Included below are fact sheets and brochures with detailed information on a number of interesting topics including PFAS, chloramine, chromium-6, disinfection byproducts (DBPs), and fluoride. New or updated brochures and fact sheets will be posted on this page as they become available.

    PFAS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What are PFAS?

    Poly and Per- fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a group of thousands of different synthetic (human made) chemicals developed in the 1940s for use in the manufacture of a variety of goods like carpeting, packaging (including food packaging), non-stick cookware, paints, personal care products, and fire-retardant. PFAS are designed to make products more resistant to water, oil, stains, and heat. They have raised health and environmental concerns, and have been dubbed “forever chemicals” because they are difficult to break down.

    There are thousands of PFAS, including six that have been regulated, or are being considered for regulation, on the federal and state level:

    perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), 
    perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), 
    perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), 
    perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), 
    perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), 
    and hexafluoropropylene oxide (HFPO) aka GenX.

    What are the health effects of PFAS? 

    According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), PFAS can accumulate over time in a person’s body. Studies indicate potential health consequences from exposure to significant levels of PFAS. Health effects may include high cholesterol, liver and thyroid cancer, immunotoxicity, pregnancy-induced hypertension, low birth weights, and decreased fertility. Additional information about PFAS can be found on the EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/pfas.

    How are people exposed to PFAS?

     PFAS can be present in food and beverages due to environmental contamination, processing equipment, and packaging. PFAS have been used to create consumer products that are non-stick, stain-repellant, or water-repellant. In circumstances where drinking water is contaminated with PFAS, it is typically due to source contamination from manufacturing, waste disposal facilities, or the use of fire-fighting foams.

    Are there PFAS in LADWP’s drinking water?

    Customers can be confident that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is providing high quality drinking water. The six PFAS compounds that are currently regulated or being considered for regulation—PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, PFHxS, PFNA, and HFPO—have not been detected in the City of Los Angeles’ distribution system that provides our customers’ tap water. LADWP continues to serve customers high-quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all regulatory standards. What is LADWP doing to monitor its water supply for PFAS? LADWP has been monitoring and testing for PFAS in its water sources and distribution system in accordance with federal and state guidance and industry standards. Our testing program reflects our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of water quality and safety for our customers. As we do with other potential contaminants, LADWP will test for and monitor PFAS while working with regulatory agencies to safeguard water quality. This includes coordinating with the California Division of Drinking Water (DDW) to monitor the City’s groundwater wells. LADWP also actively engages with peer utilities and leading researchers to stay at the forefront of effective PFAS treatment methods in drinking water and be prepared to respond effectively should the need ever arise in the future.

    What are regulators doing about PFAS?

    At the regulatory level, two PFAS compounds (PFOA and PFOS) have already been phased out of production in the United States, but consumer products fabricated using them are still imported from abroad. A comprehensive approach to mitigate harmful PFAS effects is being developed by the EPA, which includes proposed drinking water federal Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). The proposed regulation would include specific monitoring, public notification, and treatment requirements for PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, PFHxS, PFNA, and HFPO, among others. In California, PFAS Notification Levels (NLs) and Response Levels (RLs) have been established, which describe actions that are taken when those levels are reached or exceeded. It is anticipated that state MCLs will be established by California after Public Health Goals (PHGs) are finalized. California PFAS regulatory limits may be the same or more stringent than federal requirements.

    Additional Resources:

    www.epa.gov/pfas

    www.waterboards.ca.gov/pfas/

    LADWP Water Quality page

    LADWP Water Quality Hotline: (213) 367-3182
     

    Updated September 14, 2016

    Introduction

    On August 7, 2015, President Obama signed a law amending the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The amendment calls for a plan to assess and manage harmful algal blooms and algal toxins which may affect the public drinking water supply. The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), lead agency for the SDWA, is instructed to develop the plan within 90-days.

    The legislation was prompted by an algal toxin event in Toledo, Ohio in August 2014. The event is believed to have originated in Lake Erie, where algal blooms are not uncommon. In response to the event, Toledo Public Utilities issued a “Do Not Drink” order, delivering bottled water for several days to 400,000 affected customers for drinking, cooking, and washing dishes.

    Scientists believe that nutrient pollution, increasing water temperature, and higher levels of carbon dioxide may be contributing to an increase in the number, and intensity, of harmful algal blooms and algal toxin events in recent years.

    Algae and Cyanobacteria

    Algae are simple plants that can range in size from microscopic to giant kelp. Most algae are an important component in marine and freshwater ecosystems, providing the foundation of many aquatic food chains. The microscopic group of algae includes cyanobacteria, which are often referred to as blue-green algae, but which are in fact bacteria.

    Most microscopic algae and cyanobacteria are photosynthetic, using sunlight, carbon dioxide, and a few nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorous, to grow. Algae and cyanobacteria typically grow in vast masses called algal blooms. Algal blooms may also benefit from water stagnation, low flows, and high ambient temperatures. Algal blooms can grow extremely fast, if conditions are right. Freshwater algae and cyanobacteria can be found in rivers, lakes, and bays, especially in summer months.

    Algal blooms can look like scum or mats of growth at or near the water surface. They can also color the water green, brown, or red and impart foul odors. Thus, freshwater algal blooms can cause taste and odor, and appearance problems in drinking water supplies.

    If algal blooms get too large, they can compromise the water environment by depleting oxygen and blocking sunlight, necessary for other aquatic life, causing massive die-off of higher aquatic life.

    Algal Toxins

    Most algae are harmless. However, cyanobacteria can produce algal toxins which can adversely affect humans and animals. Algal toxins can be excreted or released with the disruption of the cyanobacterial cell. Algal toxins which occur more often and are better understood include anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, and microcystin.

    Thousands of cyanobacteria species exist; each can produce more than one toxin. For example, three commonly occurring species; Anabaena, Cylindrospermum, and Microcystis can each produce anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, and microcystin, respectively.

    Exposure & Health Effects

    Exposure to cyanobacteria and their toxins can occur through recreational contact (diving, jet skiing, swimming, or wading) through; dermal contact, inhalation, or incidental ingestion. Symptoms of recreational exposure may include; allergic reactions, eye and skin irritation, headache, muscle or joint pain, stomach ache and cramps, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and respiratory arrest.

    Ingestion of contaminated drinking water is another route of exposure. Symptoms of ingestion may include; stomach ache and cramps, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe effects can include; respiratory arrest, seizures, kidney and liver failure.

    For more information on health effects please see the US Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB)-Associated Illness.

    Advisory

    In May 2015, US EPA issued a drinking water Health Advisory for two algal toxins; cylindrospermopsin and microcystin. A Health Advisory is not a regulation; it provides guidance to federal, state, and local agencies, and public water systems for non-regulated contaminants, in the interest of public health.

    The May 2015 advisory recommends a ten-day limit of exposure for each toxin at a specific concentration in drinking water, dependent on age:

    Toxin Age Level
    cylindrospermopsin Under Six Years 0.7 µg/L
      Six years and older 3.0 µg/L
    microcystin Under six years 0.3 µg/L
      Six years and older 1.6 µg/L


    One microgram per Liter (µg/L) is the equivalent of 1 part per billion or 1 pint in 120 million gallons.

    US EPA cautions that consuming water above the advisory levels may lead to stomach ache and cramps, vomiting, diarrhea. More severe effects may be liver and kidney damage.

    Protect Yourself

    To avoid potential exposure to cyanobacteria and algal toxins:

    • Do not recreate (dive, jet ski, swim, or wade) in water affected by algal blooms
    • Do not drink, cook, or wash dishes with water from affected water bodies
    • Do not eat aquatic animals from affected water bodies, including birds
    • Keep pets away from affected water bodies
    • Common purification methods (camping filters, tablets, and boiling) are not effective against algal toxins.

    Granular activated carbon filters are effective in treating water for both cyanobacteria and algal toxins. Please remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any water filter.

    If you are exposed to water affected by cyanobacteria or algal toxins; rinse with clean, fresh water as soon as possible. Seek medical attention if you believe you have ingested cyanobacteria or algal toxins, especially if you experience any of the symptoms listed above.

    The CDC recently launched One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System to collect information and tract human and animal illness associated with harmful algal blooms. Additionally, the California Water Quality Monitoring Council has unveiled its seventh MyWaterQuality web portal, which includes information on harmful algal blooms, aquatic ecosystem health, the safety of fish and shellfish, and swimming conditions in the State of California.

    The Plan

    To fulfill its mandate of formulating a plan to assess and manage algal blooms and toxins, the US EPA is working closely with all federal, state, and local agencies, and public water systems to gather nation-wide information on occurrence, identification criteria, analytical methods, and treatment options. We are actively participating in this process.

    With the information gathered, US EPA will establish a database to:

    • Identify harmful cyanobacteria species
    • Compile a comprehensive list of potentially harmful algal toxins
    • Develop algal toxin measuring techniques
    • Evaluate the potential risk to human health and the health effects of new algal toxins
    • Examine factors that may contribute to algal bloom formation and ways to forecast blooms
    • Review treatment methods, and alternatives, to improve algal bloom control and eliminate algal toxins in drinking water

    Your Water Supply

    Cyanobacteria are rarely detected in our source waters. We have a comprehensive Water Quality Monitoring Plan which includes; routinely inspecting our water sources for signs of algal blooms, testing our water for algae and cyanobacteria, and treating affected source waters to control algal blooms. We also routinely screen our source water for algal toxins.

