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Is Sunnyvale Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Yes! Generally Safe to Drink*

LAST UPDATED: 7:47 pm, July 21, 2022

Table of Contents

Can You Drink Tap Water in Sunnyvale?

Yes, Sunnyvale's tap water is generally considered safe to drink as Sunnyvale 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, Sunnyvale's water utility, City of Sunnyvale, 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 Sunnyvale was resolved on March 31, 2015. This assessment is based on the City of Sunnyvale 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.

Water Quality Report for Sunnyvale Tap Water

The most recent publicly available numbers for measured contaminant levels in Sunnyvale tap water are in its 2020 Water Quality Report. As you can see, there are levels which the EPA considers to be acceptable, but being below the maximum allowable level doesn’t necessarily mean the water is healthy.

Lead in tap water, for example, is currently allowed at up to 15ppb by the EPA, but it has set the ideal goal for lead at zero. This highlights how meeting EPA standards doesn’t necessarily mean local tap water is healthy.

EPA regulations continue to change as it evaluates the long term impacts of chemicals and updates drinking water acceptable levels. The rules around arsenic, as well as, lead and copper are currently being re-evaluated.

There are also a number of "emerging" contaminants that are not currently. For example, PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), for which the EPA has issued a health advisory. PFAS are called "forever chemicals" since they tend not to break down in the environment or the human body and can accumulate over time.

We recommend looking at the contaminants present in Sunnyvale's water quality reports, or getting your home's tap water tested to see if you should be filtering your water.

Sunnyvale 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 Sunnyvale for Sunnyvale in California. For more details please see the "What do these Violations Mean?" section below.

From March 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015, Sunnyvale had 1 health-based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Treatment Technique Violation, more specifically, the violation code was Treatment Technique (SWTR and GWR) which falls into the Microbials rule code group, and the Surface Water Treatment Rules rule code family for the following contaminant code: Surface Water Treatment Rule.

Is there Lead in Sunnyvale Water?

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

While Sunnyvale 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 Sunnyvale 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 - Moffett Field/Moffett Field NAS - near Sunnyvale 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 Sunnyvale 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.

Sunnyvale 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
03/01/2015 - 03/31/2015 Resolved Yes Treatment Technique Violation (TT) Treatment Technique (SWTR and GWR) (41) Surface Water Treatment Rule (121) Surface Water Treatment Rule (0200) Microbials (100) Surface Water Treatment Rules (120)

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.
show details
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
show details
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
show details
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
show details
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.

Sunnyvale Water - Frequently Asked Questions

To contact customer service for the Sunnyvale water provider, City of Sunnyvale, please use the information below.
By Phone: 408-730-7578
By Email:
By Mail: P.O. BOX 3707
Already have an account?

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

Want to create a new account?

If you want to pay your City of Sunnyvale 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 Sunnyvale 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 Sunnyvale 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 Sunnyvale means you will often need to put the water in your name with City of Sunnyvale. 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 Sunnyvale means you will likely need to take your name off of the water bill with City of Sunnyvale. 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 Sunnyvale Tap Water Safe to Drink? Tap water & safety quality

The estimated price of bottled water

$2.37 in USD (1.5-liter)


Sunnyvale tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 28% Low
  • Water Pollution 56% Moderate
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 72% High
  • Water Quality 44% Moderate

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

Related FAQS

Sunnyvale Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report)

The EPA mandates that towns and cities consistently monitor and test their tap water. They must report their findings in an annual Consumer Confidence Report. Below is the most recent water quality report from Sunnyvale's Water. If you would like to see the original version of the report, please click here.

Water Quality Report 2020

What's inside

This report contains important information about your drinking water. Translate it, or speak with someone who understands it.

Este informe contiene información muy importante sobre su agua para beber. Tradúzcalo o hable con alguien que lo entienda bien.

Itong documento ay naglalaman nang mahalagang impormasyon tungkol sa tubig na maaring inumin. Mangyaring ipagsalin ito.

Báo cáo này chứa thông tin quan trọng về nước uống của bạn. Xin nhờ người dịch cho quý vị.

Important information about

  • Your drinking water
  • Water conservation
  • Ways to contact the City

本 報 告 包 含 閣 下 飮 用 水 嘅 重 要 訊 息 。 請 找 他 人 為 你 翻 譯 及 解 釋 清 楚 。

この報告書には上水道に関する重要な情報が記されております。 翻訳を依頼 してください。

이 보고서는 당신의 식수에 관한 중요한 정보를 포함하고 있습니다. 이해하실수 있는 분에게 번역을 부탁하십시요.

