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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA Orders Sutter County Public Water System to Reduce Arsenic in Drinking Water

Contact Information: 
Margot Perez-Sullivan (

SUTTER COUNTY, Calif. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached a settlement with Sutter County Water Works District No. 1 (SCWWD), located in Robbins, California, over arsenic violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. SCWWD will provide residents with alternative water until the system is in compliance with federal and state drinking water laws.

“We are pleased this system will make critical investments to secure and serve safe drinking water,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “EPA will ensure all requirements of this agreement will be met for the long-term protection of the community.”

As part of the agreement, the Sutter County Water Works District will design and build a new drinking water treatment facility that reduces arsenic in the drinking water. The system will also procure land to drill a new groundwater well. SCWWD is required to provide EPA with quarterly progress reports and participate in quarterly meetings with EPA and the California State Water Resources Control Board on its progress towards compliance.

The Sutter County Water Works District system serves approximately 350 residents, including over 100 households, a school and businesses with 93 connections located in Robbins, California. The system's current source of drinking water is groundwater from one primary and one backup well that serves its customers.

Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment and as a by-product of some agricultural and industrial

activities. It can enter drinking water through the ground or as runoff into surface water sources. Drinking water containing excess arsenic is linked to skin damage, circulatory problems and an increased risk of cancer.

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