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, that may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife; Inorganic Contaminants, such as salts and metals, that can be naturally occurring or can result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming; Pesticides and Herbicides, that may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses; Organic Chemical Contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, that are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, agricultural applications, and septic systems; Radioactive Contaminants, that can be naturally occurring or can be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the U.S. EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.

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