Welcome to the State of California 

Small Water Systems Support

Last Update: July 14, 2014

Small Water Systems Program Plan

The Drinking Water Program (DWP) has developed a Small Water System Goal targeted to bring small community systems into sustainable compliance with primary drinking water standards. We have developed an implementation plan that defines specific tasks to achieve the goal as well as measureable results of progress. The implementation plan includes the use of DWP staff and coordination with county drinking water programs, technical assistance providers, and stakeholders to accomplish its goal. This comprehensive approach will address the specific violations and reduce the number of primary drinking water standard violations in California.

The Small Water System Program Plan Goal consists of bringing approximately 63 of these systems back into compliance. Achieving this goal will bring the compliance rate of small water systems in the state from the present 92% to 95%, matching that of large community water systems. We will focus internal efforts and third party provider services toward these listed systems in order to bring them into compliance. The intent is to direct attention and resources to these systems to help them secure funding that will solve their problems and to develop their TMF capacity to a level that will that will ensure sustainability into the future. The Program Plan tracks the progress of the small water systems on the list. You can find information below related to the implementation and progress of the Small Water Systems Program Plan.

Small water systems can find helpful links at the bottom of the page regarding funding, technical assistance, trainings, and compliance help.


Small Water Systems Technical Support Unit 

The Small Water Systems Technical Support Unit administers the Local Primacy Delegation Program, as well as the Technical Assistance and Capacity Development Program.

Under the provisions of Section 116330 of the California Health and Safety Code, primacy has been delegated to 31 local primacy agencies (LPAs) for the regulation of public water systems serving fewer than 200 service connections.


Alpine  Mono San Luis Obispo
 Amador Monterey Santa Barbara
Butte Napa Santa Cruz
Calaveras Nevada Shasta
Contra Costa Placer Stanislaus
El Dorado Plumas Tehama
Imperial Riverside Yolo
Inyo Sacramento Yuba
Kings San Bernardino
Los Angeles San Diego
Madera San Joaquin

LPAs regulate ~1,600 community water systems and 3,900 non-community water systems.  [Small water systems (SWSs) in the 23 counties not delegated primacy are regulated by the DWP, which regulates all large water systems.]

The Small Water System Unit in conjunction with the DWP District Engineers, provides oversight over LPAs to insure consistency in the SWS regulatory program. The SWS Unit is the statewide contact regarding LPA issues, including (1) rule implementation and workload priorities, (2) data reporting, (3) small water program augmentation contracts, and (4) SWS regulatory issues.

For further information about the counties that are LPAs, see our SWS Unit Area Map and LPA Contact Information.

For further information about the SWS Program, contact us by email at DWPSWSLPA@cdph.ca.gov, or by phone at (916) 449-5600 and ask for a Small Water Systems Unit staff person.

Links helpful to SWSs
Training Opportunities
Other DWP Links for Water Systems
Last modified on: 7/24/2014 10:23 AM