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Where does Riverside's drinking water come from?

All of Riverside’s water comes from groundwater resources pumped from local area wells in the Bunker Hill, San Bernardino, and Riverside Basins.

How much water is used daily in Riverside?

On average RPU customers use 70 million gallons of water each day!

Is Riverside water safe to drink?

YES. The water delivered by the Utility to your water meter meets or surpasses all state and federal standards for drinking water quality. It is safe to use without further treatment. Water customers are responsible for plumbing and treatment devices installed on their properties.

Note: Sub-standard, illegal, old, improperly installed and/or improperly maintained plumbing or water treatment devices may negatively affect the water quality before it comes out of the water faucets at your home or business. A list of National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) approved water treatment devices and plumbing materials is available by calling the NSF at (800) 673-8010.

Who tests Riverside’s water?

Each year RPU takes more than 17,000 samples to test for more than 200 possible contaminants in our water system. Samples are collected at water sources along transmission pipelines throughout the distribution system, including reservoirs and booster stations, and the seven regional treatment plants.

Riverside’s water is then rigorously tested by a private laboratory certified by the California Department of Public Health. The testing lab is evaluated annually to ensure its ability to effectively perform the testing.

Why is disinfectant added to the water?

Disinfectants, such as chlorine and chloramines, stop bacteria from growing in water pipelines.

Is water with chlorine and/or chloramines safe for kidney dialysis patients to drink?

Yes it is safe for kidney dialysis patients to drink. Because the digestive process neutralizes the disinfectants before they reach the bloodstream, water with one or both those disinfectants is safe to drink for most everyone - including people with diabetes, people on low-sodium diets, pregnant women, children, infants, pets, and birds.

In the dialysis process, however, chlorine and chloramines are toxic in dialysis water and must be removed from the water used in kidney dialysis machines. Individuals on kidney dialysis machines with questions should contact their healthcare provider.

Do I need to treat the water before I use it for my fish?

YES. Drinking water produced by nearly all water agencies contains disinfectants to inhibit bacterial growth. These disinfectants can kill fish. Riverside uses chlorine as a disinfectant.

Disinfectants can be neutralized by adding appropriate chemicals, which are available at most pet stores. Disinfectants can also be removed with a granular activated carbon (GAC) water filter. Chlorine, but not chloramines, can be removed from the water by letting a container of the water sit exposed to the atmosphere (uncovered) for at least 48 hours.

RPU strongly recommends customers with aquariums or fish ponds should check with their local tropical fish store for more information and use special water treatments that remove BOTH chlorine and chloramine and ALWAYS treat the water BEFORE adding new water to an aquarium or pond.

I’m finding white residue on my dishes – is this caused by my water?

Water with calcium carbonate, often called “hard water,” can sometimes leave a white residue or film on dishes. Calcium carbonate is absorbed into our water supply by natural processes. It is not harmful, nor does it pose any health risks. You can reduce the effects of calcium carbonate buildup by using a water softener.

Who should I call if I have a problem with my drinking water?

Riverside Public Utilities wants to know if you have a problem with your water. For water emergencies, please call (951) 782-0330. For water quality questions or concerns, please call our Water Quality Manager Adam Ly at (951) 351-6331. For all other non-emergency questions, please contact the City’s Call Center at (951) 826-5311.

Where can I get more information about my drinking water?

Additional information about Riverside’s water system and quality is available in our Water Quality Annual Report publications available here. We abide by a state of California mandate that requires us to produce an annual water quality report by July 1 each year for the previous year’s collected data.

You can find additional information about drinking water quality from the following agencies: