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Where does our water come from?

Prior to implementation of the Santa Fe County Supplemental water delivery project in late 2022, water supply to EAWSD was provided solely by wells drilled into underlying aquifers. Due to pumping rates that exceeded the sustainable yield of the aquifer, water levels in these wells have been in decline for the last two decades or more. To address this issue, approximately 20% of EAWSD's total water deliveries will come from the County beginning in 2024, increasing to approximately 40% in the subsequent four years. 

Is our water safe to drink?

Yes.  Our water is tested regularly and meets or exceeds all State and Federal water quality standards. Additional information can be found in our annual water quality reports.

Is our water treated with chemicals?

Our groundwater is of high quality and therefore the only required treatment is the addition of small amounts of chlorine as required to prevent the possibility of microbial growth as the water moves through the distribution system to customers' taps. County water, also of high quality, requires air scrubbing for removal of volatile Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) which are common in many surface waters that are disinfected with chlorine. Some individuals are more sensitive to the taste and smell of chlorine in the water than others. If the chlorine level is bothersome, it can be dissipated by keeping an open pitcher of water for drinking in your refrigerator. Some commercially available tap filters and pitcher-type filters are also effective for removing chlorine. If you experience a persistent, strong taste or odor of chlorine from your tap water, call our operations office to request a test.

Is there lead in Eldorado's water?

Lead occurs in drinking water when the water, flowing through plumbing systems, leaches lead from pipes and plumbing fixtures, particularly lead service lines commonly used in older systems (the lateral pipes between the water main in the street and the home). Fortunately, investigations conducted by EAWSD have concluded that there are no lead service lines in our system. However, brass fixtures and lead solder, commonly used in older household plumbing can be a minor source of lead in water delivered to the customers' tap. The federal regulatory standard for lead in drinking water requires that 90% of customers tested have lead levels below 15 parts per billion (ppb). Ongoing lead testing shows 100% of customers tested below 5.0 ppb, well below the maximum regulatory level. Of the homes tested, 45% have no detection of lead whatsoever.

How hard is our water?

Water hardness is a measure of the amount of minerals dissolved in the water, particularly calcium carbonate and magnesium. Water is 'soft' when it falls from the sky as rain, but 'hardens' as it travels through soil and rock, dissolving minerals. Since EAWSD draws its water from deep wells drilled into rock formations, our water is hard. Generally, the water hardness is about 300-350 parts per million or milligrams per liter. This is also equivalent to about 17-20 grains per gallon. If you wish to soften your tap water with a commercially available water softener, the installer will want to know this water hardness level to properly adjust the softener.


How much water does the District pump?

Total annual water produced by EAWSD from both EAWSD wells and County water deliveries is approximately 500-acre feet, equivalent to 163,000,000 gallons. Due to very low projected growth rates (less than 1% a year), which we expect will be partially offset by a continued emphasis on water conservation, water production is not expected to increase significantly in the coming years. 

Is there enough water to meet the current and future needs of the Eldorado area?

Yes, EAWSD has adequate groundwater rights and in 2023 contracted with Santa Fe County to import supplemental water into our system to meet our future and growing drinking water demands. Although we have been experiencing substantial aquifer (ground) water table decline and depletion, we forecast that the purchase of supplemental water from the County will keep pace to meet current and future water demands. This new alternate source may alleviate the current water withdrawals from ground water resilience and gives the promise that our aquifer levels will experience some natural replenishment and rebound towards past water levels. In addition, we will continue to maintain and expand, as necessary, our infrastructure capacity required to store and distribute this new supply. 

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