इस रिपोर्ट में आपके पीने के पानी से संबंधित महत्वपूर्ण जानकारी है। कृ इसका अनुवाद करें, या किसी ऐसे व्यक्ति से बात करें जो इसे समझता है।

Where your water comes from

The City of Sunnyvale has three different sources of drinking water supply: treated surface water from the San Francisco Regional Water System managed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), treated surface water from the Santa Clara Valley Water District (Valley Water), and local groundwater. There are also pockets of Sunnyvale cus- tomers who receive water from the California Water Service Company (Cal Water); questions regarding the source and delivery of water provided by Cal Water can be directed to its local office at (650) 917-0152.

SFPUC supply

The City purchases water from SFPUC to serve the northern part of the City. Filtered water turbidity from SFPUC met the standard of 0.3 NTU or less, 95% of the time. SFPUC’s major drinking water supply consists of surface water and groundwater that are well protected and carefully managed by the SFPUC. These sources are diverse in both origin and location with the surface water stored in reservoirs located in the Sierra Nevada, Alameda County, and San Mateo County, and groundwater stored in a deep aquifer in the northern part of San Mateo County.

To meet drinking water standards for consumption, all surface water supplies from SFPUC undergo treatment before it is delivered to customers. Water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is exempt from state and federal filtration requirements but receives the following treatment: ultraviolet light and chlorine disinfection, pH adjustment for optimum corrosion control, fluoridation for dental health protection, and chloramination for maintaining disinfectant residual and minimizing the formation of regulated disinfection byproducts.

Water from local Bay Area reservoirs in Alameda and San Mateo Counties is delivered to Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant (SVWTP) and Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant (HTWTP), respectively, and is subject to filtration, disinfection, fluoridation, optimum corrosion control, and taste and odor removal.

In 2020, average fluoride levels in the treated water were maintained at levels up to 0.7 mg/L as required by the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board). Since May 2015, water has been fluoridated at the new optimum level of 0.7 mg/L.

The SFPUC actively protects the water resources entrusted to its care. Its annual update of the Hetch Hetchy Watershed Sanitary Survey evaluates the sanitary conditions, water quality, potential contamination sources, and the results of watershed protection and management activities with partner agencies (such as the National Park Service and US Forest Service).

The SFPUC also conducts sanitary surveys every five years to detect and track sanitary concerns for non-Hetch Hetchy watersheds. The latest

5-year surveys were completed in 2021 for the period of 2016-2020. These surveys identified wildlife, livestock , and human activities as potential contamination sources. To review the Sanitary Surveys at the District office, contact DDW at (510) 620-3474.

More information on SFPUC and the SFRWS Visit

Valley Water supply

The City purchases treated surface water from Valley Water and delivers it to the southern portion of the City. Valley Water’s surface water is mainly imported from the South Bay Aqueduct, Dyer Reservoir, Lake Del Valle, and San Luis Reservoir, which all draw water from the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta watershed. Valley Water’s local water sources include Anderson and Calero Reservoirs. Water from imported and local sources is pumped to and treated at three water treatment plants located in Santa Clara County.

Valley Water sources are vulnerable to potential contamination from a variety of land use practices such as agricultural and urban runoff, recreational activities, livestock grazing, and residential and industrial development. Imported sources are vulnerable to wastewater treatment plant discharges, seawater intrusion, and wildfires in open space watershed areas. Local sources are also vulnerable to contamination from commercial stables and historic mining practices. No contaminant associated with these activities has been detected in Valley Water’s treated water. Water treatment provides multiple barriers for physical removal of contaminants and disinfection of pathogens. To review the Sanitary Surveys, contact DDW at (510) 620-3474.

More information on Valley Water


The spillway at O'Shaughnessy Dam Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Local groundwater

The City owns, operates, and maintains six deep wells. The wells are used to help supplement the imported water supplies during peak demands in the summer months and emergency situations.

The City is always working to increase flexibility in local groundwater supplies, enhance water quality, reduce operating costs, and increase reliability. The City maintains and monitors the wells on a regular basis. Groundwater pumped from these wells is taxed by Valley Water.

The City completed a Drinking Water Source Assessment Program (DWSAP) in January 2003 for these groundwater sources. The City’s groundwater sources are considered most vulnerable to contamination by leaky underground fuel tanks, dry cleaning chemicals, sewer collection systems, old septic systems, and machine shops.

