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Food Facilities with Private Water Wells


Retail food facilities not served by a public water system have a responsibility to assure a safe water supply. California Retail Food Code (CalCode), Section 114192, states that "an adequate, protected, pressurized, potable supply of hot water and cold water shall be provided," and CalCode, Section 113869 states that "Potable water means water that complies with the standards for transient noncommunity water systems pursuant to the California Safe Drinking Water Act, Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 116270) of Part 12, to the extent permitted by federal law."

The California Department of Public Health Drinking Water Program (CDPH) normally approves, permits and monitors transient noncommunity water systems, but only those water systems serving 25 or more people per day at least 60 days a year. Consequently, those systems not falling under CDPH jurisdiction fall to the jurisdiction of the local enforcement agency, in this case the County of Sonoma Department of Health Services, for oversight of formal ongoing bacteriological or chemical monitoring requirements.

Water Quality Testing

In order to assure safe potable water, it is now required that facilities not served by a public water system meet the monitoring and quality standards established under law for a transient noncommunity water system. Compliance includes:

  1. A chemical analysis shall be conducted for the required constituents, at the frequency established in the Safe Drinking Water Act (see Bacteriological and Chemical Monitoring Requirements (LINK)). As laboratory costs and procedures may vary it is recommended that you review the monitoring requirements list with your laboratory of choice. Note: If the water source has been previously monitored for a listed chemical constituent, additional monitoring of that constituent may not be required. A copy of any existing chemical analysis data must be submitted in order to verify compliance with the requirements.
  2. Bacteriological samples shall be taken each calendar quarter (3 months) during which time the facility is open for business.
  3. All bacteriological sampling results shall be reported to Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). Sampling results shall be submitted no later than the 10th day of the month following collection.
  4. Laboratories Certified for Bacteriological and/or Chemical Analysis
  5. Should a bacteriological analysis indicate coliform organisms present, you as the water supplier must take whatever corrective actions necessary to eliminate the contamination problem, and assure the delivery of a safe water supply. Corrective actions shall consist of, but not necessarily be limited to: reviewing system operations; correction of any noted defects; system disinfection if necessary, followed by bacteriological sampling until such time as the contamination problem is corrected. Note: Correction shall be demonstrated by bacteriological sampling for two consecutive days, one sample each day, indicating no contamination. All follow up sampling results must be reported to the EHS.
  6. Additional monitoring requirements and other corrective actions may be required by the EHS on a case by case basis, as conditions warrant.

Any water supplied at a facility must be potable and not jeopardize the health of any users.

In order to offset the cost of this program, a yearly fee will be added to the base cost of your retail food facility permit. See fee schedule for current fees. 

Should you have any questions concerning the above requirements, or would like clarification of any of the regulations regarding the operation of your water system, please call (707) 565-6565.