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Is Irvine Tap Water Safe to Drink?

You may not think about how often you use tap water, but you should. Not only do you drink it, but you also use it to wash your dishes, brush your teeth, and make your morning coffee or tea. That means that unless you’re willing to pay for bottled water, you depend on your tap water a lot more than you might’ve initially thought.

Is it safe to drink the tap water in Irvine? Generally, yes. 

According to water quality reports, Irvine has no present violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and its water meets the EPA’s potable water guidelines. These guidelines ensure that Irvine’s tap water contains fewer potential pollutants than the maximum level allowed.1

But just because Irvine water meets those standards doesn’t mean it’s tasty or completely pollutant-free. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Irvine’s water, including where it comes from and how you can make sure it’s clean. Let’s jump in.

Where Does Irvine’s Water Come From?

All of Irvine’s water gets sourced from the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD). And the IRWD gets its water from two places:2

  1. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – This is where about 35% of the city’s tap water originates from. This water originates in Northern California and gets to Irvine by way of the State Water Project. The Colorado River Aqueduct also provides water from the Colorado River.
  2. The Orange County Groundwater Basin – Groundwater wells in this area provide the majority of Irvine’s drinking water supply. The Orange County Water District is in charge of these local wells (OCWD).

Though Irvine’s water meets the EPA’s rules for community water systems safety, that doesn’t mean you’re wrong to worry about potential contamination or natural pollutants found in these water sources.

How Does Water Origin Affect Its Safety?

Just because water comes from a spring or river doesn’t mean it’s automatically clean drinking water. About 80% of the global wastewater created is put back into oceans, lakes, springs, and rivers without being properly treated.3 This fact means it’s perfectly reasonable to worry that some amount of the following could be in your drinking water:

  • Nutrient pollution
  • Runoff
  • Chemicals
  • Untreated wastewater

And there’s more to the journey than just the trip through the aqueduct. The water also has to make its way through your pipes to get into your apartment building or home. And if those pipes are lead, you could be adding harmful contaminants to your water as you pour it into your glass.

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How to Make Sure Your Water Is Clean

It’s not just as simple as looking at your water to see if it’s dirty. While off-color drinking water is an obvious sign it’s not safe to drink, many potentially dangerous pollutants aren’t visible to the naked eye. Fortunately, there are ways you can assess your water quality at home. To make sure your water is clean, you can:

  • Smell it – Even though sight isn’t a reliable way of detecting contaminants in your water, smelling it is. If your water smells like bleach, that tells you your water has a lot of chlorine in it. If it smells like rotten eggs, there’s hydrogen sulfide in it.
  • Feel it on your skin – Do your hands always feel slimy after you wash them? If that’s the case, you might be mistakenly blaming it on your soap. A persistent, slimy film on your hands is a classic sign that your water has excess iron bacteria in it. If this is the case, you might also notice orange or brown rings developing on your faucets.
  • Get a water testing kit – For the pollutants you can’t smell or taste, use a water testing kit to rule everything else out. You can get at-home ones that give you all the tools you need to ensure your water is free from contamination and identify anything that might be in it. Testing kits can also help determine Irvine water hardness. Although not a health hazard, water hardness can ruin your pipes and plumbing in the long haul. 

Even though it might be a bit of a process, you can take steps to ensure that your tap water at home is clean and truly pollution-free.

Never Worry About Clean Water Again — Let Rayne Water Help

While you can go through the process of testing your water at home, it’s easier to skip the hassle and use a water system instead.

That’s where Rayne Water comes in. We have a variety of water systems available to put your mind at ease and ensure that you can trust the water you’re drinking. And our comprehensive water systems do more than ensure that your water is safe to drink. They also allow you to adjust the feel of the water in your mouth, giving you the drinking water quality experience you deserve.

So don’t spend any more time wondering what’s coming out of your tap or buying bottled water at the store. Instead, get started with a water softener and treatment system today. 


  1. Tap Safe. Is Irvine Tap Water Safe to Drink?
  2. City of Irvine. Water Quality.
  3. NRDC. Water Pollution: Everything You Need to Know.