Where does our water come from?

ANSWER: The Orchard Dale Water District has two primary water sources of supply. These sources are pumped groundwater from the La Habra Heights County Water District (LHHCWD) and imported water from the Central Basin Municipal Water District (CBMWD).


ODWD receives part of its water supply from groundwater extracted at the Judson Well Field. The Judson Well Field is located within unincorporated Los Angeles County, adjacent to the San Gabriel River. Four wells, jointly owned and operated with (LHHCWD), extract groundwater from the Central Basin, a groundwater basin that has historically provided water to most of the southeasterly Los Angeles Coastal Plain.

What is the safe drinking water act?

ANSWER: The federal government, with the passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act (U.S. Congress, 1974) through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was given the authority to set drinking water quality standards for all drinking water delivered by community (public and/or private) water suppliers. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires two types of standards: primary and secondary. Primary standards protect public health, to the extent feasible, using technology, treatment techniques, and other means, which the EPA determines are generally available on the date of the enactment of the Act. Primary standards include performance requirements (Maximum Contaminant Levels, or MCL's) and/or treatment requirements. The Act also contains provisions for secondary drinking water regulations for MCLs on contaminants that may be adversely affect odor or appearance of water or the public welfare.



The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments, passed by Congress in 1986, require the EPA to set federal standards for 83 contaminants listed in the Act, and an additional 25 contaminants every three years. Phase II regulation, effective July 1992, set maximum contaminant levels or treatment techniques for 33 contaminants. The Phase V Rule, effective January 1994, sets drinking water standards for 23 additional contaminants. These new regulations also established a revised Standardized Monitoring Framework (SMF) for inorganic and organic constituents, many of which have been regulated in the State for several years. The SMF establishes a three-year initial baseline monitoring period from January 1993 through the end of 1995. Testing for the Phase II/V contaminants was completed in fiscal year 1995-96.


On August 6, 1996, the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments were signed into law. The new bill maintains strict drinking water standards but eliminates the mandate for 25 new standards every three-years; allows the EPA to use cost benefit analysis and risk analysis in setting standards, and provides authority and funding for new source water quality protection programs. It also calls for a new Radon standard that is protective of health, but avoids extreme cost; requires EPA to set a new standard for Arsenic, and after conducting health effects research and provides funding for the research and most important, authorizes approximately $7.2 million for a new State Revolving Fund. This fund is intended to promote low cost loans to communities and water utilities for water quality improvements.

What is the process when I have a water emergency?
What is the history of water resources and development in our area?

ANSWER: More than one hundred years ago, the Los Angeles Coastal Plain was on the threshold of a sharp increase in population. The key to its future was water. A shortage of sufficient year-round surface water in the Central Basin forced the development of groundwater sources. As early as 1870, water users had tapped the artesian wells and springs east of the Newport-Inglewood Uplift. When those wells stopped flowing, users were forced to drill shallow wells, which supplied enough water to continue development and economic growth.


Groundwater development increased dramatically in 1909 with the advent of the deep-well turbine pump. Its tremendous adaptability and superior operating characteristics placed efficient water wells within economic reach of everyone. In time, reliable water supplies attracted industry and agriculture. Eventually, however, the demand for groundwater exceeded the natural replenishment of the Central Basin. The overdraft affected the groundwater basin by lowering the water levels and by causing oceanfront areas to be subjected to seawater intrusion. The deteriorating groundwater situation in the Central Basin and the adjoining West Coast Basin led to the formation of the Central Basin Water Association in 1950, similar to the water association in the West Coast Basin.


This led to a 3 step plan to:

  • Provide supplemental water to major producers
  • Limit groundwater extractions from the Central Basin
  • Create an exchange water pool to provide groundwater-pumping rights for users lacking access to other supplemental water supplies.
Who is MWD?