Where Does Our Water Come From?
Santa Rosa's tap water mostly comes from the Russian River, specifically wells near the Russian River. We also use ground water, recycled water and water-use efficiency as alternative water supplies. As you can see from the picture below, Santa Rosa's water infrastructure is complex. Click on the map for an interactive version.
Frequently Asked Questions
• What is the difference between Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) and the City of Santa Rosa Utilities Department? SCWA is a water wholesaler- they sell water to Santa Rosa, Cotati, Petaluma and other cities in Sonoma County and North Marin. The City of Santa Rosa Utilities Department purchases water from SCWA for delivery to Santa Rosa ratepayers. The Utilities Department delivers fresh water, collects and treats waste water and reclaims the waste water.
• How clean is Santa Rosa's tap water? Santa Rosa meets or exceeds all health-based standards for tap water quality. If you would like more information on Santa Rosa's drinking water quality, click here. If you like more information on Sonoma County Water Agency (Santa Rosa's wholesaler), click here.
• How often is Santa Rosa tap water tested? Santa Rosa meets or exceeds health-based standards for tap water quality. Santa Rosa tap water is collected and tested at least 120 times per month through the City's distribution system. More water quality information here.
• Does Santa Rosa add fluoride to the water? No, Santa Rosa does not add fluoride to our tap water but there is naturally occurring fluoride in the supply of about 0.14 mg/L. For more information about fluoride in Santa Rosa drinking water, click here.
• Does Santa Rosa chlorinate the water? No, Santa Rosa does not add chlorine to the drinking water however Sonoma County Water Agency does chlorinate the water to provide residual disinfection throughout the transmission system.
• Which is better: bottled water or tap water? Tap water is better to drink because our water is of excellent quality, carefully monitored, and affordable.
When we look at issues such as quality, monitoring and affordability, we see that bottled water doesn't always measure up. Some brands of bottled water may be of excellent quality, but others can have inferior quality or they may be simply taken from municipal water supplies. All of the bottled waters are more expensive than tap. For the price of one small bottle of water, you would be able to buy about 340 gallons of tap water.
There are also fewer government regulations to guide the bottled water industry. Monitoring requirements aren't as stringent as are those for tap water. For quality, consistency and affordability, tap water is the better choice.
Want more information about drinking tap water? Visit our Take it From the TAP page.