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Monitoring Our Drinking Water

Someone washing their hands.Water from the distribution system is tested by Municipal Water System staff as well as a private, state-certified laboratory. The Santa Clara Valley Water District and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission also test their treated water supplies. Tests are done throughout the year to make sure federal and state drinking water standards are met.

Water Fluoridation

Water fluoridation is the addition of small amounts of fluoride to a water supply help prevent tooth decay. Over 50 years of research has shown that fluoridation is a safe, effective, and economical way to improve dental health for the entire community.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission add fluoride to their water supplies as part of the water treatment process. Fluoride is not added to groundwater supplies, but groundwater does have a small amount of naturally occurring fluoride.

Fluoride Facts

  • All drinking water naturally contains some fluoride. Community water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the naturally occurring fluoride level to the optimum level for preventing tooth decay.
  • Adults, as well as children, benefit from drinking fluoridated water throughout their lives.
  • More than half (62%) of the U.S. population lives in communities served by fluoridated water supplies.
  • Community water fluoridation has the endorsement of every major health organization in the United States and many other countries, as well as every Surgeon General for the past 50 years.
  • Every $1 spent on fluoridation saves $120 in dental treatment costs.
  • Fluoridation will not change the taste, odor, or appearance of your water.

Contact Information

A special toll-free number has been set up by the State of California Department of Public Health to answer your questions about fluoride in drinking water. Please direct questions about fluoride to 1-844-435-8420, or to your health care provider.

More Fluoride Information

Water Disinfection

A little boy drinking some clean water.Disinfection of surface water is necessary to destroy disease-causing organisms. There are several types of disinfection methods used to treat drinking water. Chloramine is the disinfectant used in water supplies for the Evergreen, North San José, and Alviso service areas.

Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia, and is considered a better disinfectant than chlorine alone. Chloraminated water is safe for people and animals to drink, cook with, bathe in, and for all other general uses. However, as with chlorine, sensitive users (such as kidney dialysis patients, industrial/biotechnology businesses, and fish, amphibian, and reptile owners) may need to neutralize or remove the chloramine before the water is used.

Annual Water Quality Report

The Municipal Water System publishes a water quality report each year with water quality test results. For more information about water quality, please contact a water quality engineer at (408) 277-3671.

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