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File #: 19-1027    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Public Hearing/General Business Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 8/29/2019 In control: Council and Authorities Concurrent Meeting
On agenda: 10/29/2019 Final action:
Title: Public Hearing: Action to Accept the 2019 Report on the City's Drinking Water Quality Program Relative to Public Health Goals
Attachments: 1. 2019 Report on the City's Drinking Water Quality Program Relative to Public Health Goals, 2. POST MEETING MATERIAL




Public Hearing:  Action to Accept the 2019 Report on the City’s Drinking Water Quality Program Relative to Public Health Goals




Pursuant to the California Safe Drinking Water Act (California Health and Safety Code Section 116470), the City has been required to prepare a report on water quality, known as the Public Health Goals (PHG) report, every three years since 1998. In line with the three-year reporting cycle, the City must, at this time, hold a public hearing to accept the 2019 Report on the City’s Drinking Water Quality Report Relative to Public Health Goals (“2019 PHG Report”) and respond to public comment regarding the PHG Report. The City continues to comply with all health-based drinking water standards as required by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Drinking Water (DDW) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).


The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), part of California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal-EPA), has adopted PHGs for drinking water which are set at a level at which no known anticipated adverse effects on health occur, with an added margin of safety. The attached report addresses the presence of constituents adopted by OEHHA. Where the OEHHA has not adopted a PHG for a currently regulated contaminant, the report uses the existing Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) adopted by the USEPA.


Both MCLGs and PHGs are goals based solely on public health risk considerations. PHGs are not enforceable and are not required to be met by any public water system. PHGs differ from Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), which are enforceable drinking water standards established by the USEPA and the SWRCB-DDW. While PHGs are based solely on public health considerations, MCLs are based upon additional factors such as the capabilities for analytical detection, available treatment technology, benefits and costs.



The City has considered water quality data collected from 2016 through 2018 for purposes of compiling the 2019 PHG Report. The regulations require a report to the public in the cases where PHGs and/or MCLGs are exceeded. The City of Santa Clara’s Water Utility has analytical evidence showing that four constituents have exceeded a PHG or MCLG. The proposed report addressing these constituents is attached.  The analytical data presented in the 2019 PHG report has already been provided to the customers in Santa Clara in the form of an annual Consumer Confidence Report which is distributed each year as a special insert in Santa Clara Weekly and is also available on the City website. A chart outlining the four constituents which have exceeded the PHG or MCLG, and their associated limits, follows:



MCL or (AL)


City’s Results

Coliform (% positive)



ND - 4.1%

Arsenic (ppb)



ND - 4

Copper (ppm)



ND - 0.92

Lead (ppb)



ND - 5.9


MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level

AL = Action Level

PHG = Public Health Goal

MCLG = Maximum Contaminant Level Goal

ND = Not Detectable


Each constituent exceeding the PHG level was at very low levels and below the associated MCL. The drinking water quality of the City of Santa Clara’s water supply meets all SWRCB and USEPA drinking water standards (MCLs) set to protect public health. The effectiveness of treatment processes to provide any significant reductions in constituent levels is uncertain and the health protection benefits of these further hypothetical reductions are not clear and may not be quantifiable. Therefore, no additional actions are proposed.


The 2019 PHG report also includes data from the Lead Monitoring in Schools program. All samples, with the exception of one sample taken at Sutter Elementary School, were well below the EPA action level for lead. The fixture at Sutter Elementary was immediately taken out of service and replaced by Santa Clara Unified School District staff. Resampling at the site resulted in a non-detect for lead.


This agenda item serves to meet the City’s obligation under Health and Safety Section 116470 which requires the preparation of a brief written report in plain language if one or more PHGs are exceeded.  Section 116470 also requires a public hearing be held to accept and respond to public comments on the 2019 PHG Report. 



The action being considered does not constitute a “project” within the meaning of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15378(b)(5) in that it is a governmental organizational or administrative activity that will not result in direct or indirect changes in the environment.



There is no cost to the City other than administrative staff time and expense to produce the 2019 PHG Report.



This report has been coordinated with the City Attorney’s Office.









Public contact was made by posting the Council agenda on the City’s official-notice bulletin board outside City Hall Council Chambers. A complete agenda packet is available on the City’s website and in the City Clerk’s Office at least 72 hours prior to a Regular Meeting and 24 hours prior to a Special Meeting. A hard copy of any agenda report may be requested by contacting the City Clerk’s Office at (408) 615-2220, email <> or at the public information desk at any City of Santa Clara public library.


Public Notice of the October 29, 2019 Council hearing was published in the Weekly, a newspaper of general circulation, on October 16, 2019.




Accept the 2019 Report on the City’s Drinking Water Quality Program Relative to Public Health Goals.



Reviewed by: Gary Welling, Director of Water & Sewer Utilities Department

Approved by: Deanna J. Santana, City Manager


1. 2019 Report on the City’s Drinking Water Quality Program Relative to Public Health Goals