    In addition, several of the water treatment processes utilized at the Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant; filtration, ozone, and chlorination are effective in eliminating algae, cyanobacteria, and algal toxins from drinking water.

    Together, our water monitoring plan and treatment processes provide multiple layers of protection for your drinking water.

    For more information on harmful algal blooms and algal toxins, please see the EPA’s Harmful Algal Blooms
     

    Regulations

    There are regulations that limit lead in air, dust, gasoline, industrial waste, paint, and water.

    • In 1986, Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) prohibiting the use of pipe and solder (a soft metal used to join pipe) which are not “lead-free” in public water systems or facilities providing drinking water for human consumption. At that time, lead-free was defined as no more than 0.2% in solder and 8% in pipe.

       

    • In 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) published a regulation to control both lead and copper in public drinking water. The regulation is known as the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). The intent of the LCR is to limit exposure to elevated levels of lead and copper by controlling the corrosiveness of public drinking water. It is the responsibility of the public water agency to ensure that their water is not too corrosive.

       

    • In 1996. Congress further amended the SDWA requiring that plumbing fittings and fixtures be in compliance with lead leaching standards and prohibiting the sale of any pipe and plumbing fitting or fixture that is not lead-free.

       

    • In 2011, Congress amended the SDWA again, creating the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act. The act newly defines lead-free as a maximum of 0.25% lead, by weighted average, for plumbing material (pipe, pipe fittings and fixtures) used in conveying water for human consumption. Lead-free solder remains at 0.2%.
       

    Lead and Copper Rule

    The Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) requires that public water agencies test water at specified locations; in their source waters, the distribution system, and at customer taps (customer's faucet).

    The LCR also establishes Action Levels (ALs) for lead and copper. The AL for lead is 15 micrograms per Liter (µg/L) or part per billion (ppb). The AL for copper is 1,300 ppb. A ppb is the equivalent of 1-pint in 120 million gallons. The ALs for lead and copper are based on 90th percentile level of customer tap water samples, which means that only 10% of taps tested can have levels higher than the AL. Exceeding the AL triggers required actions by the public water agency. Those actions may include; increased monitoring, source water treatment, corrosion control, distribution system changes, and public education.

    The City of Los Angeles has been in compliance with the LCR since its inception in 1991. Due to the size of our system, we are required to sample a minimum of 100 homes. In preparation for the LCR we were also required to establish a list of residences whose plumbing fit the required profile for sampling; homes with copper pipe installed using lead solder between 1982 and 1986. Compiling the list of qualified homes required an exhaustive manual search of Department of Building and Safety permit records. In addition, recruiting customers to participate in the LADWP “Residence Sampling Team” was challenging. The sampling process requires excellent communication and coordination between the LADWP and our volunteer sampling partners. As a result of everyone’s efforts our LCR program has been a success.

    At The Tap Sampling

    The most important aspect of the LCR is sampling at the customer’s tap. The customer is asked to select a regularly used tap source (example: kitchen or bathroom faucet) to be sampled. A method called “first-draw” is used when collecting the sample. A first-draw sample is collected after a tap (faucet) has not been used for at least six hours. The sampler (customer) must capture the water as the tap is first turned on. Standing water reacts with plumbing to draw out metals. The goal of first-draw sampling is to measure the levels of lead and copper the home's plumbing can contribute.

    Sampling Procedure

    Please see LADWP’s 2015 LCR Customer Sampling Instruction Sheet.

    The LCR requires that each participating customer be provided with their sample results within 30 days of receiving the results from the laboratory. Additionally, if a sample exceeds the AL for either lead or copper, the customer must be provided with information on ways to lower the risk of exposure. All sample results are reported to state and federal regulators.

    If results exceed an AL in the 90th percentile of samples collected, we are required to take action to mitigate the exceedance. As mentioned above, actions may include; increased monitoring, source water treatment, corrosion control, distribution system changes, and public education.

    Results
    The most recent residential sampling was conducted during the summer of 2015. Consistent with past years, both the lead and copper levels were well below their respective Action Level. The 90th percentile for lead was 6.3 ppb and 579 ppb for copper. Please see the 2015 Residential Sampling Results.

    LADWP informed all participating customers of their results for both lead and copper and offered additional information on how customers could further reduce the levels of lead and copper in their tap water.

    Our System

    Source water and distribution system testing, shows that lead and copper is not a problem in the water delivered to all the LADWP customers. Lead is not found in our source waters. Ambient levels of lead in our distribution system are extremely low at a range of 0 – 4 ppb. Copper is found in our source waters and distribution system at very low levels, ranging from 6 – 34 ppb in our source water and 1 – 303 ppb in our distribution system.

    Even though we are in compliance with the LCR, we have taken additional measures to minimize lead in our distribution system and improve overall water quality by:

    • Installing plumbing components which meet the National Sanitary Foundation's (NSF) ANSI 61 Standard. The standard establishes health effects criteria for water system components including; fittings, valves, and pipe. NSF is an independent, accredited, health and safety organization.

       

    • Completing our Lead “Gooseneck” Connector Replacement Program in 2005. The gooseneck is a small segment of pipe which connects the water service-line to the water meter. They are called “goosenecks” because their stretched S-like shape. Goosenecks were made with lead because of its flexibility. All goosenecks were replaced with copper connectors.

       

    • Completing our Cement Relining Program in 2006. The program was initiated to improve overall water quality by re-lining cast-iron mains in the city with cement mortar. The mortar acts as a barrier between the cast-iron pipe and fittings, and the water reducing corrosion of iron and other metals. Relining also extends the life of the water main. The program results equal cleaner, higher quality water in the distribution system.

       

    • Initiating a Meter Replacement Program in 1998. The program goal is to replace all of our meters with lead-free (0.25%) meters. There are more than 693,000 water meters in our system. More than 402,000 have been replaced, at a replacement rate of 25,000 meters per year. The meters being replaced are low-lead (2%) meters. In addition to further reducing lead, the new meters are more accurate and efficient; resulting in substantially reduced billing errors, saving money and improving customer service.

       

    • Implementing a state-approved corrosion control program utilizing zinc orthophosphate to lower measureable amounts of lead at customer taps. We have operated a small corrosion control facility in Watts since the 1990s. The western Los Angeles facility has been in operation since 2010. A third facility came on-line in 2015 in the Hollywood area. Over the next several years corrosion facilities will be constructed for the Valley and Central areas of the city. The Eastern and Harbor areas receive water from the Metropolitan Water District, which has an active corrosion control program.


    Your Water

    The water we deliver to you has very little, to no lead. That being said, there may be two potential sources of lead in your home. The most common source may be your faucet. Some manufacturers previously used metal alloys that contain a significant amount of lead. When water remains in the faucet, without being used for several hours, lead from the faucet can dissolve into the water. Then, when you turn the faucet on, the water that comes out for the first 20 or 30 seconds may contain lead. Copper pipes joined with lead-based solder in your plumbing system, is another potential source of lead. This source should not be significant if your home was built after 1990, because the use of lead-based solder for potable water systems was banned in the United States in 1986.

    Here are a few simple steps you can follow to minimize your exposure to lead from your faucet:

    • If a faucet has not been used for more than six hours, let the cold water run for about one minute before using the water for cooking or drinking. You may want to save this water for plants or washing dishes.

       

    • Do not use hot tap water for cooking or drinking. Lead dissolves more readily from pipes that carry hot water.

       

    • Periodically (approximately every three months) remove the faucet aerator, let the hot water run for 30 seconds to flush out debris, clean the aerator and reinstall.

       

    • If you replace a faucet, select a new one that complies with the provisions of the National Sanitary Foundation's (NSF) ANSI 61 Standard. Compliance is usually identified on the package.

       

    • If you determine there may be lead in your tap water, check the list of faucets complying with this standard (certified lead-free water faucets and plumbing materials) at the NSF's Certified Plumbing Products List or by calling NSF at 1-(800) 673-6275.

       

    • Check that any faucet you are planning to purchase is NSF approved.

       

    • If you choose a water filter, please remember to follow the installation and maintenance instructions very carefully. An improperly installed or poorly maintained filter can adversely affect the quality of your water. NSF also certifies filtration systems, please see the NFS's Certified Drinking Water Treatment Units.
       

    If you would like to test the water in your home or business, services are available from private laboratories. A lead test usually costs around $50. You can obtain references for qualified laboratories by contacting our Water Quality Customer Service Hotline at (213) 367-4941 or the California State Water Resources Control Board, Laboratory Accreditation Program at (916) 323-3431.

    If your home meets the US EPA site criteria, we invite you to join the LADWP’s LCR Residence Sampling Team. Your home will be tested for lead and copper for free. To sign-up please contact us at waterquality@ladwp.com.

