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Is Modesto Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Yes! Generally Safe to Drink*

LAST UPDATED: 7:47 pm, August 8, 2022

Table of Contents

Can You Drink Tap Water in Modesto?

Yes, Modesto's tap water is generally considered safe to drink as Modesto has no active health based violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) that we are aware of. Other factors such as lead piping in a home, or low levels of pollutants on immunocompromised individuals, should also be considered, however. To find more recent info we might have, you can check out our boil water notice page or the city's water provider website.

According the EPA’s ECHO database, from April 30, 2019 to June 30, 2022, Modesto's water utility, City of Modesto - Salida, had 0 violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. For more details on the violations, please see our violation history section below. The last violation for Modesto was resolved on Aug. 31, 2015. This assessment is based on the City of Modesto - Salida water system, other water systems in the city may have different results.

While tap water that meets the EPA health guidelines generally won’t make you sick to your stomach, it can still contain regulated and unregulated contaminants present in trace amounts that could potentially cause health issues over the long-run. These trace contaminants may also impact immunocompromised and vulnerable individuals.

The EPA is reviewing if it’s current regulations around pollutant levels in tap water are strict enough, and the health dangers posed by unregulated pollutants, like PFAS.

Modesto Tap Water Safe Drinking Water Act Violation History - Prior 10 Years

Below is a ten year history of violations for the water system named City of Modesto - Salida for Modesto in California. For more details please see the "What do these Violations Mean?" section below.

From Aug. 1, 2015 to Aug. 31, 2015, Modesto had 1 health-based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Maximum Contaminant Level Violation, more specifically, the violation code was Maximum Contaminant Level Violation, Monthly (TCR) which falls into the Microbials rule code group, and the Total Coliform Rules rule code family for the following contaminant code: Coliform (TCR).

From Dec. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2012, Modesto had 1 health-based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Maximum Contaminant Level Violation, more specifically, the violation code was Maximum Contaminant Level Violation, Single Sample which falls into the Chemicals rule code group, and the Inorganic Chemicals rule code family for the following contaminant code: Nitrate.

For the compliance period beginning Dec. 1, 2012, Modesto had 1 non-health based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Other Violation, more specifically, the violation code was Public Notification Violation for NPDWR Violation which falls into the Other rule code group, and the Public Notice Rule rule code family for the following contaminant code: Public Notice.

Is there Lead in Modesto Water?

Based on the EPA’s ECHO Database, 90% of the samples taken from the Modesto water system, City of Modesto - Salida, between sample start date and sample end date, were at or below, 0.0 mg/L of lead in Modesto water. This is 0% of the 0.015 mg/L action level. This means 10% of the samples taken from Modesto contained more lead.

While Modesto water testing may have found 0.0 mg/L of lead in its water, that does not mean your water source has the same amount. The amount of lead in water in a city can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood, or even building to building. Many buildings, particularly older ones, have lead pipes or service lines which can be a source of contamination. To find out if your home has lead, we recommend getting you water tested.

No amount of lead in water is healthy, only less dangerous. As lead accumulates in our bodies over time, even exposure to relatively small amounts can have negative health effects. For more information, please check out our Lead FAQ page.

Are there PFAS in Modesto Tap Water?

Currently, testing tap water for PFAS isn’t mandated on a national level. We do have a list of military bases where there have been suspected or confirmed leaks. There appears to be at least one military base - Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant - near Modesto with suspected leaks.

With many potential sources of PFAS in tap water across the US, the best information we currently have about which cities have PFAS in their water is this ewg map, which you can check to see if Modesto has been evaluated for yet.

Our stance is better safe than sorry, and that it makes sense to try to purify the tap water just in case.

Modesto SDWA Violation History Table - Prior 10 Years

Compliance Period Status Health-Based? Category Code Code Rule Code Contaminant Code Rule Group Code Rule Family Code
08/01/2015 - 08/31/2015 Resolved Yes Maximum Contaminant Level Violation (MCL) Maximum Contaminant Level Violation, Monthly (TCR) (22) Total Coliform Rule (110) Coliform (TCR) (3100) Microbials (100) Total Coliform Rules (110)
12/01/2012 - 12/31/2012 Resolved Yes Maximum Contaminant Level Violation (MCL) Maximum Contaminant Level Violation, Single Sample (01) Nitrates (331) Nitrate (1040) Chemicals (300) Inorganic Chemicals (330)
12/01/2012 - Resolved No Other Violation (Other) Public Notification Violation for NPDWR Violation (75) Public Notice Rule (410) Public Notice (7500) Other (400) Public Notice Rule (410)

What do these Violations Mean?

Safe Drinking Water Act Violations categories split into two groups, health based, and non-health based. Generally, health based violations are more serious, though non-health based violations can also be cause for concern.

