What is the Quality of My Tap Water?

The City of Watsonville is proud to provide safe and healthy drinking water to our customers at the lowest rates in the region for over 80 years. Watsonville’s tap water has always met State and Federal drinking water standards and will continue to do so.

Sometimes, people use bottled water instead of tap water, because they hear about places where tap water is unsafe or they worry about the taste being a sign that something is wrong. However, Watsonville’s tap water is more strictly regulated and more affordable than bottled water. In Watsonville you get clean, potable water on demand for just a penny per gallon. Our tap water is regulated by the State and Federal government to ensure that your drinking water meets all the standards for drinking water safety.

Did you know that your tap water is constantly tested before it is delivered to homes and businesses?



Our City Lab Technicians test our tap water weekly for bacteria, color, odor and turbidity at our State-certified Water Quality Lab. 

Our water team is testing your drinking water every step of the way, from our groundwater wells and creeks to the pipes leading into your home.

To learn more about the quality of your water check out the City of Watsonville’s complete Water Quality Report, available online.


You can request a water quality report to be mailed to your home by calling (831) 768-3133 or emailing us at customerservice@cityofwatsonville.org

So, What’s That Taste?

Some people worry that the water is not safe to drink because it smells like chlorine. For your safety, a minimal amount of Chlorine gas is added (and nothing else) into our water before distribution to prevent diseases and disinfect our water pipes that deliver drinking water from its source to your home. To improve the taste of tap water, leave an open container out for over half an hour to allow the chlorine taste to disappear, or use a water filter. There’s no need to boil water before drinking.

What’s New in Water Quality?

In 2014, California became the first state to set a drinking water regulation specifically for chromium-6 (Cr6+). In our region, and many areas throughout California, Cr6+ is an element that naturally exists in the soil and rock layers surrounding our groundwater wells. Chromium in the rock and soil then dissolves into the groundwater around it.

Copy of Graphs for OURTOWN

the old State standard is 50ppb. The new State standard is 10ppb. The current federal standard for chromium 6 is 100ppb. Of our 6 wells affected, our chromium levels are testing at an average of about 15ppb.

In some cases, man-made sources of Cr6+ enter the water through industrial processes. The State has found that prolonged exposure to high levels of Cr6+ has potential health risks. In Watsonville, we do not have industries that create Cr6+ byproducts that contaminate the water. Our water does not contain high levels of Cr6+. Though we are well below the old standard and very close to the new standard, we will still have to treat 6 wells to meet the new State regulation.

This new State regulation affects over 300 California water providers and their customers. In Watsonville, the new regulation will require us to treat 6 of our 12 wells in the next 5 years, costing around $20 million. The recent rate increase to residents will help with some of the cost of treatment. However, rates are not enough to cover the full cost. The City is applying for grants and loans to help cover treatment costs. We are dedicated to providing our community with safe drinking water.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 at 8:22 am and is filed under City Manager, City of Watsonville, Homepage News, Public Works . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.