Visit for more information, or call (408) 730-7400 to schedule a time to view it.

City of Sunnyvale Water Quality Report 2020

Page 2 of 7

Protecting your water supply

To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the State Water Board prescribe regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations and California law also establish limits for contaminants in bottled water that provide the same protection for public health.

The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

  • Microbial Contaminants such as viruses and bacteria that may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.
  • Inorganic Contaminants such as salts and metals, that can be naturally-occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.
  • Pesticides and Herbicides that may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses.
  • Organic Chemical Contaminants including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals that are byproducts of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, agricultural application, and septic systems.
  • Radioactive Contaminants that can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

Protecting the water supply is important to ensure that water is safe from contamination and aesthetically pleasing for use, and it begins in the watersheds. Contamination requires treatment, which increases the cost to deliver water to your tap. Here are ways that you can help protect our watershed:

  • Eliminate excess use of lawn and garden fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Pick up after your pets.
  • Take used motor oil and other recyclables to the SMaRT Station.
  • Dispose of pharmaceuticals at any Sunnyvale fire station. Medications should not be flushed down drains or put in the garbage.
  • Dispose of cleaners, chemicals, and paints at a Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Event.
  • Volunteer in your community. The Creek Connections Action Group works to protect the County's waterways. Visit
  • Participate in public meetings and forums. It allows decision-makers to hear your perspective and you to be involved in protecting your water supply.

More information about disposal and recycling

Call (408) 730-7262

SMaRT Station

301 Carl Road, Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Open daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tel: (408) 752-8530

Household hazardous waste drop-off

Third Saturday in January, April, July, and October, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit or call (408) 299-7300 to schedule an appointment.

Water conservation tips

The City works cooperatively with our water wholesalers to provide residents with advice, assistance, and access to programs. The following water-saving tips are simple ways to conserve water indoors and out and are provided jointly by the City and Valley Water.

Steps to save water indoors

  • Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth.
  • Take shorter showers. You will save 2.5 gallons of water each minute.
  • Install water-efficient faucet aerators and showerheads in your kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Check toilets and faucets for leaks. Running toilets can waste two gallons a minute while leaky faucets can waste thousands of gallons.
  • Do not use the toilet as a wastebasket.
  • Only wash full loads of laundry and dishes.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables in a pan instead of using running water.
  • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator. Running tap water to cool it off for drinking is wasteful.
  • Replace your old top-loading clothes washer with a high-efficiency model. For information about rebates call the Water Conservation Hotline.
  • If your toilet uses more than 3.5 gallons per flush, replace it with a high- efficiency toilet. New models use 70 percent less water. For information about rebates, call the Water Conservation Hotline.

Steps to save water outdoors

  • Plant native or drought-tolerant plants that require less watering. Native plants promote healthier local ecosystems.
  • Use a broom to sweep off pavement. Using a hose to wash sidewalks, driveways, and patios wastes money and water.
  • Apply organic mulch around plants to reduce moisture loss, keep weed growth down, and promote healthier soil.
  • Deeply soak your lawn to ensure moisture reaches the roots. Light sprinkle watering evaporates quickly and encourages shallow root systems that need more frequent watering.
  • Check for leaks in pipes, sprinkler heads, and valves.
  • Water during cool parts of the day. Early morning is the best time because it helps prevent growth of fungus.
  • Water your lawn only when it needs it. If the grass springs back up after stepping on it, it does not need watering.
  • Avoid watering on windy days.
  • Use drip irrigation in larger gardens with weather-based irrigation control. For information about rebates call the Water Conservation Hotline.

Water conservation hotline Valley Water (408) 630-2554

City of Sunnyvale Water Quality Report 2020

Page 3 of 7

Important information about your water quality


Currently, all water from SFPUC is fluoridated while water from Valley Water, the City’s other wholesale water provider, is not. The City also does not fluoridate well water. As a result, some areas of Sunnyvale receive fluoridated water, other areas receive non-fluoridated water, and some areas receive a mixture of both. See map at bottom left. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if a child under the age of six months is exclusively consuming infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water, there may be an increased chance of dental fluorosis. Consult your child’s health care provider for more information.


