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The City of Sacramento has provided drinking water service since it was founded in 1849.

One of our primary goals is to deliver the highest quality water to our customers, which requires a team of experts from certified treatment and distribution operators to laboratory technicians and chemists.

Staff work 24/7 to provide the highest quality water for residents and businesses in the city. 

Drinking Water Sources

About 80 percent of the City's water supply is surface water and comes from the Sacramento and American rivers. The remaining 20 percent of water comes from a system of about 28 groundwater wells that pull water from an underground layer that acts like a reservoir..

Groundwater is treated on site at the wells while surface water is treated at the E.A. Fairbairn and Sacramento River Water Treatment plants located on the American and Sacramento rivers.

After it’s treated, drinking water travels through 1,500 miles of pipe to homes and businesses.

Our water quality team routinely monitors your water to ensure it meets regulations set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and State Water Resources Control Board, designed to protect public health and ensure aesthetic qualities. 


The Drinking Water Treatment Process

Drinking water in the city goes through a comprehensive treatment process, which removes harmful materials, including sand, sediment, bacteria and viruses

  1. Intake: Our intake structures on the Sacramento and American rivers pump water into the grit basin. 

  2. Grit Basin: Sand and other heavy particles settle out in the grit basin and then water flows from the top of the basin to the next step.

  3. Flocculation Tanks: In the flocculation tanks, coagulants are added and the water is gently mixed, which causes particles to grow large enough to settle.

  4. Sedimentation Tanks: The water flows into sedimentation basins where particles settle to the bottom, which removes about 85 percent of suspended matter in the water.

  5. Filters: Water is fed through filters of sand and anthracite (hard coal), coming out crystal clear. 

  6. Reservoirs: Our treatment plant reservoirs store water until it is needed.