Padre Dam Water Is Safe From Lead

Padre Dam customers can be confident in the quality of their drinking water, which meets or exceeds all federal and state standards for safe drinking water.  The most accurate source of water quality information is our annual Water Quality Report.  For a hard copy of the report: or call 619-258-4613. For the most recent lead and copper test results click here.
Padre Dam tap water comes from the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) via either: 

    1. The Helix R.M. Levy Treatment Facility in Lakeside.
    2. The Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant near San Marcos, California.
    3. The Claude "Bud" Lewis Desalination Plant in Carlsbad, California.
    4. The Robert A. Skinner Filtration Plant at Lake Skinner, California.

Padre Dam is a member agency of the SDCWA and purchases all of our drinking water supply from the SDCWA. SDCWA in turn purchases its water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). MWD is a wholesaler that provides water to over 19 million people living in Southern California. MWD addresses questions about its own water quality here.

MWD imports its water from two sources: a 242-mile-long aqueduct which transports Colorado River water from Lake Havasu to Southern California and a 444-mile-long aqueduct that transports water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta in Northern California to Lake Skinner located in Riverside Country. Both of these sources are naturally low in corrosive qualities.

With the recent national media stories on corrosive water leading to lead in drinking water, the District has received questions about lead service lines and water quality in general, which are addressed here:

Does the federal government monitor water for lead?
Yes. In 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a regulation to control lead and copper in drinking water, known as the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). The EPA revised the regulation in 2000 and 2007.

Congress has also set limits on the amount of lead that can be used in plumbing products. These requirements were first enacted in 1986 and then reduced to lower levels in 2011.

Is there lead in Padre Dam water?
No. The main risk of lead in drinking water comes from old service lines leading from the water provider’s water main to the individual property. Padre Dam water mains are predominantly cement pipe, ductile iron pipe and PVC with no lead pipe used in water mains. There are also very few properties within the Padre Dam service area that have lead used in the plumbing inside the property.

Unfortunately, in the Northeast and Midwest there are
a number of lead service lines connecting older homes to water mains. If those pipes are exposed to corrosive water, or if water sits too long inside them, the lead could be released and may end up coming out of the tap. This appears to be the case in Flint, Michigan.

Has Padre Dam ever had issues with lead in drinking water? 
No. Padre Dam has been monitoring the drinking water for lead since the EPA's Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) went into effect in 1991.  Specific homes within our service area are selected for testing every three years per EPA LCR guidelines.  Water samples are collected inside each selected residence at the tap so that the customer’s plumbing is tested along with the service line delivering water to the house. There are minimal lead service lines within the Padre Dam service area and Padre Dam has never taken a sample with results exceeding the allowable level set by the EPA LCR. 
Padre Dam has a consistent record of either meeting or exceeding all state and federal drinking water regulations, which further highlights our commitment to providing our customers with exceptional quality drinking water. 

Where can I get more information? For more information on Padre Dam’s water quality, click here. If you have more questions about drinking water in general, call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 or go to their website.