If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with privately owned service lines and home plumbing. The City is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to two minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you do so, you may wish to collect the flushed water and use it for another purpose, such as watering plants. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 or at


The City’s system distributes water disinfected with chloramine and well water that is tested but not treated. Chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, lasts longer in water to provide more protection against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, and produces lower levels of disinfection byproducts such as trihalomethanes. The water provided by SFPUC and Valley Water is disinfected with chloramines, which can affect dialysis treatment. Residents on home dialysis should contact their physicians to discuss the impact on their treatment. The End Stage Renal Disease Network 17, at (415) 897-2400, can provide more information about chloramines and dialysis. Fish and aquarium owners should check with their local pet stores for information on chloramine removal.


Cryptosporidium and Giardia are microbial pathogens naturally present in the environment and commonly found in surface water throughout the U.S. Monitoring of source water by both Valley Water and SFPUC in 2020 indicated a low presence of these organisms. However, current test methods approved by the USEPA do not distinguish between dead organisms and those capable of causing disease. They must be ingested to cause disease and may be spread through means other than drinking water. Ingestion of either pathogen can cause abdominal infection. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and associated headaches.


Nitrate in drinking water at levels above 10 ppm is a health risk for infants younger than six months of age. Such nitrate levels in drinking water can interfere with the capacity of the infant’s blood to carry oxygen, resulting in serious illness; symptoms include shortness of breath and blueness of the skin. Nitrate levels above 10 ppm may also affect the ability of the blood to carry oxygen in other individuals, such as pregnant women and those with certain specific enzyme deficiencies. If you are caring for an infant, or you are pregnant, you should ask for advice from your health care provider.


Water hardness is determined mainly by the presence of calcium and magnesium salts. Although hard water does not pose a health risk, it may be considered undesirable for other reasons. Some benefits of water softening are reductions in soap usage, longer life for water heaters and a decrease in encrustation of pipes; disadvantages are an increase in sodium intake, an increase in maintenance and servicing, and potential adverse effects on salt-sensitive plants. To convert hardness from ppm to grains per gallon, divide by 17.1. A hardness scale is provided below for your reference.

Hardness classification

Grains per gallon

mg/L or ppm


< 1.0

< 17.1

Slightly hard



Moderately hard






Very hard

> 10.5

> 180




Water supply map








The adjacent map indicates which








areas of the City are supplied









by SFPUC, Valley Water, or
















a mixture of the two. The
















colored regions correspond









to the colored columns







in the following table.













Groundwater wells,















which are not shown on










this map, are located











throughout the City.
























Local groundwater is






blended with surface



































water supplies from














SFPUC and Valley
















Water. SFPUC water is







fluoridated but Valley




Water and groundwater







supplies are not.























City of Sunnyvale Water Quality Report 2020

Page 4 of 7



Water quality test results







Groundwater Well

Valley Water









(AL), or

(MCLG), or









or [Max]


or [Max]


or [Max]




The City of Sunnyvale has instituted a comprehensive water quality monitoring program that encompasses City-owned wells and all water purchased from SFPUC and Valley Water. This program ensures that all of our customers receive water that complies with all regulatory criteria and that no maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) or action levels (ALs) for regulated chemicals, bacteria, or pollutants are exceeded.


Nitrate (as Nitrogen)


TOC (precursor control)



Giardia Lamblia



ppm ppm
































0.3 ND













3, 5, 6 3, 7, 8






90th Percentile

# of Samples Above AL






Disinfectant Residual as Chlorine


Total Trihalomethanes


Haloacetic Acids




Total Coliform Bacteria

% pos / month









[4] NA NA




Highest Location RAA






0 out of 50

0 out of 50







3, 17, 19 3, 17, 18








Odor – Threshold

Specific Conductance


Total Dissolved Solids





ppm ppm

























Range 56–66 1 473–534 60–73 268–326


8.7 ND 160 17 72







Sources* 11, 12, 14 13

14, 16

11, 12, 15

11, 12


To ensure water quality standards are met, drinking water samples are collected weekly throughout Sunnyvale and analyzed for a variety of regulated and unregulated contaminants. Samples

are tested by our certified laboratory and by an independent certified laboratory using the latest testing procedures and equipment. We collect more samples than required by the State Water Board to provide you with the highest quality of water at all times. In addition, the City’s wholesalers, SFPUC and Valley Water, conduct their own testing before delivering water to the City. Such measures help us to continue meeting established water quality standards.