    Additional Information

    For more information on potential sources of lead exposure, please go to the US EPA's: Protect Your Family From Exposures to Lead
    For information on health effects, please go to the Centers for Disease Control/Lead
    For more information on lead regulations, please to the US EPA's Lead Regulations
    For more specific information on the LCR, please go to the US EPA's: Lead and Copper Rule
    For more information on your drinking water, please go to: Drinking Water Quality Report

    The four pamphlets included below provide information on where lead can be found in and around your home:

    Please note: Some of the phone organizations and phone numbers listed in these pamphlets may no longer be in service.

    Lead in Drinking Water – Frequently Asked Questions

    Updated August 25, 2016

    Is lead normally found in drinking water?
    No. Although lead can be found in water, drinking water sources do not typically contain high levels of naturally-occurring lead. Plumbing materials are the major source of lead in drinking water. Sometimes water can cause plumbing to corrode introducing lead and other metals into the water.

    Is there lead in the water delivered to me?
    Source water and distribution system testing indicate that lead is rarely found in the water delivered to you.

    How is lead in drinking water regulated?
    The regulation is known as the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). The intent of the LCR is to limit exposure to lead and copper by controlling the corrosiveness of tap water. It is the responsibility of the pubic water agency to ensure that their water is not corrosive. The LCR also establishes Action Levels (ALs) for lead and copper at the customer tap. The AL for lead is 15 parts per billion (ppb). The AL for copper is 1,300 ppb. For more information please visit EPA's Lead & Copper Rule.

    How does LCR implementation limit exposure to lead?
    The LCR requires LADWP to test water at specified locations – our source waters, the distribution system, and at customer taps. The most important testing is done at the customer tap. If the AL for lead or copper is exceeded in more than 10% of customer tap samples, we must take action. Actions can include: source water treatment, corrosion control, distribution system changes, and public education.

    What is LADWP doing to lower my exposure to lead?
    Even though we are in compliance with the LCR, we have taken additional measures to minimize lead in our distribution system and improve overall water quality by:

    • Using only lead-free components (fittings, valves, and pipe) in our water distribution system.
    • Removing all known flexible lead service connections.
    • Completing a cement mortar lining program. The cement mortar minimizes corrosion.
    • Initiating a Meter Replacement Program to replace all of our meters with lead-free (0.25%) meters which is 70% completed.
    • Implementing a state-approved corrosion control program to lower measurable amounts of lead at customer taps. Corrosion control facilities use orthophosphate or zinc orthophosphate to protect our pipes and your plumbing.

    Where can lead come from in my plumbing and what can I do to minimize my exposure?
    The most common source may be your faucet. Some manufacturers previously used metal alloys that can contain a significant amount of lead. Copper pipes joined with lead-based solder are another potential source of lead. This source should not be significant if your home was built after 1990, because the use of lead-based solder for potable water systems was banned in 1986.

    Here are a few simple steps you can follow to minimize your exposure to lead from your faucet:

    • If a faucet has not been used for more than six hours, let the cold water run for about one minute before using the water for cooking or drinking. You may want to save this water for plants or washing dishes.
    • Do not use hot tap water for cooking or drinking. Lead dissolves more readily from pipes that carry hot water.
    • Periodically (approximately every three months) remove the faucet aerator, let the cold and hot water run at full flow for 30 seconds - 2 minutes to flush out debris, clean the aerator and reinstall.
    • If you replace a faucet, select a new one that complies with the provisions of National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 61. Compliance is usually identified on the package. A list of faucets complying with this standard can be found at NSF or (800) 673-6275.

    For more information about your drinking water please go to Water Quality or call (213) 367-3182.  
     

    Background

    The element bromide occurs naturally in drinking water sources. Bromide can be converted to bromate in water treated with ozone. Water treated at the Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant (LAAFP) is routinely analyzed for bromate because our source waters are known to contain bromide and ozone is used in our treatment process. Bromide is not regulated. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has set a limit for bromate in drinking water at 10 micrograms/Liter (µg/L). One µg/L is the equivalent of 1 part per billion (ppb). One ppb is the equivalent of one pint in 120 million gallons of water. LAAFP effluent averages less than 5.0 µg/L bromate.

    After water is treated at the LAAFP, a secondary disinfectant is required to ensure the safety of the treated water as it travels through the distribution system; reservoirs, tanks, pipelines, and ultimately to your tap. Three chemicals are approved by the US EPA as secondary disinfectants; chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and chloramine. Prior to our 2014 system-wide conversion to chloramine, chlorine was used as our secondary disinfectant.

    Before 2009, six of our distribution reservoirs remained uncovered or “open-air” reservoirs. Our uncovered reservoirs contained chlorinated water and were often treated with additional chlorine, but not ozone, to control algae.

    In 2007, elevated levels of bromate were detected at three uncovered reservoirs; Elysian, Ivanhoe, and Silver Lake. The bromate levels at these reservoirs were higher than the levels detected in LAAFP effluent and exceeded the limit set by US EPA. Water sent to the three reservoirs typically includes treated groundwater blended with surface water from the LAAFP. Groundwater is known to contain bromide as well; however, because ozone is not used to treat the groundwater, bromate formation was never expected.

    Investigation

    An investigation was launched to determine how the bromide in the groundwater was being converted to bromate in the absence of ozone. In the interim, operational measures were taken to minimize bromate formation. This required limiting groundwater as a source to the reservoirs, as well as continual monitoring for bromate.

    It was suspected that sunlight might be a factor in bromate formation. In our experiments, bottles containing reservoir water (which had bromide and chlorine) were suspended at different depths in Silver Lake Reservoir (an open reservoir). Water in the bottles were then analyzed for bromate. Testing showed that samples closer to the water surface, with more sunlight exposure, formed more bromate. The results also showed that bromate formation did not occur when light transmission was reduced by 80-85%. Sunny and cloudy day in-reservoir sample results were also compared; bromate formation on cloudy days was 15-20% that of sunny days. The conclusion; water with bromide and chlorine formed bromate in the presence of sunlight.

    Solution

    The solution was clear; shade the reservoirs from sunlight. Unfortunately, design and construction of reservoir covers would take years. A faster alternative was needed because one of our major sources of water; groundwater, was not being fully utilized and bromate levels had to be brought under control.

    Shade balls, also known as “bird balls” because they are used to keep birds away from bodies of water near airports runways, were explored as a potential alternative.

    The shade balls had to cover the water surface sufficiently to block enough sunlight and they also had to be suitable for use in drinking water. The shade balls that fit the requirements are 4 inches in diameter, made of high density polyethylene plastic, and approved for use in drinking water by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International Standard 61. NSF is an independent, accredited, health and safety organization. Although, other colors were considered, black was chosen because the color was shown to be less susceptible to degradation by ultra-violet radiation (sunlight). Water in contact with the shade balls has consistently tested safe for all uses.

    The shade balls have been very effective in reducing light exposure; they block 95% of the sunlight, and prevent bromate formation.

    More Shade Ball Benefits

    Shade balls now cover our four remaining open reservoirs – Elysian, Ivanhoe, Upper Stone Canyon, and Los Angeles. Silver Lake was removed from service in 2013. Along with being the solution for bromate formation, shade balls have been beneficial in helping us comply with the Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts (DBP) Rule. The Stage 2 DBP Rule sets limits on the amount of disinfectant used and requires a reduction in system-wide levels of disinfection byproducts in drinking water. Shade balls help by drastically reducing the amount of chlorine previously used for algae control (algae needs sunlight to grow), resulting in substantial savings in treatment costs and lower levels of disinfection byproducts system-wide.

    Shade balls also serve as an interim solution for the Long Term Enhanced Surface Water Treatment (LT2) Rule, while we cover, replace, or provide additional treatment for water in these remaining open reservoirs. Additionally, shade balls have proven to be a great water conservation tool, by drastically reducing evaporation. In fact, at Los Angeles Reservoir alone, we are saving more than 300 million gallons of water annually. Shade balls are a definite win-win for our customers.

    For more information on Stage 2 DBP Rule & LT2, please go to Regulations.

    For more information on our open reservoirs, please go to Projects and Initiatives.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the primary purpose of deploying shade balls on the surface of L.A.'s reservoirs?
    The small, black plastic balls protect water quality by preventing sunlight-triggered chemical reactions. A cost-effective investment that helps bring the Los Angeles Reservoir into compliance with federal water quality mandates, the shade balls are expected to save $250 million when compared to the number and magnitude of alternate projects and solutions considered to meet that goal. Those alternatives included splitting the reservoir into two with a bisecting dam; and installing two floating covers that would have cost more than $300 million. On the contrary, each shade ball was placed at a cost of 36 cents, making the total cost of the Los Angeles Aqueduct project approximately $34.5 million. The shade balls will also prevent the annual loss to evaporation of about 300 million gallons of water.

    Is it safe for shade balls to be in contact with drinking water?
    The plastic used to make shade balls is food grade and brings no known issues for health and safety. As a matter of fact, the same plastic is used for water pipes worldwide. The shade ball material and production process have been certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International. The balls comply with federal standards and are considered safe to be in contact with drinking water.

