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Municipal Water Quality Investigations Program

Program Manager:
Judith Heath 
Chief, Technical Services Section 
Water Quality Assessment Branch 
Division of Local Assistance 
1020 Ninth Street, 3rd floor 
Sacramento, CA 95814 
Phone: (916) 327-1672 
FAX: (916) 327-1648 

California Department of Water Resources

The Municipal Water Quality Investigations Program

	The mission of the Municipal Water Quality Investigations Program is to 
determine and evaluate the sources of contaminants that affect the drinking water
quality of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  The objectives of the program are
to alert water agencies about current and potential contaminants in Delta water
supplies, to assist water supply agencies in planning, protecting, and improving 
drinking water sources and water supply facilities, and to document water quality 
under a variety of hydrologic conditions for studying water transfer alternatives, 
water quality standards, and predictive modeling capabilities.  As part of the 
program, staff monitor total trihalomethane formation potential (TTHMFP), 
dissolved organic carbon (DOC), trace elements, minerals, pesticides and other 
important water quality constituents in the Delta. 

Program Background

	The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a source of drinking water to about 
two-thirds of the State's population.  In 1981, a Department of Water Resources
appointed scientific advisory panel recommended that, for the protection of human 
health, the drinking water quality of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta should be 
monitored and assessed.  The Department responded by forming the Interagency Delta 
Health Aspects Monitoring Program in 1982.  The program was renamed the Municipal 
Water Quality Investigations Program in 1990.

	Over the last fifteen years, the Program has achieved major milestones 
in identifying the sources of water quality problems in the Delta and assessing 
their significance on drinking water quality and water treatment.  Sources of 
water quality problems include bromide from seawater intrusion, wastewater 
effluents, island drainage and recreational activities.

Program Goals

	Through the years, the historical data record has grown such that the 
Program focus has shifted towards problem solving.  There is a deeper and broader 
focus on today's and tomorrow's water quality concerns.  Program resources are 
dedicated toward activities that will result in surface water improvement and 
management.  For example, studies are underway to see if changes in Delta 
agricultural practices could have Delta-wide benefits.  Farmers could save 
money in water pumping costs, and electrical utilities could meet demands 
without constructing new power plants.  Water utilities and consumers would 
save in treatment costs because of better raw water quality.  In addition, 
reduced irrigation water use may result in a larger water supply to meet other 
uses such as fisheries and recreation.

	The Program's new approach is to work closely and coordinate efforts 
with other watershed stakeholders and regulatory agencies in developing solutions 
for multiple and mutual benefits.  Because watersheds are connected, the 
activities within one affects another.  Programs to improve water quality in 
one watershed cannot be effective if the connection to upstream watersheds is 
not considered.  By allying with other programs and agencies, water quality 
improvements can be achieved more quickly and economically.  For example, 
pollution control programs that benefit aquatic life would also benefit human 
health and vice-versa.

	The Program is seeking to address three major water quality and water 
supply issues:

	1.  The ability of the Delta to meet multiple uses,

	2.  meet stricter new state and federal regulations, and,

	3.  maintain reliable clean water supplies.

	Through the active guidance of the Program advisors, a multitude of 
studies have been launched to specifically develop and test possible ways to 
meet their concerns.  Reservoirs of the State Water Project are being assessed 
in a sanitary survey for water quality protection.  Potential sources of pathogens 
are being identified to assess the risk to water utilities.  Regions and activities
 within and upstream of the Delta that could be candidates for adopting best 
management practices for pollution control are being identified and will be 
recommended to regulatory agencies for establishing voluntary or mandated programs.  
Predictive computer models are being developed to determine the costs of treating 
water at different locations in the Delta.  New instrumentation to provide 
"real-time water quality data" is being tested 1) to help develop upstream water 
quality management plans that could improve Delta water quality and 2) to measure 
the effects of new Delta flow and water quality standards.  