The table to the right shows the results of the distribution system and source water analyses conducted by the City, SFPUC, and Valley Water. Water quality data are grouped by water source. In 2020 we conducted more than 20,000 tests for more than 80 parameters. We detected only 13 of these parameters, and none were detected at levels higher than the State Water Board allows.

Only the parameters detected are shown. Other constituents were analyzed but are not listed because they were not detected. Additionally, unregulated parameters are shown to provide you with supplemental information.

Some data—although representative—were collected prior to 2020, as the State Water Board requires monitoring for some constituents less than once per year since the concentrations do not vary frequently or significantly.



Haloacetic Acids 6c


Haloacetic Acids 9c






n-Butyl alcohol (1-butanol)d








Hardness (as Calcium Carbonate)






















1.4 ND ND







































City of Sunnyvale Water Quality Report 2020

Page 5 of 7

Definitions of key terms

Maximum contaminant level (MCL). The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. Primary MCLs are set as close to the PHGs (or MCLGs) as is economically and technologically feasible. Secondary MCLs are set to protect the odor, taste, and appearance of drinking water. MCLs are established by USEPA and the State Water Board.

Maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG). The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs are set by the USEPA.

Maximum residual disinfectant level (MRDL). The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

Maximum residual disinfectant level goal (MRDLG). The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

Notification level (NL). Notification levels are health-based advisory levels established by the State Water Board for chemicals in drinking water that lack MCLs. When chemicals are found at concentrations greater than their notification levels, certain requirements and recommendations apply.

Primary drinking water standard (PDWS). MCLs and MRDLs for contaminants that affect health along with their monitoring and reporting requirements and water treatment requirements.

Public health goal (PHG). The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. PHGs are set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Regulatory action level (AL). The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow.

Treatment technique (TT). A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Total organic carbon (TOC). TOC has no health effects. However, TOC provides a medium for the formation of disinfection byproducts including trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. Drinking water containing disinfection byproducts in excess of the MCL may lead to adverse health effects, liver or kidney problems, or nervous system effects and may lead to an increased risk of cancer.

Turbidity. Turbidity has no health effects. It is a measure of the clarity of the water and is monitored because it is a good indicator of water quality and the effectiveness of a filtration system. The MCL for turbidity is based on the TT. For unfiltered water, the MCL is 5.0 NTU. For filtered water, the MCL is ≤0.3 NTU 95% of the time.

Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR). UCMR requires monitoring for contaminants not currently regulated. This monitoring provides a basis for future regulatory actions to protect public health.

Waiver. State permission to decrease the monitoring frequency for a particular contaminant.


* Typical sources in drinking water


Degrees Celsius


Naturally present in the environment


Color unit


Soil runoff


Cysts per liter


Erosion of natural deposits


Division of Drinking Water


A degradation product of sodium hypochlorite used for disinfection




Water additive that promotes strong teeth


Not applicable


Discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories


Not detected


Runoff and leaching from fertilizer use


No standard


Leaching from septic tanks and sewage


Nephelometric turbidity unit


Byproduct of drinking water disinfection


Oocysts per liter


Various natural and man-made sources


parts per billion (micrograms per liter)


Runoff from natural deposits


parts per million (milligrams per liter)


Leaching from natural deposits


microSiemens per centimeter


Naturally-occurring organic materials

% pos

% positive


Seawater influence


Running annual average


Industrial wastes


Threshold odor number


Substances that form ions when in water


United States Environmental Protection Agency


Internal corrosion of household plumbing systems




Leaching from wood preservatives

Table Notes


Discharges from industrial manufacturers


Drinking water disinfectant added for treatment



a. For filtered water, the MCL is <0.3 NTU 95% of the time. b. For unfiltered Hetch Hetchy water, the MCL is 5.0 NTU. c. Levels in the distribution system.

d. Levels in the distribution system and groundwater wells.

e. Max value was identified at the SVWTP. All customers receive water blended with Hetch Hetch and SFPUC estimates that the blended value was 143 ppb.