    When did LADWP first initiate this strategy?
    Dr. Brian White, a now-retired LADWP biologist, was the first person to think of using shade balls for water quality. The idea came to him when he learned about the application of “bird balls” in ponds along airfield runways. The innovative, in-house solution has been used in the LADWP’s open-air reservoirs since 2008 to block sunlight, prevent chemical reactions and curtail algae blooms. Currently, in place at Upper Stone, Elysian and Ivanhoe reservoirs, the shade balls come with the added benefit of reducing evaporation off the reservoir surfaces by 85% to 90%.

    Has this proven effective at other reservoirs? 
    The shade balls have effectively controlled the formation of sun-triggered algae and bromates in all deployed reservoirs along with the added benefits of avoided chemical and tactical operational costs. Shade balls were placed on Ivanhoe Reservoir in September 2008, Elysian Reservoir in February 2009 and Upper Stone Canyon Reservoir in April 2012.

    Of what materials are the shade balls constructed?
    Shade balls are made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) resin with a black colorant that inhibits ultra-violet light degradation. All shade balls have a 4-inch outer diameter. The balls used on the Los Angeles Reservoir weigh 40 grams and are filled with 200 grams of drinking water to give them weight so they are not blown away by wind gusts, as the reservoir is located in a high gust area. Shade balls in place at other Los Angeles Reservoirs - Elysian, Ivanhoe and Upper Stone Canyon - are hollow and not filled with water.

    Why are the balls black? Wouldn't lighter colors be better at deflecting heat? 
    The balls are black because they have "carbon black" in them as a UV stabilizing agent, which gives them their lifespan. Other colors such as white were considered, but not selected because they contained dyes that could leach into the water. A blue shade that is food grade and not a potential contaminant was considered. However, the manufacturers were not sure the balls would last longer than a year in the sun. The black balls have proven to survive outdoors and are approved for drinking water contact. According to the NSF International, which tested and certified the balls for contact with drinking water, the carbon black does indeed make the plastic more thermally, structurally, and chemically stable and resistant to UV degradation.

    Doesn't this exacerbate the heat island effect and/or create a bacteria breeding ground? 
    We have found no significant or abnormal heat effects on the water. It is our observation that although the top surface of the shade balls absorb heat, the heat is not well conducted (plastic is a poor conductor of energy) down to the water surface and the air. Rather, the shade balls act as a 4-inch insulation blanket since the 98 million balls cover the surface of the Los Angeles Reservoir. The reservoir itself, a deep pool of relatively cool water, it helps keep itself thermally stable at the surface.

    Were balls made in other colors considered?
    Yes. LADWP worked with the manufacturers to consider other colors including blue. However, the lack of UV stabilizers and inhibitors in the color resins that were tested did not hold up well to sunlight and the balls would have degraded within one to five years. Other colors would not totally block UV light and would have required dyes, which do leach into the water. The carbon black does not emit or leach any chemicals.

    The balls containing the carbon black blocked out sunlight more effectively and resisted degradation longer. The black shade balls had also been certified to be safe to be in contact with drinking water by NSF International.

    Are the balls made of recycled content?
    No.  Only new high density polyethylene is used.  The balls are completely recyclable.

    Are the balls recyclable? What is the City's plan to dispose of/recycle the balls after use?
    Yes.  Ideas for reuse or repurposing will be considered before sending them off for recycling once they are no longer needed.

    Will the sun and heat degrade the shade balls into micro-plastics that will end up in drinking water?
    Since initiating this method in 2008, the LADWP has seen no evidence that shade balls have degraded into "micro-plastics.” Reservoir water is sampled extensively throughout the system and no plastic pieces or chemical leaching from the shade balls have been detected. 

    Will the plastic leach endocrine disruptors or cause bacterial contamination in L.A.'s drinking water?
    LADWP tests for over 100 compounds and has found no levels of concern among results. Testing began before the shade balls were delivered with certification leach testing by the NSF International to meet its rigorous NSF Standard-61 requirements for any materials in contact with drinking water. This testing has continued with our own regular quarterly testing of the reservoir and distribution water for bacteria and chemical compounds since 2008. If continued testing indicates a problem in the future, the LADWP will be able to detect it and respond immediately. 

    LADWP’s daily water quality monitoring and maintenance operations have found neither abnormal thermal effects nor bacterial breeding in the reservoirs as a result of the use of shade balls. To address concerns about possible bacterial reactions, the LADWP implements disinfectants of the water after filtration, and again after it leaves the reservoir. Our water quality monitoring is vigorous and we constantly track for any abnormalities.

    The plastic is food grade and brings no known issues for health and safety. As a matter of fact, the LADWP uses the same plastic for water pipes, and they too, are authorized for safe usage by the appropriate nationally recognized authorities. Furthermore, the LADWP has tested the water for this type of plastic for the following endocrine disruptor compounds and chemicals, and none were detected:  

    • Alachlor
    • Atrazine
    • Benzo(a)pyrene
    • Benzylbutylphthalate
    • Biocide
    • Bisphenol-A
    • Cadmium
    • Chloroform
    • Di(2-ethylhexyl)adipate
    • Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate
    • Dibromochloropropane(DBCP)
    • Dibromomethane
    • Diethylphthalate
    • Dimethylphthalate
    • Di-n-butylphthalate
    • Di-n-octylphthalate
    • Disinfection Byproducts [byproducts are present but not due to plastic]
    • Fire/Flame retardants
    • Gasoline additives
    • Heavy Metals
    • Mercury
    • Molinate
    • Organic solvents
    • Organics in plastic production
    • Organics in production of dyes
    • Organics in PVC production
    • Pentachlorophenol
    • Pesticides
    • Phenol
    • Refrigerant
    • Simazine
    • Thiobencarb

    What type of water quality issues do shade balls protect against?
    Due to the drought, the City is relying on greater quantities of water from the California Aqueduct, which is high in bromide, particularly in dry years. The problem is that a chemical reaction can occur when chlorinated water containing high levels of bromide is exposed to sunlight, creating bromate, a suspected carcinogen. Bromate is a regulated drinking water contaminant that is a known disinfection byproduct of ozonation treatment, but its formation in open bodies of water was not expected. The shade balls significantly reduce sunlight exposure, preventing that chemical reaction and protecting our water supply from contamination.

    Uncovered reservoirs, like Los Angeles Reservoir are prone to algae formation due to sunlight exposure, which requires chlorine for treatment. The algae break down over time, turning into organic matter that reacts with chlorine to form disinfection byproducts (DBP) that must be minimized under water quality regulations set by the US EPA and the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW). The goal at these reservoirs is to reduce sunlight exposure in order to reduce algae and chlorine use and thereby reducing the formation of DBPs.

    How do shade balls reduce the amount of chlorine used in treating water?
    Chlorine is used to treat algae growth. The use of shade balls greatly reduces the amount of algae growth in reservoirs due to blocked sunlight exposure, thereby reducing the daily chlorine requirement at the Los Angeles Reservoir which have resulted in a savings of nearly $28,000 a month, given current costs of chlorine. More importantly, the reduction in the amount of chlorine deliveries has resulted in improved safety conditions for employees and nearby residents.

    What type of governmental water quality regulations do the shade balls fulfill?
    For Los Angeles Reservoir, shade balls in concert with UV treatment and operational modifications to the water distribution system will allow the LADWP to comply with state and federal water quality regulations from the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). These regulations include the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the US EPA’s Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (Stage 2 DBP Rule).

    Is the LADWP the first to use shade balls?
    No. Plastic balls have been around for many decades and have had a variety of applications in other fields. Most notably they have been used at or near airports to minimize bird strikes and in the mining industry to control evaporative water loss. However, the LADWP is the first utility to use shade balls to mitigate water quality issues in drinking water.

    What is the life span of the shade balls?
    The balls have a service life of at least 10 years. The shade balls will eventually lose structural integrity and may split in half or fail at the seams after a decade at which point they will be removed and fully recycled. 

    Will the balls allow a location for additional bacteria to grow and enter the water supply?
    LADWP provides disinfection of the water before and again after it leaves the reservoir. Our water quality monitoring is vigorous and we constantly test the water at each step of the treatment process and during distribution for abnormalities. Today, L.A.’s drinking water consistently meets or is better than all drinking water standards for water quality. 

    Do shade balls help conserve water that would otherwise be lost to evaporation? If so, how much?
    Shade balls contribute to reducing the effects of evaporation by reducing the water surface area exposed to the sun, and by reducing the flow of wind above the water surface. It is estimated that up to 90% of water that would be lost due to evaporation could be saved when the reservoir is fully covered with shade balls.

    What else is the LADWP doing to conserve water?
    The City of Los Angeles is a leader in water conservation efforts. Over the past 40 years, Los Angeles’ per capita water usage has remained flat – despite a population increase of over 1 million people.

    This year alone, Los Angeles has led the charge and already cut our city’s water usage by 13%. Thanks to an executive directive from Mayor Garcetti, the LADWP is on track to make further reductions to usage that will allow us to reduce purchased water imports by 50% by 2025.