	Monitoring continues to be a vital part of water resources planning and 
water quality research, especially in view of changing environmental and drinking 
water quality regulations.  Additional monitoring of regulated and soon-to-be 
regulated chemicals is being conducted to assess the vulnerability of water 
supplies to these contaminants.  The feasibility of on-farm treatment of 
agricultural drainage and changes in farm water use and leaching practices are
being examined to reduce organic matter concentrations in farm drainage and runoff 
water.  And finally, steps to further improve the flow of communicating the 
Program's data and findings are continually occurring as technology develops.

	The Program is currently contributing to the CALFED process which is 
charged with "fixing the Delta."  For example, the MWQI Program is currently 
designing a special study to predict the water quality effects of flooding a 
Delta island.  The idea of flooding a Delta island is present in several of 
the Delta alternatives currently being considered by CALFED.

Program Resources

	The MWQI Program is managed in the Water Quality Assessment Branch of 
the Division of Local Assistance.  The Program budget is approximately 1.7 
million dollars which comes mainly from State Water Project funds.  Within 
the Water Quality Assessment Branch, a multidisciplinary staff is dedicated 
to the Program.  Approximately fifteen staff with expertise in water quality, 
toxicology, geology, agriculture, and technical support are drawn upon to 
conduct Program studies.  Dedicated field staff conduct extensive year round 
water quality monitoring associated with the Program.


	The following contains a list of the advisors to the MWQI Program:

Alameda County Flood Control & Water Conservation District, Zone 7
Alameda County Water District
Antelope Valley - East Kern Water Agency
California Department of Health Services
California Urban Water Agencies 
Central Coast Water Authority
City of Benicia
City of Vacaville
Contra Costa Water Authority
Kern County Water Agency
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Palmdale Water District
Santa Clara Valley Water District
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Notice- All MWQI data are considered to be unverified, until published in 
the MWQI annual reports.  

CONSTITUENT						METHOD                           			
MINERAL				                                                   (mg/L)
Calcium				EPA 215.1   AA Flame                               1
Magnesium                   242.1   AA Flame                                 	 1
Sodium                      273.1   AA Flame                                 	 1
Potassium                   258.1   AA Flame                               	0.1
Sulfate                     375.2 Colorimetric, Methythymol, Automated       	 1
Chloride                    325.2 Colorimetric, Ferricyanide, Automated      	 1
Nitrate                     353.2 Colorimetric, Cd-Reduction, Automated     	0.1
Fluoride                    340.2 Potentiometric ISE                        	0.1
Bromide                     300.0 Ion Chromatography                       	0.010
Boron                   USGS I-2115-85 Colorimetric, Azomethine, Automated  	0.1
Silica                  USGS I-1700-85 Colorimetric, Molybdate Blue        	0.1
Dissolved Solids        EPA 160.1 Gravimetric, 180oC                         	 1
Alkalinity                  310.1 Titrimetric                                	 1
pH                          150.1 Electrometric                        		0.1 pH Unit
Specific Conductance        120.1 Wheatstone Bridge                     		 1 umhos/cm
Turbidity                   180.1 Nephelometric (Hach)                    		 1 NTU
UV Absorbance at 254nm               -                                 	 0.001 abs/cm 
NUTRIENT                                                                      (mg/L)
Ammonia                 EPA 350.1 Colorimetric, Phenate, Automated         	0.01
Total Kjedahl Nitrogen      351.2 Colorimetric, Semi-Automated            		0.1
Nitrate                     353.2 Colorimetric, Cd-Reduction, Automated     	0.01
Nitrite                     353.2 Colorimetric, Automated                   	0.01
Nitrite + Nitrate           353.2 Colorimetric, Cd-Reduction, Automated     	0.01
Phosphate                   365.1 Colorimetric, Ascorbic Acid, Automated   	0.01
Phosphorus                  365.4 Colorimetric, Semi-Automated              	0.01