City of Sunnyvale Water Quality Report 2020

Page 6 of 7

Health and education information
Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the USEPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline.
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons, such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy; persons who have undergone organ transplants; people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders; some elderly; and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice from their health care providers.
USEPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the USEPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline.
USEPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800) 426-4791
More information
For more information about this report or the City’s water quality monitoring program, please contact:
Joseph De la Cruz City of Sunnyvale
Water Operations Manager Tel: (408) 730-7900
TDD: (408) 730-7501
City of Sunnyvale Water Quality Report 2020
(888) 510-5151 (24 Hours)
American Water Works Association
Pollution Hotline
Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency
To Report Water Waste (408) 630-2000
Department of Water Resources
Access Valley Water Reporting and Requests
Division of Drinking Water Water Conservation (408) 630-2554
Valley Water Resources
Utility Division (Billing)
(408) 730-7400
Web Resources
Backflow and Cross-Connection Control Program
City of Sunnyvale
456 West Olive Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Tel: (408) 730-7500
TDD: (408) 730-7501
Hours of operation
8 am to 5 pm, Monday–Friday
Environmental Services Department (Leaks, Breaks, Water Quality Questions)
(408) 730-7900
City contacts
Important contact information

To get involved

To provide input on decisions that affect drinking water quality, you are welcome to speak on any issue specifically coming before the City Council at a regularly scheduled council meeting. You can also speak on any topic you wish to bring to the Council’s attention during the “Oral Communications” portion of the meeting agenda. Alternatively, you can send a letter in advance of a meeting.

City Council Meetings City Hall Council Chambers 456 West Olive Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94086 Tuesdays, 7 p.m.

A list of City Council meetings, agenda items and study issues can be obtained by visiting or by calling the City Clerk’s office at (408) 730-7483.

COVID-19 and drinking water

The USEPA and the CDC have reported that the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water and there is no evidence that it can be transmitted through water supply. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such

as those provided by SFPUC and Valley Water, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. Both SFPUC and Valley Water have assured their customers that there is no impact to water quality and water supply and that the rigorous standards with which they, and the City of Sunnyvale, monitor water quality will continue to assure that your water is safe to use and drink.

No PFAS detected

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and other chemicals. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. When found in drinking water, it is typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility). The City has proactively monitored for PFAS and we are very pleased to report that recent testing showed no detection of PFAS in the City’s water supply.

Page 7 of 7


City of Sunnyvale

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: 147055
  • Data available: 2012-2017
  • Data Source: Purchased surface water
  • Total: 20

Contaminants That Exceed Guidelines

  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Bromoform
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium (hexavalent)
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Dichloroacetic acid
  • Nitrate
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
  • Trichloroacetic acid

Other Detected Contaminants

  • Barium
  • Chlorate
  • Chlorodifluoromethane
  • Dibromoacetic acid
  • Fluoride
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
  • Molybdenum
  • Monobromoacetic acid
  • Monochloroacetic acid
  • Strontium
  • 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

Sunnyvale Tap Water

Many people are very concerned with the quality of their tap water in the United States and other parts of the world. It is simply not acceptable to consume tap water any time of day or night if you don’t have to. Many contaminants can be found in tap water, and many people have been sick from them. However, it is the government’s responsibility to provide us with the quality of our water that we need. All water must be deemed safe by state agencies before it can be used for drinking purposes or any other purpose.

One of the significant problems you will find when using your local water provider is that it uses chlorine to kill bacteria and viruses. While this may seem like a good thing, it can be very harmful to your health. Chlorine is used to disinfect water, but over time, chlorine can become cancer causing substance. That is why the best way to get clean water is by installing a home purification system that will filter out all of the impurities and leave you with pure water that you can use to wash your hands, shower, or do the dishes.

When shopping around for a home water filtering system, there are several things that you will want to take into consideration. You need to ensure that it will filter out any microscopic organisms that might be in your water. Also, you will want to make sure that it has a quality level that you can rely on. This means that you should look at what is contained in the system and make sure that it is high enough to provide you with the quality of water that you need. There are many different quality systems out there to choose from, so don’t be afraid to get information on them.

Sunnyvale Drinking Water

In many areas around the country, there is much concern over the use of so-called chlorate in drinking water. This is because it has been found that this synthetic element, together with several other elements, can cause unpleasant and even fatal consequences. Chromate is known to promote certain cancers. It has also been shown to affect the development of organs such as the liver and the kidneys. Additionally, it has been found that this synthetic element has several other harmful effects on human health; one of them is the fact that it can reduce the effectiveness of the body’s natural antioxidant protection system.

While there is much debate over the link between chromate and cancer, one undisputed thing is that it causes changes in a person’s blood chemistry. When it combines with other toxins, it can create various types of conditions, including an increased risk of developing cancer. Fortunately, a laboratory in Sunnyvale, California, has used several analytical techniques to determine if these concerns are valid. Through a series of tests, they have determined the levels of chromate in several local homes; the results came back at over two thousand and twenty-five parts per million, which is well above the state level of twenty-one parts per million.