    Why are the balls water-filled?
    Shade balls at the Los Angeles Reservoir are partially water-filled to weigh them down to counteract the force of the winds that tends to push aside the shade balls and expose the surface to sunlight.

    Are the shade balls permanent?
    At Elysian, Ivanhoe and Upper Stone Canyon Reservoirs, the shade balls are temporary. At Ivanhoe, the shade balls will be removed when Headworks Reservoir East is complete and fully operational. Shade balls on Elysian and Upper Stone Canyon Reservoirs will be removed as floating covers are installed. At Los Angeles Reservoir, the shade ball solution is permanent. They will be removed, recycled and replaced every 10 years.

    How many balls are needed at the Los Angeles Reservoir?
    Three million air-filled balls were deployed at both Ivanhoe and Elysian Reservoirs. At Upper Stone Canyon, 6.4 million air-filled balls were deployed. At Los Angeles Reservoir, 96 million water-filled balls were deployed.

    Did the LADWP consider alternatives to shade balls in Los Angeles Reservoir?
    Shade balls were an alternative to the original solution planned at Los Angeles Reservoir to meet federal water quality requirements. The original plan was a multi-faceted solution that included splitting the existing reservoir in two by building a division dam, constructing new inlet and outlet works, and installing two of the world’s largest floating covers over each half. LADWP also would have had to construct a new reservoir to handle the operational needs while the Los Angeles Reservoir was out of service. This project would have been a major undertaking and very expensive. Early estimates of such a project were at least $300 million.

    In conjunction with the shade ball effort, the LADWP will build a second, $100 million ultra-violet treatment facility to further treat Los Angeles Reservoir water, allowing the Department to meet its regulatory timeline for compliance with the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rules, save more than $250 million in capital improvement costs, and reduce water losses.

    What company fabricates the shade balls?
    Two vendors provided shade balls for the Los Angeles Reservoir. The primary vendor was Artisan Screen Printing, a small minority-owned blow-molding business based in Azusa. They provided 89.6 million balls. The second vendor was XavierC, a small woman-owned broker out of Glendora providing balls manufactured by Microdyne Plastics out of Colton. They provided 6.4 million balls.

    Updated November 4, 2020

    Introduction

    We make every effort to provide LADWP customers with safe, high-quality drinking water. To ensure your water is safe to drink, it has been disinfected with either chlorine or chloramine. Chloramine is formed by mixing chlorine and ammonia. View this short informative video on the benefits of chloramine. Both chlorine and chloramine are approved disinfectants for use in drinking water by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW). Our water complies with all state and federal water quality standards.

    In May 2014, we expanded the use of chloramine disinfection to most of our water distribution system to comply with the new Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rules (DBPR).  Due to the size and complexity of our system, the expansion was conducted in phases. Areas with the highest disinfection byproduct (DBP) levels were converted first. The last phase will be completed in 2017 with the conversion of the Green Meadows and Watts areas. These areas historically have lower DBP levels.

    The advantages to the chloramine expansion include:

    • Compatibility with purchased chloraminated water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD).
    • Improving system reliability.
    • Providing you with water free of a chlorine taste or smell.
    • Lower DBP levels throughout the water system.
    • Longer lasting protection as the water moves through the pipes to your tap (faucet), because chloramine is more stable that chlorine.

    Compatibility with MWD is extremely important, since storage within the City limits has been significantly reduced to comply with other federal and state surface water treatment regulations.

    Background

    Drinking water is disinfected to protect public health. All surface water (from lakes and rivers) can be contaminated by bacteria, viruses, and parasites that may cause human illness. In the United States, all drinking water suppliers using surface water are required to use disinfectants to kill organisms that can cause serious illness. One of the most significant distinctions of drinking water in the United States compared to other parts of the world is that we practice continuous disinfection of our treated water supplies. This provides some of the safest water anywhere in the world, and helps prevent many water related diseases that other countries experience.

    The US EPA and DDW set the drinking water standards for water utilities in California. Currently, chlorine, chloramine, ozone, chlorine dioxide and ultraviolet (UV) light are approved by the US EPA for primary disinfection. Water utilities must also maintain a smaller amount of disinfectant throughout the water distribution system to limit bacterial growth. Currently, chlorine, chloramine, and chlorine dioxide are approved by the US EPA for disinfection in the distribution systems. Chlorine is frequently used as the primary disinfectant because it kills or inactivates bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful organisms very quickly. Chloramine is often used as a secondary disinfectant in the water distribution system because it is more stable than chlorine and provides longer-lasting water treatment as the water moves through miles of pipes to customers and produces fewer quantities of disinfection byproducts than chlorine. Some disinfection byproducts, such as total trihalomethanes (TTHM) and haloacetic acids (HAA5) may have adverse health effects at higher levels. The use of chloramine also results in fewer customer complaints of smell and taste, because chloramine does not tend to impart a chlorinous odor.

    Using chloramine to disinfect drinking water is a standard practice among drinking water utilities. A number of utilities have made this switch from chlorine to chloramine to enhance water safety and compliance with drinking water standards. Water that contains chloramine and meets US EPA regulatory standards is safe to use for drinking, cooking, bathing, and other household uses. Chloramine has been used by water utilities in the United States and Canada for more than 100 years. More than one-in-five Americans use drinking water treated with chloramine. San Diego, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Culver City, and parts of the City of Los Angeles have received water treated with chloramine for more than 30 years.

    Our System

    We provide potable water to over 4 million residents in the City of Los Angeles through a combination of surface water, treated at the Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant (LAAFP), groundwater wells located throughout the distribution system, and treated water purchased from the MWD. We operate more than 30 treatment facilities, including chlorination, fluoridation, corrosion control, surface water filtration and disinfection, groundwater aeration and granular activated carbon treatment facilities. Chloraminated water purchased from MWD may be served to any of our service areas at any time as necessary.

    To ensure your water is safe to drink, we filter and disinfect all surface water at the LAAFP with ozone, UV light, and chlorine. To maintain disinfection in our pipes, we use chloramine in most areas and chlorine in limited areas of the city. We have gradually expanded the use of chloramine for secondary disinfection throughout most of our distribution system. The expansion to the Green Meadows-Watts areas in 2017 will complete the expansion. This expansion is needed to ensure our compliance with the latest  new DBPR requirements. Please note: The Griffith Park area is temporarily on chlorine until further improvements can be made to storage facilities.

    We have also undertaken a number of capital improvement projects to reduce the formation of disinfection byproducts. The addition of the Dr. Pankaj Parekh Ultraviolet (UV) Treatment facility at the LAAFP helps to reduce the formation of byproducts by providing additional disinfection while allowing for reduced use of ozone and chlorine. The UV light treatment facility treats the water following the filtration process. Chlorine is still used to achieve virus disinfection. The final treatment is the injection of ammonia into the water to combine with the chlorine, forming chloramine. Investments to improve drinking water quality are the largest component of our Water System Capital Improvement Program. From Fiscal Years 2011/12 through 2015/16, planned water quality capital expenditures are approximately $1.4 billion, which is 40% of the total capital budget. These efforts are primarily driven by projects to safeguard the City’s surface water supplies, and the citywide chloramine expansion to protect your drinking water supply.

    Our Experience with Chloramine

    Historically, our distribution system was operated as a chlorinated system; however in 1984, MWD converted its water supply from free chlorine to chloramine to meet the standard for TTHM disinfection byproducts. At that time,  we converted the Harbor area to chloramine so that it could continue to receive MWD water without the problems of blending chlorinated and chloraminated supplies.

    In 2002, we made the decision to expand chloramine disinfection to our entire distribution system to comply with, the then, upcoming Stage 2 DBPR which would further limit the amount of TTHM and HAA5. Due to the size and complexity of our distribution system, the expansion was managed in phases. In July 2003, chloramine disinfection was expanded to the Eastern Los Angeles area. This area is typically supplied MWD chloraminated water via Eagle Rock Reservoir. In August 2007, the next phase of the conversion occurred in the Sunland-Tujunga area. This area is supplied by the LAAFP. An ammoniation facility at the outlet of Green Verdugo Reservoir was used to form chloraminated water. The West Los Angeles area saw the improvement in 2013. The chloramine expansion to Central Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley areas was completed in May 2014. And finally, the expansion to Green Meadows-Watts area will be completed by 2017. As noted above, the Griffith Park area is temporarily on chlorine until system storage improvements can be made.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is chloramine?
    Chloramine is a disinfectant used in drinking water to kill potentially harmful bacteria. It is formed by mixing chlorine with ammonia. It is approved by US EPA and DDW, who set drinking water standards for water utilities. There are three different types of chloramines: monochloramine, dichloramine, and trichloramine. Monochloramine, commonly known as chloramine, is the form we use.

    Is chloramine safe for me and my pets?
    Yes. Chloraminated water is safe to drink for everyone, including your pets (except fish). It is safe for bathing, cooking and all other daily uses. It is also safe to wash wounds or cuts with chloraminated water. However, like chlorine, chloramine must be removed from the water used in kidney dialysis, fish tanks and ponds, and businesses requiring highly treated water.

