Health Risk Information for Public Health Goal Exceedance Reports

Under the Calderon-Sher Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996 (the Act), water utilities are required to prepare a report every three years for contaminants that exceed public health goals (PHGs) (Health and Safety Code Section 116470 (2)[b]). The numerical health risk for a contaminant is to be presented with the category of health risk, along with a plainly worded description of these terms. The cancer health risk is to be calculated at the PHG and at the California maximum contaminant level (MCL). This report is prepared by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to assist the water utilities in meeting their requirements.

PHGs are concentrations of contaminants in drinking water that pose no significant health risk if consumed for a lifetime. PHGs are developed and published by OEHHA (Health and Safety Code Section 116365) using current risk assessment principles, practices and methods.

For more information on health risks:  The adverse health effects for each chemical with a PHG are summarized in a PHG technical support document.  These documents are available on the OEHHA Web site.  Also, technical fact sheets on most of the chemicals having federal MCLs can be found at