Public Water Systems & Safe Drinking Water Act

As of October 12, 2020, the State of Nevada, Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), Bureau of Safe Drinking Water (SDW) is the regulatory authority for all public water systems in Washoe County.  Please contact the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water at  (775) 687-9521 for any questions regarding drinking water.  Their website can be found at:

Water projects will still be reviewed by WCHD along with any associated building permits as normal.  You may contact Chris Peterson at (775) 328-2632 or via email at: 

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Program Description

The Land Development Program (LDP) staff ensures that the over 100 public water systems in Washoe County comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Nevada Public Water System Construction Regulations. The regulations ensure that the water purveyors provide safe and reliable water. The staff tracks over 5,000 samples annually and trains water system operators. The training has resulted in a reduction of "boil water orders" and "failure to monitor" violations for the sixth straight year. Currently, all public water systems in Washoe County are in compliance with chemical drinking water standards.

The LDP staff works with state and local agencies to protect groundwater quality. Based on staff's research of nitrate contamination in Spanish Springs and Cold Springs Valleys, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) ordered Washoe County and affected residents to develop an action plan to address the nitrate problem. The Engineering staff has been instrumental in developing solutions to the problem by working with citizens and county agencies to address future contamination issues through policy and regulation development.

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Safe Drinking Water provides regulatory oversight for the Public Water System Supervision Program (PWSSP) in Nevada.  Staff at the Washoe County Health District provide contractual services and local oversight within Washoe County.

The Total Coliform Rule (TCR) requires Public Water Systems to collect Total Coliform samples at sites which are representative of the water throughout the distribution system, according to a written sample siting plan.

Contact the Program
Latricia Lord, Senior Environmental Health Specialist

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