Health Based Violations

  1. Maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) - maximum allowed contaminant level was exceeded.
  2. Maximum residual disinfectant levels (MRDLs) - maximum allowed disinfectant level was exceeded.
  3. Other violations (Other) - the exact required process to reduce the amounts of contaminants in drinking water was not followed.

Non-Health Based Violations

  1. Monitoring and reporting violations (MR, MON) - failure to conduct the required regular monitoring of drinking water quality, and/or to submit monitoring results on time.
  2. Public notice violations (Other) - failure to immediately alert consumers if there is a serious problem with their drinking water that may pose a risk to public health.
  3. Other violations (Other) - miscellaneous violations, such as failure to issue annual consumer confidence reports or maintain required records.

SDWA Table Key

Field Description
Compliance Period Dates of the compliance period.
Status Current status of the violation.
  • Resolved - The violation has at least one resolving enforcement action. In SDWIS, this indicates that either the system has returned to compliance from the violation, the rule that was violated was no longer applicable, or no further action was needed.
  • Archived - The violation is not Resolved, but is more than five years past its compliance period end date. In keeping with the Enforcement Response Policy, the violation no longer contributes to the public water system's overall compliance status. Unresolved violations are also marked as Archived when a system ceases operations (becomes inactive).
  • Addressed - The violation is not Resolved or Archived, and is addressed by one or more formal enforcement actions.
  • Unaddressed - The violation is not Resolved or Archived, and has not been addressed by formal enforcement.
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Health-Based? Whether the violation is health based.
Category Code
The category of violation that is reported.
  • TT - Treatment Technique Violation
  • MRDL - Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level
  • Other - Other Violation
  • MCL - Maximum Contaminant Level Violation
  • MR - Monitoring and Reporting
  • MON - Monitoring Violation
  • RPT - Reporting Violation
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Code A full description of violation codes can be accessed in the SDWA_REF_CODE_VALUES (CSV) table.
Contaminant Code A code value that represents a contaminant for which a public water system has incurred a violation of a primary drinking water regulation.
Rule Code Code for a National Drinking Water rule.
  • 110 - Total Coliform Rule
  • 121 - Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 122 - Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 123 - Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 130 - Filter Backwash Rule
  • 140 - Ground Water Rule
  • 210 - Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 220 - Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 230 - Total Trihalomethanes
  • 310 - Volatile Organic Chemicals
  • 331 - Nitrates
  • 332 - Arsenic
  • 333 - Inorganic Chemicals
  • 320 - Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  • 340 - Radionuclides
  • 350 - Lead and Copper Rule
  • 410 - Public Notice Rule
  • 420 - Consumer Confidence Rule
  • 430 - Miscellaneous
  • 500 - Not Regulated
  • 111 - Revised Total Coliform Rule
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Rule Group Code Code that uniquely identifies a rule group.
  • 120 - Surface Water Treatment Rules
  • 130 - Filter Backwash Rule
  • 140 - Groundwater Rule
  • 210 - Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 220 - Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 230 - Total Trihalomethanes
  • 310 - Volatile Organic Chemicals
  • 320 - Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  • 330 - Inorganic Chemicals
  • 340 - Radionuclides
  • 350 - Lead and Copper Rule
  • 400 - Other
  • 500 - Not Regulated
  • 110 - Total Coliform Rules
  • 410 - Public Notice Rule
  • 420 - Consumer Confidence Rule
  • 430 - Miscellaneous
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Rule Family Code Code for rule family.
  • 100 - Microbials
  • 200 - Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 300 - Chemicals
  • 400 - Other
  • 500 - Not Regulated
show details

For more clarification please visit the EPA's data dictionary.

Modesto Water - Frequently Asked Questions

To contact customer service for the Modesto water provider, City of Modesto - Salida, please use the information below.
By Phone: 209-342-4585
By Email:
By Mail: 4240 Litt Road
MODESTO, CA, 95357
Already have an account?

Existing customers can login to their City of Modesto - Salida account to pay their Modesto water bill by clicking here.

Want to create a new account?

If you want to pay your City of Modesto - Salida bill online and haven't made an account yet, you can create an account online. Please click here to create your account to pay your Modesto water bill.

Want to pay without an account?

If you don't want to make an account, or can't remember your account, you can make a one-time payment towards your Modesto water bill without creating an account using a one time payment portal with your account number and credit or debit card. Click here to make a one time payment.

Starting Your Service

Moving to a new house or apartment in Modesto means you will often need to put the water in your name with City of Modesto - Salida. In order to put the water in your name, please click the link to the start service form below. Start service requests for water bills typically take two business days.

Start Service Form

Want to create a new account?

Leaving your house or apartment in Modesto means you will likely need to take your name off of the water bill with City of Modesto - Salida. In order to take your name off the water bill, please click the link to the stop service form below. Stop service for water bills requests typically take two business days.