    Will chloramine harm my fish?
    Yes. Chloramine is toxic to fish because it can pass through the gills of the fish, directly entering the bloodstream. Both chlorine and chloramine must be removed from any water used in fish tank, aquarium or pond. It can also prevent the growth of beneficial bacteria that are necessary for healthy fish tanks. Chloramine cannot be removed by boiling the water, letting the water stand in open, or using the chemicals that remove only chlorine. Effective treatments include using granular activated carbon filters or using chemicals specifically designed to remove chloramine. Contact your aquarium or pond supply professional for the best methods to remove chloramine.

    Will I notice a change in my water?
    Yes. You can expect an improved taste and smell to your water because chloramine does not impart a chlorinous odor. In fact, the use of chloramine has been known to result in fewer taste and odor consumer complaints.

    How do chloramine and chlorine compare?
    Chlorine is a more powerful and more reactive disinfectant frequently used during the initial treatment of water because it kills bacteria, viruses, and inactivates other potentially harmful organisms very quickly. Chloramine is less powerful but lasts longer in the distribution system and produces fewer quantities of disinfection byproducts.

    Why is the LADWP expanding chloramine disinfection?
    To comply with the new Stage 2 DBPR. The expansion will also provide compatibility with water purchased from MWD and improve system reliability. This is extremely important since in-City water storage has been significantly reduced to comply with other federal and state surface water treatment regulations. System-wide chloramine expansion will allow for the full, unrestricted use of MWD purchased supplies thus ensuring reliability. When compared to chlorine, chloramine produces lower levels of regulated disinfection byproducts, provides longer lasting protection as the water moves through the pipes, and improves the taste of the water.

    Do other water utilities use chloramine?
    Yes. MWD has been using chloramine since 1985. San Diego, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Santa Monica, and parts of our City have received water treated with chloramine from the MWD for more than 30 years. Chloramine has been used by water utilities in the United States and Canada as drinking water disinfectant for more than 100 years. More than 50 million Americans across the nation have been using chloraminated water for decades.

    Do public health agencies approve the use of chloramine?
    Yes. US EPA , DDW, and the California Conference of Local Health Officers (CCLHO) all approve and support the use of chloramine as a safe and effective secondary disinfectant.

    What precautions should kidney dialysis patients take?
    Dialysis patients can safely drink water treated with chloramine because their digestive process neutralizes chloramine before it enters the bloodstream. However, in the dialysis process, water comes in direct contact with the blood in large quantities. Like chlorine, chloramine must be removed from the water used in kidney dialysis. Home dialysis patients should work with their home dialysis provider and/or physician to make any necessary adjustments.

    Will chloramine affect my plumbing?
    It’s possible, but not likely. Some natural rubber products used in older household plumbing and water heaters may degrade slightly faster in the presence of chloramine. Chloramine-resistant replacement parts are available at your local home improvement or plumbing supply store. You can also consult your plumber for advice.

    Does chloramine cause skin or breathing problems?
    No. Water disinfected with chloramine that meets regulatory standards has no known or anticipated adverse health effects, including skin or breathing problems. Monochloramine is the form used in our water. Skin or breathing problems traceable to disinfected water are typically related to swimming pool use. Trichloramine has been linked to skin or breathing problems. Trichloramine forms in swimming pools when chlorine reacts with ammonia from bodily fluids.

    Does chloramine cause digestive problems?
    No. The regulatory standard for chloramine is set at a level where no digestive problems are expected. An important characteristic of chloramine is that any amount ingested quickly leaves the body. Chloramine is broken down by saliva and neutralized by stomach acid. Chloramine leaves the body through human waste. People who believe that their digestive problems are related to chloramine should consult with their doctors.

    Does chloramine cause cancer?
    No. Water disinfected with chloramine that meets regulatory standards poses no known or anticipated adverse health effects, including cancer. Most of the research on the cancer risk of chloramine comes from animal studies using mice and rats.

    Can I shower in water treated with chloramine?
    Yes. Water treated with chloramine that meets regulatory standards is safe to use for showering. Showering with chloraminated water poses little risk because the form we use, monochloramine, does not easily enter the air. In addition, chloramine cannot be removed from water by boiling, so shower temperatures are not sufficient to volatilize chloramine.

    Does chloramine contribute to the release of lead or other contaminants into drinking water?
    Changes in water chemistry from chloramine use may impact lead or other contaminant levels. Utilities have monitored for lead and other regulated contaminants from metal corrosion that may be caused by chloramine use. We monitor our water system closely and will adjust our treatment processes to control levels of lead or other regulated contaminants. We’ve been providing water treated with chloramine in the Harbor area for more than three decades without lead problems.

    Will chloramine affect my plastic pipes?
    There are no known reports of any impacts of drinking water disinfectants at allowable concentrations on plastic or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes. PVC pipes are resistant to almost all types of corrosion – both chemical and electrochemical. Because PVC is a nonconductor, galvanic and electrochemical effects are nonexistent in PVC piping systems. PVC pipe cannot be damaged by aggressive waters or corrosive soils. PVC pressure pipe is resistant to both chlorine and chloramine.

    What types of customers are advised to remove chloramine from the water before use?
    Chloramine is added to the water for your protection. People can safely drink water treated with chloramine because their digestive process neutralizes chloramine before it enters the bloodstream. However, special need customers including kidney dialysis patients, aquarium owners, biotechnology companies, breweries, photo labs, chip manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies may have very specific water quality requirements and may need to remove both chlorine and chloramine from the water prior to use. Products to remove or neutralize chlorine and chloramine are readily available.

    How can I remove chloramine from my drinking water?
    Drinking water disinfected with chloramine is safe to use and it does not need to be removed. However, you  may prefer to do so because of personal preference, it’s your choice. However, chloramine cannot be removed by boiling the water or letting the water stand in open as with chlorine or by using the chemicals that remove only chlorine. Commercial products including granular activated carbon filters are available to reduce or neutralize chloramine from drinking water. When buying a home water treatment system for the removal of chloramine, always look for National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International certification. NSF is a nonprofit organization that independently tests and certifies drinking water filtration products. Several units are certified and listed on the NSF International website. You may visit their website at Certified Drinking Water Treatment Units, Water Filters or call them at 1-800-673-8010. The California State Resources Control Board also has a list of registered treatment devices at Residential Water Treatment Devices.

    Is there a simple method to remove chloramine from drinking water?
    Yes. Placing a few slices of fruit (e.g. orange, lemon, lime, mango, strawberries) or vegetable (cucumber) in a pitcher of water will effectively de-chlorinate the water within a few hours. For one gallon of water, a peeled and sliced medium-sized orange will de-chlorinate the water in about 30 minutes. The fruit can then be removed from the water, if desired. If lemon or lime is used, the pH of the water may become closer to neutral or slightly acidic. The ammonia component of the chloramine will not be removed, but in reality the fruit contributes more ammonia to the water, than does the chloramine.

    Preparing coffee in the average coffee maker or brewing tea (black, green, herbal, decaffeinated, or caffeinated) also removes chloramine.

    Can Vitamin C be used to remove chlorine or chloramine for bathing?
    Yes. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is used by some utilities for de-chlorination prior to environmental discharges of chlorinated and chloraminated water. Ascorbic acid is also used as one of the de-chlorinating agents for preservation of chlorinated or chloraminated drinking water samples for laboratory analysis. One thousand milligrams of Vitamin C (tablets may be purchased in a grocery or health food store, crushed and mixed-in with the bath water) should remove the chloramine completely in an average sized bathtub without significantly decreasing the pH of the water. However, ascorbic acid is weakly acidic and may decrease pH slightly.
     

    Updated January 12, 2017

    Nationally, chromium is regulated in drinking water as total chromium, which is the sum of two ionic forms of the element; trivalent chromium (chromium-3) and hexavalent chromium (chromium-6). In California, chromium is regulated in both forms; total chromium and chromium-6. Chromium-3 is an essential nutrient at trace concentrations and plays a role in fat, protein, and sugar metabolism. Chromium-6 is toxic and has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory rats given drinking water dosed at very high levels. Drinking water containing chromium-6 at regulated levels has not been shown to cause disease. The respiratory tract is the main route of disease for chromium-6 in humans. The ratio of the two forms can vary in natural waters. In the environment, lower pH favors chromium-3. There is increasing scientific evidence that some level of ingested chromium-6 may be converted to chromium-3 in the human body; particularly in the acidic environment of the digestive system.

    Standards for Chromium and Chromium-6

    A Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) is an enforceable standard for the allowable limit of a substance in drinking water. The current federal MCL for total chromium, set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), is 100 micrograms per Liter (µg/L) or approximately 100 part per billion (ppb). One ppb is the equivalent of one pint in 120 million gallons of water.

    California’s MCLs are set by the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW). State MCLs must meet the federal level, but can set even lower levels, or adopt MCLs for substances not regulated at the federal level. California’s MCL for total chromium is 50 ppb. The state MCL for chromium-6 is 10 ppb. California is the only state with a MCL for chromium-6.

