Nestled in the foothills on a plateau at the northern tip of Orange County, Brea was known as a place where tar seeped from the hills. The word “Brea” means tar in Spanish. In early history, Indians and pioneers used chunks of the oil-soaked earth for fuel and domestic purposes like heating their homes and waterproofing their roofs. Then came the big oil boom!
In 1894, the Union Oil Company purchased 1,200 acres of land to be used for oil development. They struck it rich in 1898 when the first oil well, Olinda Oil Well #1, came in – thus creating an oil boom in the hills of Brea and Olinda and paving the way for the thriving city that Brea is today.
An actual town did not develop until 1911 when businesses and small industries sprang up to serve the oil field workers and their families. The official founding date for the town of Brea is January 19, 1911, when the old map of the town of Randolph was refiled under a new name. The City of Brea became incorporated on February 23, 1917, with a population of 752. Brea’s oil boom lasted until the 1940s. As oil production declined, the next three decades brought new housing developments and businesses to Brea. The 70s saw big changes with the opening of the Brea Mall. The city grew steadily over the years. As oil production declined, the 40s, 50s, and 60s brought many new housing developments and new businesses. The 70s saw big changes with the opening of the Orange (57) freeway and the construction of the Brea Mall. Industrial parks and retail areas thrived in Brea during the 70s and 80s, as more and more companies took advantage of the city’s strategic location in the center of Southern California.
WHERE DOES BREA CITY WATER COME FROM?
Your drinking water is a blend of surface water imported by the MWDSC, and groundwater imported from Cal Domestic in Whittier. MWDSC’s imported water sources are the Colorado River and the State Water Project, which draws water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Cal Domestic water originates from the Main San Gabriel groundwater basin.
ARE THERE CONTAMINANTS IN BREA CITY WATER?
The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the
the surface of the land or through the layers of the ground it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animal and human activity.
Contaminants that may be present in source water include:
Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses.
Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment
plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and
Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production or mining activities.
Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban storm runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining and farming.
Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gasoline stations, urban stormwater runoff, agricultural application, and septic systems
SHOULD I DRINK AND BATHE WITH BREA CITY WATER STRAIGHT FROM MY FAUCET?
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised people, such as those with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have had organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly persons and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.
The USEPA and the federal Centers for Disease Control
guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of
infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from USEPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Time (7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in California)- source: 2017 Brea consumer confidence report.
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