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Water Quality

DOU Water Treatment Process

The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities is committed to bringing high quality water to our customers. Each day, we treat and test our water to help ensure that this commitment is kept.

The City's Drinking Water Meets or Exceeds All State and Federal Drinking Water Standards


Each day, we test our water hundreds of times to ensure that we continue to meet the standards (Maximum Contaminant Levels, or MCLs) as required by the State and Federal Government.

We annually report on our water quality. Each June, you will receive a copy of this report in your water bill. See our annual water quality report, also called a Consumer Confidence Report.

The City also strives to meet Public Health Goals (PHGs) which are set by the State of California to encourage drinking water providers to do the best they can to provide safe, high-quality drinking water. They are goals, not requirements for the City to achieve. The City actively works towards these goals and reports on them to the City Council every 3 years.

Water Treatment Process

Eighty-five percent (85%) of Sacramento’s drinking water comes from our neighboring rivers. To collect water, the City has two intake structures, one located on the American River and one located on the Sacramento River. Each feeds water to a water treatment plant, E.A. Fairbairn Water Treatment Plant on the American River and the Sacramento River Water Treatment Plant on the Sacramento River. The treatment processes at both plants are the same.

After the water is treated, it flows through our distribution system to reservoirs where it is stored until it is needed. There are several reservoirs located throughout the City.

DOU Water Treatment Process