Drinking Water

New: BCPH has removed the Benzene sampling requirement for private wells in the Camp Fire burn area. View the Informational Document, June 19, 2020 (PDF).

State Water Resource Control Board Issues Advice for Standing Structures in the Camp Fire Burn Area

If you have questions about the State's water advice, please contact the State's Division of Drinking Water at 530-224-4800

The State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW), has released water quality advice for standing structures (PDF) located in areas damaged by wildfire, which includes the Camp Fire. The Health Department urges residents and business owners to review and consider this advice before consuming water.

Water Information for Re-opening Businesses in the Camp Fire Area

  • Contact Environmental Health for requirements.

Public Health Drinking Water Guidelines

Butte County Environmental Health works in many areas to support the State's goal of preserving and enhancing the quality of California's water resources for the benefit of present and future generations. Environmental Health plays a significant role in the enforcement of State statutes related to drinking water through the Public Water Systems Program and the permitting of individual wells, both private domestic and agricultural. Additionally, Environmental Health provides education about proper water well maintenance and sampling to assist you in maintaining the health of your family and property.

Public Water Systems

Butte County Environmental Health's (BCEH) Small Water Systems Program is designated as the Local Primacy Agency (LPA) responsible for the enforcement of State and Federal regulations. These regulations are designed to ensure that small public water systems deliver safe, adequate, and dependable (potable) drinking water. The LPA oversees all public water systems with less than 200 service connections and is involved with permitting, inspection, and water quality monitoring. BCEH currently has 86 small public water systems serving subdivisions, mobile home parks, schools, and businesses.

Visit the Public Water Systems page for more information.

Water Sampling

Water tests should be conducted regularly to help you become aware of a potential problem early so you can take steps to address and resolve it. Testing your water is important because harmful bacteria or chemicals that you cannot see, smell or taste could be present. As a guideline bacteriological tests should be conducted at least twice a year; Volatile Organic Compounds and Pesticides tests should be conducted at least once every three to five years, and Nitrates and Metals tests should be conducted at least once every five years. Water quality tests should be conducted by a professional, State certified laboratory. You may obtain laboratory information by calling the Butte County Environmental Health Office at 530-552-3880.

Visit the Water Sampling page for more information.

Private Water Wells - Residential & Ag

A modern water well is an engineered and constructed method of delivering groundwater for drinking, irrigation, and other purposes. In California, permitting authority over well drilling activities rests with the local well-permitting agency. In Butte County, the permitting agency is Environmental Health, and all wells must be drilled and constructed under a permit. Environmental Health permits both domestic and agricultural wells. California Water Code requires that any construction, alteration or destruction work done on a well shall be performed by a licensed C-57 Water Well Contractor.

Visit the Private Water Wells - Residential and Ag page for more information.

Water Well Maintenance & Care

Like any other aspect of property ownership, wells require regular, ongoing maintenance. Well-maintenance is important to the health of your family and property. Once a well is installed, maintenance of your well and regular testing of your water will help ensure your water is of high quality and safe to use. It is your responsibility to maintain your well, monitor your water quality and help protect the quality of drinking water in Butte County. Regular maintenance will not only ensure the safety of your water but will also alert you to any problems that need attention and ensure the continued efficient operation of your well.

Visit the Water Well Maintenance and Care page for more information.