The results showed that the amount of chromium in the water had little impact on a person’s overall health. However, it was found that those who were most vulnerable to chromium’s negative effects were those who lived in the southern part of the city. Those who lived in the north and central parts of Sunnyvale were found to be in better health because their bodies were not exposed to high levels of chromium. Other types of contaminants that were found in the study included lead, zinc, and manganese. Although other cities throughout the United States have encountered problems with their drinking water supplies, there are no plans to investigate the possibility of poisonous chromium crumbly.

Sunnyvale Water Quality

The City of Sunnyvale, California, has long been known for its beautiful weather and top-notch water quality. Sunnyvale is located on the slopes of the San Fernando Valley, giving the region the Mediterranean feel with warm temperatures year-round. With its location in the center of California’s financial district, many major companies have headquarters here. To ensure that the water supply for these companies remains undisturbed, city leaders put great emphasis on quality water supply. Since it is an expensive commodity, every facility must be cleaned and maintained at optimal efficiency.

Cleaning up the air in this region is essential to maintain healthy water quality. Sunnyvale’s smog test results are among the best in the nation, so this should come as no surprise. The air quality monitor at the local observatory does not even need manual testing as the air is monitored by computer throughout the year. Every time there is a smog reading, a high-pressure fan is activated that circulates the clean, fresh air in the building. Employees are also advised to turn their air conditioners off when they leave the office to avoid impurities inside the building.

This superior water quality is further enhanced by the various sources of city recycling, including paper, plastic bottles, cans, and paper plates. These are collected from the main water supplies of homes and offices. A separate wastewater collection system is also in place, responsible for managing all industrial waste materials like paint, varnish, paper, and aluminum cans. A different cooling and de-clogging plant are also in place to remove all sediment and dirt from the water system while keeping the water safe and clean.

Water in Sunnyvale

Although the water in Sunnyvale is treated, there have been reports over the years of some individuals using the water in their faucets without the proper filtration and disinfection. There are also concerns about animal wastes being flushed down the toilet in this city. Residents of this city are also very concerned about the presence of animal feces in the reservoir. The reservoir is located under the jurisdiction of the city water authority. The City of San Jose services it. This is one of two reservoirs that make up the city of Sunnyvale and is responsible for the water supply for about a hundred and fifty thousand residents.

Sunnyvale uses a stormwater runoff system to provide water for domestic use. However, in February of last year, the city received a public notice about the possible contamination of the water in Sunnyvale from an unknown source. In March of last year, this local water provider experienced an operational failure that sent raw, untreated water into contact with previously treated, potable water. San Jose temporarily suspended water use due to the contamination, which impacted both drinking and domestic water use. It is unknown when this contaminated water will be released once it is deemed safe to do so.

Because this is an ongoing situation, many residents have had to deal with drastic increases in their water bills. Suppose you live in the Sunnyvale area and have noticed an increase in your water bill. In that case, there is no need to panic as this is simply an instance of overdraft fees and a temporary crisis. It is important to remember that this city is one of only two water providers in the county. The rest of the county’s water resources are protected by the water authority of the surrounding region. There is no reason to panic because the water crisis has been resolved.

Sunnyvale Drinking Water Standards

What is your level of concern regarding the upcoming set of Sunnyvale drinking water standards? Under former mayor Tom Campbell, the city has become infamous in many circles as a lax city when it comes to the cleanliness of its water supply. An article in the San Jose Mercury News painted a rather grim picture of the condition of the city’s water supply: dirty, unpredictable, and often unsanitary. And this is just one story. There have been many documented cases where persons with chronic illnesses such as asthma have been hospitalized because of water-contaminated by Sunnyvale.

This all adds up to a severe lack of confidence in the ability of the city to protect its citizens from harm. The drinking water standards, which are being considered, will take care of such harm and emphasize making sure that our environment is healthy and safe for us to live in. Are we willing to live with that level of danger? The answer would be no. It will help if you demand better from your local governing body.

If you are a resident or know someone who is a resident of Sunnyvale and are concerned about the quality of their water, then make your voice heard by contacting your local members of the city council and the city manager. You can do so anonymously if you wish. Your concerns may not be addressed immediately in the city, but they will be listened to. Do not let up the ante, and continue to voice your opinion until your needs are met.

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