Stop Service Form

Is Modesto Tap Water Safe to Drink? Tap water & safety quality

The estimated price of bottled water

$2 in USD (1.5-liter)


Modesto tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 47% Moderate
  • Water Pollution 55% Moderate
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 52% Moderate
  • Water Quality 45% Moderate

The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in Modesto, measured on a scale from 0% (lowest) to 100% (highest).

Related FAQS


City of Modesto

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the California State Water Resources Control Board, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO). For the latest quarter assessed by the U.S. EPA (January 2019 - March 2019), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

Utility details

  • Serves: 212000
  • Data available: 2012-2017
  • Data Source: Purchased surface water
  • Total: 34

Contaminants That Exceed Guidelines

  • 1%2C2%2C3-Trichloropropane
  • 1%2C2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP)
  • Arsenic
  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium (hexavalent)
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Dichloroacetic acid
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrate and nitrite
  • Radium%2C combined (-226 & -228)
  • Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
  • Trichloroacetic acid
  • Uranium

Other Detected Contaminants

  • 1%2C4-Dioxane
  • Aluminum
  • Barium
  • Bromoform
  • Chlorate
  • Chlorodifluoromethane
  • Dibromoacetic acid
  • Dichlorodifluoromethane
  • Fluoride
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Monobromoacetic acid
  • Monochloroacetic acid
  • Nitrite
  • Strontium
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Trichlorotrifluoroethane
  • Vanadium


Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.

Sources and Resources

Modesto Tap Water

Have you ever noticed the Modesto River near the coast has a funny taste to it? I mean, fish don’t naturally taste like it. However, several significant pollutants and contaminants have contaminated the water of this natural wonder. They are primarily chemical and sulfuric, and the result is a foul-smelling and off-white-looking beverage. I have seen many television advertisements for home filters to purify this water, but the results are pretty much the same. This is not the sort of thing that will make you feel good about the quality of your tap water.

If the water from your tap has such contaminants in it, then why should I buy anything that claims to cleanse the water? The best way to reduce your exposure to harmful substances is to install a water filter of some kind. Water filters come in various types and sizes based on the size and expense of your need. There are even home ones that can be mounted to your pipe(s) and directly run into your home so that you can drink the water that comes out of your faucets.

What do you do if your water has such problems as mentioned above? You continue to buy bottled water, which is one of the worst ways to deal with this problem. Bottled water, after all, is just tap water distilled from natural sources and, as such, carries the same contaminants as your unfiltered municipal water treatment facility. You also will find that the taste is somewhat flat as most people are used to the taste of municipal water. So replacing the natural taste of your tap water with the artificial one you get from bottled takes away from the pleasure you derive from drinking water. Do yourself and your family a favor and invest in a good water filtering system to enjoy the water that is healthy and pure from your kitchen faucet instead of one that has impurities in it that are causing you to purchase bottled.

Modesto Drinking Water

Every year, the Modesto water treatment facility puts on a big event to give the people of Modesto a chance to see what type of filtration systems they have and also get an opportunity to meet some of the most famous people that are in town. This includes the mayor and even the city manager. During this particular occasion, they had a contest to see which filtration system had the best overall effect on the water as Modesto’s people drank it.

You can watch this competition on some of the various internet sites throughout the world wide web. If you have any particular favorite TV or radio show, listen to the transmission they have over there. Usually, at that time, they show the city of Modesto winning the award and having the best tasting water. If you are anywhere near Modesto or live here, or even if you happen to be nearby, you should pay a visit for the award ceremony. Suppose you cannot make it out to the Modesto Drinking Water Treatment Plant, or you would like to observe and soak up the atmosphere. In that case, there is plenty of live streaming video from the TV station so that you can follow along with all of it on your computer. Or if you are too busy to sit through the whole thing, no worries; there is always live streaming news from other cities throughout the United States of America.

In addition to the water itself, they will also be giving away samples of the water and explaining why it is so pure and how it works. The employees of the plant will be taking some of the water and filtering it as well. And when it is filtered, they will be selling it to you and explaining how the waterworks and why it is so beneficial for you to drink. You will not believe it. The taste of this water is so natural, and the aroma that it carries is very comforting. After you have experienced it, you will understand why we use filtration so much these days.

Modesto Water Treatment

If you have ever been to a Modesto water treatment center, you know that they are one of the best. I can’t say that enough, but I will. This is my favorite city in all of California. I live in Encinitas, and I have traveled all over this great state of ours, but when I come back here to Modesto, I feel like I see the best of the state all around me.

My favorite thing to do in the evening is to sit outside on my back porch and relax while listening to the radio. Usually, I will get a few different stations to listen to, and some of them I would love to hear the radio talk about. The Modesto water treatment center has helped me stay healthy, and at the same time, made me feel great inside and out. When I am done with my treatment, I don’t normally feel any better. I usually feel a little bit more energy, and I am just more happy with the surroundings.