CONSTITUENT						METHOD                           REPORTING LIMIT
  METALS				                                                   (mg/L)
Aluminum				EPA 202.1   AA Flame, Direct                         1
Aluminum                    202.2   AA Furnace                              	  0.010
Arsenic                     206.3   AA, Hydride, Flameless                	 	  0.001
Barium                      208.1   AA Flame, Direct                        	   1
Cadmium                     213.2 AA Furnace                               	  0.005
Chromium                    218.2 AA Furnace                               	  0.005
Chromium (+6)               218.5 AA Furnace                               	  0.005
Cobalt                      219.2 AA Furnace                                	  0.005
Copper                      220.1 AA Flame, Direct                          	  0.1
Copper                      220.2 AA Furnace                                  	  0.005
Iron                        236.1 AA Flame, Direct                         	  0.1
Iron                        236.2 AA Furnace                               	  0.005
Lead                        239.2 AA Furnace                                	 0.005 
Lithium                 USGS I-1425-85 AA Flame, Direct                     	 0.05  
Manganese               EPA 243.1 AA Flame, Direct                          	 0.1   
Manganese                   243.2 AA Furnace                                	 0.005
Mercury                     245.1 AA, Flameless, Cold Vapor                 	 0.001
Molybdenum                  246.2 AA Furnace                                	 0.005
Nickel                      249.1 AA Flame, Direct                         	  0.1
Nickel                      249.2 AA Furnace                                 	 0.005
Selenium                    270.3 AA, Hydride, Flameless                    	 0.001
Silver                      272.2 AA Furnace                                	 0.005
Strontium               USGS I-1800-85 AA Flame, Dircet                    	 0.1
Vanadium                EPA 286.2 AA Furnace                                	 0.010
Zinc                        289.1 AA Flame, Direct                          	 0.1
Zinc                        289.2 AA Furnace                                	 0.005

CONSTITUENT						METHOD                           REPORTING LIMIT
ORGANICS				                                                   (mg/L)
Trihalomethane (THM)	    EPA 502.2 Purge and Trap, Gas                   	  1
    Potentials                        Chromatography (GC) 
1,2-Dibromoethane (EDB)         504   Gas Chromatograpy (GC)               	  0.02
1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane     504   Gas Chromatography (GC)               	   0.1
Volatile Organics               524.2 Purge and Trap, Gas Chromatography,  	   0.5
                                      Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)
Carbamates                      531.1 High Pressure Liquid                  	   2-4
                                      Chromatography (HPLC)
Glyphosate                      547   HPLC                                  	   100
Chlorinated Organic Pesticides  608   Gas Chromatography (GC)             		 0.01-
Organic Phosphorus Pesticides   614   Gas Chromatography (GC)             		 0.01-
Chlorinated Phenoxy Acid        615   Gas Chromatography (GC)               	   0.05

MISCELLANEOUS                                                               (mg/L)
Settleable Solids           EPA 160.5 Volumetric, Imhoff                   	    0.1
Suspended Solids                160.2 Gravimetric, 105oC                    	    0.1
Color                           110.2 Colorimetric, Pt-Co            	  5 Color Units
Methylene Blue Active           425.1 Colorimetric                         	    0.1
   Substances (MBAS)		
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)    410.2 Titrimetric, low-level                  		1
Oil and Grease                  413.1 Gravimetric, Extracction               		5  
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)  405.1 Incubation, 20oC                      	     0.1
Organic Carbon                  415.1 Wet Oxidation, IR, Automated          	     0.1
Tannin & Lignin             Std Methods 5550B, Colorimetric                 	     0.1
Volatile Suspended Solids   EPA 160.4 Gravimetric, 550oC                    	     0.1

Geographic Range of Field Work: N/A

Number of Sites: N/A

Period of Records: N/A

Sample Frequency per Unit Time : N/A

Size of Database: N/A

Field Sampling: N/A

Labratory Analysis: N/A