    California adopted the chromium-6 MCL in 2014 due to concerns about the potential to cause cancer if ingested. Establishing an MCL is a rigorous process. When an MCL is proposed in California, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) must first establish a Public Health Goal (PHG). A PHG is a theoretical determination of the concentration of a substance in drinking water that poses no adverse health risk to the consumer. This level is based on one or more toxicology studies and contains multiple safety factors. OEHHA established a PHG for chromium-6  of 0.02 ppb in 2011. DDW took into consideration OEHHA’s PHG when it established California’s MCL for chromium-6.

    An MCL established at the state or federal level is the result of a comprehensive "risk management" determination that takes into account:

    the scientific theoretical level at which the substance is considered to have minimal risk;
    the level to which technology is available to treat for the substance;
    the level to which the substance can be measured at in a laboratory, and;
    the level at which the costs to treat or remove the substance is affordable to the public.
    All MCLs are protective of public health and have a significant margin of safety.

    Sources of Chromium

    Metallic chromium is a naturally occurring inorganic element found in rocks, plants, food, soil, and some waters, which is odorless and tasteless. The most common ionic forms are chromium-3 and chromium-6. Chromium is used in electroplating, leather tanning, wood treatment, and pigments manufacturing. Chromium can contaminate drinking water sources through discharges from industries, leaching from hazardous waste sites, or the erosion of natural deposits. Most of LADWP’s groundwater sources are not subject to chromium contamination.

    Health Effects

    As mentioned, the respiratory tract is the main route of disease for chromium-6. At higher concentrations inhaled chromium-6 may cause shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. Ingestion of elevated levels of chromium-6 may cause gastrointestinal effects including abdominal pain, vomiting, and hemorrhage. Drinking water containing chromium-6 at regulated levels has not been shown to cause disease. For more information on potential health effects, please see: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

    Your Drinking Water

    Chromium has been detected in a few of our groundwater wells. However, individual wells do not represent what you actually receive at your tap because groundwater from many wells is collected and then combined with surface water before it’s delivered to you. Chromium is not detected in our surface water sources. Our Well Blending Operations Plan ensures that the water delivered to you which includes groundwater does not exceed the MCL of any regulated substance.

    Testing confirms that your tap water, on average, contains less than one ppb of chromium-6, far below the California MCL. A known chromium contamination site in the San Fernando Basin is currently being remediated. Our commitment to you is to continue to provide water that surpasses all state and federal drinking water standards, including chromium-6. We have a comprehensive Water Quality Monitoring Plan which helps us meet that commitment. To see the most recent results for chromium-6 (hexavalent chromium), please go to the Drinking Water Quality Report Tables and see Table 1 (A) – Health-based Primary Drinking Water Standards.

    For more information on our program to improve groundwater quality, please go to Local Groundwater.

    About Filtration Systems

    You don’t need to filter your water to make it any safer. Remember, the level of chromium-6 in the water served to you is far below the California MCL of 10 ppb.

    We recognize that it’s ultimately your choice. There are a few products that may possibly further reduce chromium from your water. For your protection, we advise you to look for a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certification, specifically for chromium removal, on the equipment. NSF is an independent testing organization whose certification is like the “good housekeeping” seal of approval. You will find NSF certification at its Certified Drinking Water Treatment Units, Water Filters site.

    In addition, require documentation from the manufacturer that proves that the equipment is certified for use in California by the DDW’s Residential Water Treatment Devices as a water purification system.

    Frequently Asked Question about Chromium

    What is chromium?
    Chromium is an odorless and tasteless metallic element which naturally occurs in the environment including rocks, plants, soil, food, and some waters. Two forms of chromium are prevalent; chromium-3 (trivalent chromium) is a nutrient for the human body at trace levels and chromium-6 (hexavalent chromium) is frequently used in industrial applications.

    Is chromium hazardous?
    Chromium-3 is a nutrient at trace levels which plays a role in fat, protein, and sugar metabolism. Chromium-6 is toxic. Inhalation is the most common route for disease for chromium-6 and has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory rats at high concentrations in drinking water. Regulated levels of chromium-6 in drinking water have not been shown to cause disease. In the environment, lower pH favors the chromium-3 state of chromium. There is evidence that suggest that some level of ingested chromium-6 is converted to chromium-3 in the acidic environment of the human digestive system. For information on potential health effects, please see: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

    Is chromium regulated in drinking water?
    Yes. Federal drinking water regulations, known as Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) are established for total chromium (the sum of chromium-3 and chromium-6) based on the potential health effects of chromium-6. The current federal MCL for total chromium is 100 milligrams per Liter or parts-per-billion (ppb). One ppb is the equivalent of 1 pint in 120 million gallons of water.

    California’s MCL for total chromium is 50 ppb and the state recently established an MCL for chromium-6 at 10 ppb. In fact, California is the only state with an MCL for chromium-6. All drinking water MCLs are protective of public health and have a significant margin of safety. For more information on federal regulation for chromium, please go to US EPA. For more information on California’s regulations, please go to by the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW).

    Is my drinking water tested for chromium?
    Yes. Your drinking water is routinely tested for chromium as total chromium and chromium-6 (hexavalent chromium). We have a comprehensive Water Monitoring Plan that ensures your water is regularly tested for all potential substances, including chromium. The drinking water delivered to your tap surpasses all state and federal drinking water standards. To see the most recent results for chromium-6 (hexavalent chromium), please go to the Drinking Water Quality Report Tables and see Table 1 (A) – Health-based Primary Drinking Water Standards.

    Is chromium found in my drinking water?
    Your tap water averages less than one ppb for chromium-6, well below the California MCL. Our commitment to you is to continue to provide water that surpasses state standards for chromium. To see the most recent results for chromium-6 (hexavalent chromium), please go to the Drinking Water Quality Report Tables and see Tables 1 (A) – Health-based Primary Drinking Water Standards.

    Should I be concerned about the difference between the Public Health Goal and the federal and state drinking water MCLs for chromium and chromium-6?
    No. The Public Health Goal is not a boundary between safe and dangerous. PHGs are theoretical levels for substances in drinking water. MCLs are established through sound science and include large safety factors for potential drinking water substances. Drinking water can still be safe for public consumption above the PHG level. Both the state and federal MCLs for total chromium and chromium-6 are protective of public health. For more information about MCLs please go to US EPA and DDW. For more information about PHGs, please go to OEHHA’s PHGs or the LADWP’s PHG Report on the Water Quality page.

    Should I filter my tap water to remove chromium or chromium-6?
    No. You don’t need to filter your water to make it any safer. But, it is your choice. For your protection, we advise you to look for a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certification, specifically for chromium and/or chromium-6 removal, on the equipment. NSF is an independent testing organization whose certification is like the “good housekeeping” seal of approval. You will find NSF certification at its Certified Drinking Water Treatment Units, Water Filters site. In addition, require documentation from the manufacturer that proves that the equipment is certified for use in California by the DDW’s Residential Water Treatment Devices as a water purification system.  

    For the period January 2023 through December 2023:

    Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) and Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) are byproducts of chloramine disinfection. Bromate is a byproduct of ozone disinfection. They are collectively referred to as disinfection byproducts, or DBPs. Disinfectants, such as chloramine, are used to keep water free of bacteria and water-borne diseases. When chloramine mixes with certain naturally occurring organic substances in water, DBPs are formed. Animal studies have shown that some DBPs in very high doses, over a lifetime, are suspected of causing cancer. We switched from chlorine to chloramine disinfection because chloramine forms fewer DBPs.

    Some DBPs have Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) which set limits to levels allowed in drinking water. DBP MCLs are reported in units known as micrograms per liter (µg/L) which is roughly equal to parts per billion (ppb). One ppb represents the equivalent of one second in 32 years. The tables below list the MCLs for bromate, HAA5, and TTHM.

    Regulatory compliance for TTHM and HAA5 are based on a running annual average at each of 17 compliance locations (LRAA).  All locations comply with the Stage 2 DBP regulation.

      Location with the highest LRAA MCL
    TTHM Valley #4 – 36 ppb 80 ppb
    HAA5 Western #9 – 17 ppb 60 ppb

    The MCL for bromate is based on a running annual average.  Bromate is measured immediately after treatment at the Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant.  

      12-month running average MCL
    Bromate 1.0 ppb 10 ppb

    DBP Levels by Water Quality Area 

    All LADWP water meets drinking water standards for health. However, water quality around the City will vary according to the different water sources and disinfectant used. The City is divided into five (5) distinct water quality areas based on these differences:  Central, Eastern, Valley, Western, and Harbor. Click on the map link below for more information.

    Current Map of DBP Levels

    The most current disinfection byproduct levels on a locational running annual average in each water quality area are presented in the table below. 

    Location Number

    Trihalomethanes TTHM (ppb)

    Haloacetic acids HAA5 (ppb)

    Meets Drinking Water Standard?