There is a quaint little cafe that is located right next to the water treatment center. I like sitting there and having a cup of coffee while listening to the local radio station. It helps me unwind and relax, so much so that I often return to the Modesto water treatment center for a visit. They indeed are one of the best!

Modesto Safe Drinking Water

You will be hard-pressed to find a town in the United States that does not have a drinking water supply. There are entire states and even countries where clean water is not a right. One of the worst places you can find clean water is Modesto, California. The reason is that this town was built on a mountain and the water comes from a natural underground spring. Since the water is confidential, it can take a long time for it to fill up. Because it comes in such short spurts, the average person living here has to be constantly running water pumps to have any hope of having clean water available to them at all times.

Because the water supply is so essential in Modesto, this city is prone to many different pollution types. If you were to visit this area, you would think that there were no problems with the water, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This area suffers from some of the worst water pollutions in the country. There have been many cases where drugs have been found in the local supply, and the underground spring where the water is stored has also been the site of many animal attacks.

The best way to avoid these problems is to install a water filtration system certified by the State of California. Any reputable company will tell you that you need a filtering system that cleans your water to a depth of at least one micron. Anything less than this will do absolutely no good to you as a consumer, as you will not be able to consume water containing any harmful toxins. Also, if you happen to drink enough water in the day to make it through the entire day without putting any filters to it, then you have indeed taken care of the problem and your water supply problem. Now all that remains is to enjoy your tasty, refreshing water.

Modesto Drinking Water Standards

The City of Modesto, California, has a long history of protecting its water sources. Being one of the oldest towns in the San Diego County area, it is no surprise that they have put a lot of work into protecting their groundwater. Modesto’s city does not enforce the drinking water standards that all other areas use because they feel it is unnecessary regulation. This rule was put in place so that those living within the city limits were protected. If this rule is ever changed, then the city could be put at risk of receiving a fine from the state for not following the laws surrounding their water supply safety.

It is important to remember that everyone has rights regarding the quality of their water supply. Those who are concerned about the safety of the water they use can take action in various ways. Many local water treatment facilities will offer customers information on testing their water regularly and informing them of what contaminants might be in the water. Those who live without a water filter will also have to do their part by ensuring they are using an approved water filtration system when they take a shower or bathe. Those who do not believe in the importance of making sure that the water they are drinking is clean should remember that they are the ones who will pay for the protection of their drinking water supply.

Being able to drink clean water is something that everyone should be concerned about. Those who have been using an unfiltered water supply for too long may have to start using a filtration system once again to be entirely sure that they are giving their body the best possible water. Modesto drinking water standards are there for the safety of every person who lives in the area.

Modesto Water Quality

Modesto is a town in the Bay Area of California and is home to the largest city in that area. It has a population of around eleven thousand people. This is a large city in that it is a leading water delivery point for all of Northern California. This area is one of the most popular places to live in Northern California due to its beautiful weather and proximity to the beach. This area is also very environmentally friendly as it uses a great deal of recycled water.

This is a great water quality city in that there are many options for you to use if you are looking for an excellent place to live. There are many different types of homes for you to choose from, and there are many different price ranges, so you should not have any problems finding a home that is right for you at an affordable price. The city has two schools, which are public and private. The public school system is considered much better than the private schools as it offers more variety. However, both schools provide exceptional education in both elementary and secondary education.

If you want to check out the water quality in the area of your choice, there are a couple of different options for you to use. You can either take a boat out on the water and test it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Both options will give you results back in a reasonable amount of time, though trying the water yourself may not be as accurate. If you decide to hire someone to get the water tested for you, make sure you find someone experienced in doing water quality tests. It should be someone who has been tested in the past and has the equipment to test for contaminants.

Water Utility in Modesto

Modesto water services offer affordable and reliable service to residents. This area is a growing community in the Bay Area, and many of the residents already have great water and internet service providers. The city is served by several great water utilities, including big names like Calpine, Santa Rosa, and San Jose. Modesto is growing and becoming a vibrant community with plenty of new construction. The growth has caused an influx of many professionals into the area.

Most of the city is serviced by three principal water utilities, but there is plenty more that you can find out on the internet. Check them out, so you know what they are all about. They all use the same technology, which helps deliver clean, purified water that will not harm your plants or yard. These water services also use state-of-the-art filtration systems that will ensure that your water is safe and healthy. There is plenty of information for you to learn about water conservation, which is very important to the environment and your family’s health.

You should call one of the water utilities in Modesto if you have questions. They will be able to answer any questions you might have and guide you in the right direction when using a water-efficient system. All of these services are in great demand, and they are willing to work as hard as possible to meet their customers’ needs. Contact one of the water utilities for yourself to see what they can do for you and your family.

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