The Water Division is responsible for providing a clean, safe, potable water supply to the City of Orange. The Division designs, constructs, and maintains wells, water lines, booster pumps, and reservoirs that serve the residents and businesses with water for domestic use and for fire protection.
To report emergency water leaks please contact our 24-hour emergency line (714) 538-1961.
For water misuse complaints or any other water related concerns click here to email us.
For water meter, fire hydrant, and water main leaks please contact the Water Division at (714) 288-2475.
To open or close your water service or pay your bill please contact Utility Billing at (714) 744-2233.
The Water Division is responsible for providing clean, safe water to the City of Orange and for designing and constructing the system that supplies the residents and businesses with water. For information regarding utility billing, including new water service, please call (714) 744-2233. For current fee schedule and water rates view the Water Rates and Charges (PDF).
The City of Orange obtains approximately 75% of its water from ground water sources via 12 active wells. The ground water basin is managed by the Orange County Water District. For additional information on the Orange County Water District please click here.
The City of Orange also imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California through the Municipal Water District of Orange County.
Even in the best of times, water is a precious commodity in Southern California. The continuing drought, with no relief in sight, means that conservation is more important than ever. Here at the City of Orange, we're working hard to help reduce our own water footprint. We are reducing the watering of landscaping at all City facilities, including City Hall, our libraries, and fire stations. We have also installed water less urinals at many of our City facility restrooms and new park facilities.
The Orange Fire Department is also working hard to reduce their use of water by:
- Minimized the water used to perform the necessary daily and weekly apparatus (such as fire engines) pump checks.
- Decreasing the routine washing of trucks and equipment, which is now done only when necessary.
- During training that requires water, they make sure that water runoff is directed onto landscaped or grassy areas.
Our Community Services Department is also cutting back on water consumption by:
- Reducing irrigation of non-active park grass areas.
- Installing weather based "smart" irrigation control systems in six of our parks, with five more parks scheduled to receive them in the next 14 months. More parks will also be added to the list throughout Fiscal Year 2016-2017.
- Installing booster pumps at some parks to increase water pressure which raises efficiency without increasing water consumption.
- Installing drought tolerant species of grass, such as Bermuda and Kikuyu, in new park construction.
- Removing "water hungry" turf, where appropriate, and replacing it with other types of non-irrigation landscaping.
- Providing regular water management and conservation education to City maintenance personnel who manage irrigation systems.
- Regularly inspecting, and quickly repairing, irrigation systems to insure they are operating as efficiently as possible.
In our Public Works Department, water use is being scaled back by:
- Operating Fire Hydrants below full flow during required maintenance. Reducing facility landscape watering to two times per week.
- Eliminating all washing of hardscapes when cleaning.
- Eliminating the washing down of water mainline breaks.
- Repairing water main leaks immediately and meter leaks within 48 hours.
- Landscaping around the City Water facilities including water tanks and pump stations will be gradually replaced with Drought Tolerant plants and a low-flow drip irrigation system.
Additionally, Public Works Staff are performing free Water Audits for customers, providing them information, such as how to identify water leaks and water-wise landscaping options, which can help customers reduce their own water footprint. Call (714) 288-2475 for more information.
Hydrant Flushing in Your Area
Periodically, you will see Public Works personnel releasing water from hydrants. Hydrant flushing is necessary to test the hydrants to make sure adequate flow and pressure is available. Flushing is also done to remove sediment from the pipes in order to maintain water clarity and quality in the distribution pipes.
You will often see our City Public Works crews replacing water pipes as part of a comprehensive strategy to keep our infrastructure strong. This is especially important for a City of our age, where some of our pipes can be up-to 80 years old.
When we install new water pipes and hydrants in your neighborhood, they must be completely cleaned after installation. This is not just a good idea, it is also the law. This is done with a solution of chlorine and water, which disinfects the pipes and removes foreign contaminants such as rust or sediment. In order to completely remove the solution, the pipes must then be flushed-out with high-pressure water.
It is required that this flushing be done, as it neutralizes the chlorine solution. It also removes any remaining sediments in the pipes before they are connected to your homes. Unfortunately, this means that large volumes of non-drinkable water will occasionally need to be discharged into the nearby storm drain system. This gives the appearance of wasting large quantities of water. The good news is that this is not the case.
No Water is Being Wasted
The discharged water is being collected by the storm drain system, which then flows to the Santa Ana riverbed. Once in the riverbed, it is absorbed into the groundwater aquifer basin for future use. This is made possible by the Santa Ana River's sandy bottom, which acts as a natural filter as it absorbs the water. This natural system that has been cleaning the water and recharging the aquifer for thousands of years.
The groundwater basin lies far underground, and provides a vast store of safe drinking water which we rely on to supply about 75% of our City's water needs.
We have been asked if the City could capture the water instead of sending it to the storm drains. Unfortunately, a recent test of that idea proved impractical. The large volume of water that must be moved under high pressure was too great to capture. Lowering the pressure or the volume did not do the cleaning job necessary to meet the required water quality standards.
- Current report on Water Consumer Confidence
- Current Report on Water Quality Relative to Public Health Goals
Backflow Test Report and Certified Backflow Tester
Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)
Water quality is our top concern at the City of Orange Water Division. As part of this commitment, we regularly monitor state and federal regulations to ensure we are providing high-quality water to our customers. On May 19, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has lowered health advisory guidelines for two unregulated contaminants PFOS, and PFOA.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these are "organic chemicals that have been used in a variety of commercial and consumer products, such as stain and water repellents for carpets and upholstered furnishings, paper products, fire-fighting foams and non-stick cookware."
PFOS and PFOA have been detected in water throughout the U.S., including in California and Orange County. The EPA announcement and related materials can be found by viewing the Drinking Water Health Advisory for Perfluorooctanoic Acid webpage. In nearly all of Orange's water, the detected levels of PFOS and PFOA are either non-existent, or well below the revised health advisories. Orange has two wells out of 16 that slightly exceed the EPA's advisory threshold. These wells have been taken offline out of an abundance of caution.
Going forward, our Water Division will:
- Continue testing our water to determine if contaminants are present.
- Provide test results in our Water Division's annual Water Quality Report.
- Work with regulators and groundwater management agencies to determine and address possible sources of contamination.