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Popular water quality topics


PFAS Not Detected

Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (What is it?)

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires that once every five years the EPA issue a list of unregulated contaminants to be monitored for by public water systems. The fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) came out in 2021. The emphasis for this round of sampling was determined to be 29 Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and Lithium. UCMR 5 requires sample collection for the 30 chemical contaminants over a period of four consecutive quarters for surface water and twice in 6 months for groundwater between 2023 and 2025 using analytical methods developed by EPA. This action provides EPA and other interested parties with scientifically valid data on the national occurrence of these contaminants in drinking water.

The sites required to be sampled are any entry point into the water system. For Paradise Irrigation this means the Treatment Plant and the D Tank Well. The results PID has received thus far have indicated that the results of the samples are below the minimum reporting level (non-detectable). PID began sampling in February 2023 and will complete the last round of samples for this UCMR in November of this year.

Information regarding the sampling and all substances sampled will be included in the Annual Consumer Confidence Report next year. If at any point during the sampling process, any detectable levels are reported, it will be included in PID’s Consumer Confidence Report as well.

Does your water smell or taste a bit "off" sometimes?

As you turn on the tap in the late fall and early winter months you might notice a bit of a musty odor or an earthy “flavor” to your usually sparkling glass of PID water.

While water quality tests tell us our water is safe to drink and meets all EPA standards, we’re not any happier than you are with water that doesn’t meet our usual high flavor standards.

Two compounds released from soil and algae, methylisoborneol (MIB) and Geosmin, can be detected by humans at levels of less than 10 parts per trillion (one part per trillion would compare to one inch in 16 million miles).

MIB is most commonly found in the bottom layers of lakes; Geosmin is the substance that gives soil its “dirt” smell. Together, these two lend a temporary and undesireable “bouquet” to our PID water when levels are high in the water we use from Magalia Reservoir. Paradise Lake, because it’s deeper, hasn’t so many issues because the water is colder and therefore “fresher” in odor and taste.

When the seasonal rains begin in late fall, the District goes to work at refilling our reservoirs. It becomes a complex balancing act of slowing the discharge from Paradise Lake (so it can refill for the next year) and using a blend of water from the lake as well as Magalia Reservoir to supply the treatment plant—and our users.

When we have an early rainstorm, the runoff water entering the magalia bypass pipeline overwhelms the amount of water and changes its chemistry. State health standards force us to use water from the magalia reservoir (which remains treatable) but there are taste and odor issues even though the water is safe to drink and use.


PID does not add fluoride to the water.


PID uses chlorine during its treatment process to kill disease-causing organisms. The water leaving the treatment facility has a small amount of chlorine residual sufficient to keep water safe and healthful while it travels the distribution system until it reaches your home. 

While the state allows higher levels of chlorine,  the district typically distributes water with a low chlorine residual ranging from 0.2 - 0.8 ppm.

A simple water pitcher with a built-in filter can improve the flavor of the water for those individuals sensitive to the taste of the treated water.

Water testing frequency

Each day, PID tests your water to make sure it is clean, safe and healthful before it leaves the treatment plant to be delivered to your home. Employees also perform weekly tests within the distribution system to ensure the water remains so during delivery. The consumer confidence reportwe publish each year provides more information on these tests results and additional water testing we routinely perform.

How did PID recovery its water system after the 2018 Camp Fire?

PID issued a water advisory in December of 2018 following the destructive Camp Fire. Since then, the District has done an extensive amount of research in order to understand this first-of-its-kind water system depressurization and contamination. The District has worked with federal and state agencies, mutual aid partners -and with the aid of scientists and engineers- have a recovery plan which includes a rigorous process for lifting its water advisory on a customer-by-customer basis. Before a customer receives a letter certifying the water at their service lateral is potable, the following steps were completed:

1 - Mainline Approval District staff and engineers perform water sampling on the large mainlines and network of mainlines that deliver water from the treatment plant to the customer’s property. The water in these mainlines is tested to ensure it meets all California guidelines for drinking water. We have tested over half of the 185 miles of mains. Currently nearly all (97%) of the mainlines which have been tested meet these guidelines and have been cleared.

2 - Service Lateral Approval The service lateral is the small-diameter pipe that delivers the water from the mainline to your property. It’s these small pipes that have the highest likelihood for contamination. The District has two methods for approving service laterals for delivery of potable water.

STANDING HOMES: Our testing shows that the service laterals that service standing homes have a lower likelihood of being contaminated. In many cases, PID can approve the service lateral after we’ve taken tests to confirm the service lateral is free of contamination. PID needs to temporarily interrupt water service to the property for a minimum of 72 hours to gather the water sample needed to test your service lateral. Please contact PID to request testing at your service lateral. In the case your service lateral is contaminated, PID may schedule a service-lateral replacement.

BURNED LOTS: More than half of the tested service laterals at burned lots have some level of benzene detection. PID feels the most efficient way to ensure delivery of potable water to burned lots is to replace the service lateral. Currently, our staff is working closely with the Town of Paradise building department to coordinate the replacement of these service laterals on properties where building permits have been issued. Our goal is to approve the service lateral at the property before the building process is finalized.

3 - Expert Panel Approval Every PID water service connection with mainline and service lateral approval is then reviewed by our expert panel. Panel members consist of engineers and District staff familiar with the history and particulars of the water system, its flow, and some of the intricacies that might vary from service-lateral to service-lateral.

Final Steps - Water Quality Assurance Monitoring We continue to monitor our system to ensure our high-drinking water standards.

Consumer Confidence Report

For annual sampling results and other water-quality articles visit

Here are the steps PID is taking to restore potable water service

We can help

Contact us 24/7 at 877-4971 if you suspect an unsafe water quality issue is occuring in your home. Contact us during business hours if you have any other questions or would like to schedule a tour of our treatment facility.

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