    VALLEY

    1

    18

    7

    YES

    2

    24

    14

    YES

    3

    30

    11

    YES

    4

    36

    16

    YES

    5

    21

    7

    YES

    6

    17

    7

    YES

    CENTRAL

    7

    21

    7

    YES

    8

    23

    7

    YES

    WESTERN

    9

    36

    17

    YES

    10

    20

    9

    YES

    11

    27

    13

    YES

    12

    28

    12

    YES

    13

    19

    8

    YES

    14

    21

    9

    YES

    15

    21

    7

    YES

    EASTERN

    16

    24

    9

    YES

    HARBOR

    17

    35

    12

    YES

    Water Quality Area by Zip Code

    Use the list below to find the water quality area corresponding to your zip code.

    CENTRAL Water Quality Area:
    90001-90007, 90010-90015, 90017-90021, 90023, 90026-90033, 90036-90038, 90044, 90047, 90057-90059, 90061, 90062, 90068, 90071, 90089

    EASTERN Water Quality Area:
    90023, 90026-90029, 90032, 90039, 90041, 90042, 90044, 90065, 91030, 91105, 91202-91206, 91736, 91801, 91803

    HARBOR Water Quality Area:
    90274, 90501-90502, 90710-90822

    VALLEY Water Quality Area:
    90046, 91040-91042, 91201, 91206-91662, 91781

    WESTERN Water Quality Area:
    90008, 90016, 90022, 90025, 90034-90035, 90036, 90045, 90048-90056, 90062-90064, 90066, 90069, 90075-90077, 90094-90272, 90291-90405, 90504

    Background

    Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral, which is present in almost all foods, beverages, and water supplies. Fluoride is safe and effective in controlling cavities. It helps teeth become more resistant to decay by strengthening tooth enamel, reversing newly formed cavities, and preventing the formation of cavities in the root surfaces of teeth in adults and the elderly whose gums have receded.

    Community Water Fluoridation is the process of adjusting the natural fluoride concentration to the recommended concentration for optimal dental health. Since its inception in 1945, fluoridation has grown to cover over 70% of the population who use public water supplies. During the past 60 years, hundreds of scientific studies have shown that Community Water Fluoridation is safe and effective.

    On October 9, 1995, Governor Wilson signed into law State legislation (AB733) that mandates fluoridation of all water systems having more than 10,000 service connections. Concurrently, the Los Angeles City Council directed the LADWP develop a fluoridation implementation and financing plan. The Board of Water and Power Commissioners also adopted a resolution endorsing the provision of optimal levels of fluoride in the city's water supply.

    In mid-1996, the LADWP formed a Fluoride Project Team to design and construct the required fluoridation facilities. The design of the fluoridation stations features one of the most advanced control systems in the country, and incorporates multiple levels of automatic protection. The design also features monitoring of operations from remote locations.

    LADWP uses fluorosilicic acid to fluoridate the water supply. The purity of this agent is ensured by compliance with National Sanitation Foundation (NSF/ANSI) Standard 60, in accordance with California Law.

    The City of Los Angeles began optimal fluoridation of the water supply in August 1999. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) later added water fluoridation facilities by the end of 2007. Today all water distributed in the City of Los Angeles contains optimum levels of fluoride.

    Current Drinking Water Standard

    The current drinking water standard for fluoride is intended to limit the amount of naturally occurring fluoride in water. The California Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) is 2 miligrams per liter (mg/L). A MCL is the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. At levels above the MCL, mild fluorosis has been observed, which is cosmetic in nature. The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends a community water fluoridation level of 0.7 mg/L to ensure strong, healthy teeth, and to minimize mild fluorosis.  

    Natural and Adjusted Fluoride Levels

    The City's Los Angeles Aqueduct (LAA) supply contains natural amounts of fluoride, which vary seasonally, ranging between 0.4 and 0.8 mg/L. Our other sources of supply, MWD and the City's local groundwater, contain lower levels of fluoride, ranging from 0.1 to 0.3 mg/L.

    Although historically, the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles areas received LAA water exclusively, this is no longer true. MWD water is now delivered routinely to all parts of the City. The California Department of Public Health regulations identify a fluoride level of 0.8 mg/L, based on climate, for all regions of the City. Today, all of our water sources are adjusted to a level of 0.7 mg/L, as recommended by the U.S. Deparment of Health & Human Services (HHS).

    Costs

    The capital cost for this project is estimated at $10 million with an annual operations and maintenance budget of $1.4 million. The cost of this program will be managed within the current rate structure, so this added health benefit will not increase customer water rates.

    Benefits to Customers

    Virtually all major national and international health, service and professional organizations endorse or support water fluoridation, including the American Dental Association (ADA), American Medical Association, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization. Optimal fluoride levels in city water will benefit all inhabitants, but especially those in economically disadvantaged areas.

    Water fluoridation is the single, most cost-effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health. The ADA states that the average annual cost for community water fluoridation in the U.S. is about 50 cents per person. The CDC estimates that every dollar spent on fluoridation saves approximately $38 in dental expenditures.

    Every Surgeon General since 1945 has endorsed community water fluoridation. The Surgeon General website identifies fluoridation as one of the top ten public health measures of the 20th Century.


    Other Organizations in Support of Water Fluoridation

    American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry    - Kaiser Permanente
    American Association for the Advancement of Science   - Korean Dental Society
    American Association for Dental Research  -  L.A. Citizens for Better Dental Health
    American Association of Dental Schools  -  L.A. City/County Indian Commission
    American Association of Public Health Dentistry  -  L.A. County Children’s Planning Council
    American College of Dentists  -  L.A. County Medical Association
    American Council on Science and Health   -  L.A. Free Clinic
    American Dental Assistants Association  -  Latin American Dental Association
    American Dental Association  -  LA 4 Kids
    American Dental Hygienists Association  -  League of California Cities
    American Dietetic Association  -  Long Beach Water Department
    American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations  -  Los Angeles Association of Women Dentists
    American Hospital Association  -  Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
    American Institute of Nutrition  -   Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services
    American Medical Association  -  Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
    American Osteopathic Association  -  Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
    American Pharmaceutical Association  -  Los Angeles Dental Society
    American Public Health Association  -  Los Angeles Grand Jury Report
    American Public Welfare Association  -  L.A. Mayor’s Committee on Children, Youth and Families
    American School Health Association  -  Los Angeles Oral Health Foundation
    American Society of Clinical Nutrition  -  Los Angeles PTA
    American Society for Dentistry for Children  -  Los Angeles Roundtable for Children
    American Society for Nutritional Sciences  -   Los Angeles Unified School District
    American Veterinary Medical Association  -  MAOF Head Start
    American Water Works Association  -  Mayo Clinic
    Association for Academic Health Centers  -  National Academy of Sciences
    Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors  -  National Alliance for Oral Health
    British Dental Association  -  National Cancer Institute
    British Fluoridation Society  -  National Confectioners Association
    British Medical Association  -  National Congress of Parents and Teachers
    California Childrens Services  -  National Health Council
    California Dental Association (Jointly with U.S. Public Health Service)  -  National Institute of Dental Research
    California Dental Hygienists’ Association  -  National Institutes of Health
    California Department of Health Services  -  New York Academy of Medicine
    California Fluoridation Task Force  -  Office of Dental Health Services
    California Medical Assistance Commission  -  Older Women’s League
    California PTA  -  Oral Health in Inglewood
    California State Assembly  -  Pan American Health Organization
    Center for Disease Control and Prevention  -  Policy & Development Association
    Center for Science in the Public Interest  -  Project Heavy – West
    Centro de Ninos  -  Public Council
    Children Now  -  Public Health Commission
    Children’s Dental Foundation  -  Public Health Programs and Services
    Children’s Hospital LA  -  Queen of Angels – Hollywood Presbyterian Hospitals
    Children’s Roundtable  -  Royal College of Physicians (London)
    Chinese American Dental Society  -  San Fernando Valley Dental Society
    Clinica Para Las Americas  -  San Gabriel Unified School District
    Community Health Councils Project  -  San Gabriel Valley Dental Society
    Department of National Health and Welfare (Canada)  -  South Bay Children’s Health Center, Inc.
    Delta Dental Plans Association -  South Bay Free Clinic
    Dental Coalition for Needy Children  -  Southern California Filipino Dental Society
    Dental Health Foundation  -  Southern California Public Health Association
    European Organization for Caries Research  -  The Children's Dental Center
    Federation of Community Coordinating Councils of  L.A. County  -  The Dental Health Foundation (of California)
    Federation Dentaire Internationale  -  Travelers Insurance Company
    Food and Nutrition Board  -  U.C. San Francisco, School of Dentistry
    Foundation for Children’s Dental Health  -  UCLA Community Partnership
    Great Britain Ministry of Health  -  UCLA REI WIC Program
    Harbor Dental Society  -  UCLA School of Public Health
    Health and Safety/Health Care Workers  -  University of San Diego Medical Center
    Health Insurance Association of America  -  U.S. Department of Defense
    Health League of Canada  -  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    Healthy L.A. 2000 Council  -  U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
    Hispanic Dental Association  -  U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce
    Indian Dental Association  -  U.S. Public Health Service
    Indian Health Service  -  US California School of Dentistry
    Inter-Association Committee on Health  -  Western Center on Law and Poverty
    International Association for Dental Research  -  Western Los Angeles Dental Society
    Japanese-American Dental Society  -  World Health Organization
                                                                       Youth Law Center