August 29, 2014: An Overview of Our Water’s Sampling and Testing Practices

The Water Department continues to receive and appropriately respond to complaints regarding the taste and odor of the water in Coalinga. City Staff would like to assure customers that their water is safe to drink.  There continues to be no hazardous conditions affecting the community’s water supply other than the drought’s affects to water quality in the State and Federal surface water systems, warm water conditions - normal for this time of year, and water conservation efforts.  Water suppliers, like the City have to perform daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually sampling and testing of the water as required by the State and Federal Government, which reaffirms and ensures the safety of our water to the community before it reaches your faucet. Water suppliers, including the City of Coalinga, are required to: watch, monitor, record and test, for many different parameters and constituents in the water at the water plant and in the water distribution systems and report the findings to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) monthly and to our Customers annually in the form of the Annual Water Quality Statement, which is included in your Utility Bill typically around July each year. This report is known as the Annual Water Quality Statement.  It shares and summarizes the results of the last 12 months of water sampling and testing, and how our water quality compares to regulatory requirements.

The City Water Department has a “Sampling Plan” that outlines where and when we test the water. The Sampling Plan is reviewed and approved by the SWRCB Water Engineers.  The City’s sample sites are placed throughout the City in accordance to the Sampling Plan and are constructed to State and Federal Standards.  It is at these sample sites we conduct routine and special sampling of the water we provide our customers.  The sample sites along with all of the components of the water system are inspected by SWRCB Inspectors. Water suppliers, like the City,do not normally take water samples at a home because the condition of any particular home’s plumbing it is not known and can affect the water sample’s integrity.  SWRCB guidelines for sampling sites require that routine samples be taken from an approved sampling site constructed to certain specifications. 

Water suppliers, like the City, are required to sample from a homeowner’s plumbing or faucetto test for Lead and Copper concentrations under regulation.  But for Lead and Copper sampling, there are approved sampling locations (homes) that meet criteria set by the Federal Government and State, which require monitoring for Lead and Copper at the customer’s faucet. 

On a weekly basis, water samples are collected from the sampling sites to be tested for bacteriological content and the disinfectant level is measured.  These samples are taken following a specific protocol and delivered to a State Approved Laboratory.  The results are reported to the City and directly to the State.  The purpose for weekly bacteria tests of your drinking water is that every water professional from City, to  State, and Federal Government is  very concerned about the  bacteria content of a water supply, which could make someone or a lot of people ill, and right away.  If during routine weekly sampling for bacteria shows that the water sample exceeds the limit and a second sample confirms it, we are required to notify the public right away and issue a "do not drink" or "boil water notice" because people can get sick right away from a bacteriological contamination.   This has not happened in our water system because we disinfectant the water and monitor for disinfectant levels regularly.

The smell and taste issue we are facing now is due to algae and does not pose a health risk.  Taste and odor, under drinking water regulations prescribed by the State and Federal Government is an aesthetic issue. You will not become ill due to smell and taste. 

The SWRCB staff is telling us that we are not alone as other water providers are facing the same issue with taste and odor. In San Diego, KBPS published a report on May 12 2014 indicating that San Diego County was dealing with musty tasting and smelling water.  The report stated: "Unfortunately, people with sensitive taste and smell can detect the compound in water at levels as low as 5 parts-per-trillion," he said. "By comparison, 1 part-per-trillion is equivalent to just 10 drops of geosmin (an odor causing form of algae) in enough water to fill the Rose Bowl."


The report can be viewed at:


The Metropolitan Water District, a major water provider in the Los Angeles basin to many cities stated in a report dated June 20, 2014: "Consumers in portions of three Southern California counties may detect an earthy and musty taste and odor in their tap water, but water quality experts stressed it is an aesthetic problem and not a health issue. "


The report can be viewed at:


The Water Department continues to explore methods and processes with the SWRCB Engineers to address our taste and odor issue.  The Water Department is always available to help and can be reached by calling 559-935-1533. 

The San Francisco SPCA And The Humane Society Of The United States Herald Coalinga’s Commitment To Animal Welfare Improvements

June 6, 2016 – With financial, training and moral support from the San Francisco SPCA (SF SPCA) and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the City of Coalinga Animal Shelter today dismantled its gas chamber for good. Believed to be the last remaining shelter in California using any method other than the industry standard “euthanasia by injection,” Coalinga’s move paves the way for California to enact Assembly Bill 2505 (AB 2505) authored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), which would outlaw the use of carbon dioxide to kill dogs and cats in California.

Chief Michael Salvador of the Coalinga Police Department, which runs the shelter, has been very receptive to ending this practice and to making other improvements to the shelter’s animal care programs. “I am very grateful to the SF SPCA and HSUS for the training and support they have provided,” said Chief Salvador “With their mentorship and generosity, we are making meaningful changes to improving the quality of animal care in Coalinga.”

“This is a big step forward for shelter animals in Coalinga,” said Brandy Kuentzel, the SF SPCA’s Director of Advocacy, who is in Coalinga today to celebrate the milestone and load up dogs and cats to bring back for veterinary care and adoption in the Bay Area. “The use of carbon dioxide causes tremendous animal suffering and poses a major health concern for shelter employees.”


SF SPCA and The HSUS are working with Assemblyman Quirk to pass AB 2505, which the Assembly approved unanimously. AB 2505 will be heard on June 14th by the Senate Public Safety Committee. Chief Salvador is planning to testify at the hearing in support of the bill.

“I applaud Chief [last name] and the city of Coalinga for boldly stepping up to end this practice and commit to treating homeless pets with dignity and care,” said Assemblyman Quirk. “I look forward to meeting Chief Salvador when he is in Sacramento next week.”

The HSUS is committed to ending the use of gas chambers nationwide. Twenty-one stateshave complete bans, while five states are known to have chambers in active use.  

“We are so pleased to provide a grant to the City of Coalinga for taking this important step today,” said Courtney Fern, California state director and community relations liaison for The HSUS, who handed Chief [last name] a check for $5,000 today during the ceremony. “We hope these funds can help the shelter meet life-saving goals.”

The SF SPCA is pleased to have provided several thousand dollars’ worth of training and equipment to assist Coalinga in making this transition. And today’s mobile transport of homeless pets is the second set of Coalinga animals that SF SPCA has helped find forever homes through their adoption center. SF SPCA is also grateful to the Marin Humane Society for their training of Coalinga animal shelter staff.


About The San Francisco SPCA

The San Francisco SPCA is an independent, community-supported, non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving, protecting and providing immediate care for cats and dogs who are homeless, ill or in need of an advocate. The SF SPCA also works long-term to educate the community, reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies through spaying and neutering, and improve the quality of life for animals and their human companions. The organization does not receive government funding and is not affiliated with any national organization.

August 20, 2014: Taste and Odor in Coalinga Water Caused by Algae Blooms

The Water Department has received and responded to several complaints regarding the taste and odor of the water in Coalinga. City Staff would like to assure customers that their water is safe to drink; daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual water sampling and testing, as required by the State and Federal government, reaffirms and ensures the safety of our water to the community before it reaches your faucet. The taste and odor issue can be attributed to non-toxic algae present in our water supply, which comes from the Coalinga Canal. The warm weather and the continued drought are contributors to this problem.  The problem is not unique to Coalinga as other water utilities throughout the State are dealing with similar algae issues.  The Water Department is exploring methods and processes with the State Water Resources Control Board – Division of Drinking Water engineers to deal with this problem. In the meantime, refrigerating the water in an open container may help in reducing the taste and odor.  The Water Department is always available to help you by phone at 559-935-1533.