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Public Works frequently asked questions

How will the addition of an ADU/JADU/Garage Conversion affect my parking permit eligibility?

An ADU/JADU/Garage Conversion can affect current/future permit parking allocation.

If I live on a permit parking street and I add an ADU/JADU/Garage Conversion to my Single Family Dwelling will it change my permit parking eligibility?

Yes, an ADU/JADU/Garage Conversion is considered a unit and it will change the classification of a Single Family Dwelling to a Multi-Family Dwelling. Therefore the number of permits allotted will change.

If I have a four-plex and add one (1) more unit, will this change my permit parking eligibility?

Yes, properties with more than four units do not qualify for parking permits.

If I add an ADU/JADU/Garage Conversion, will my ADU/JADU/Garage Conversion get three parking permits and guest passes like my Single Family Dwelling?

No. Adding an ADU/JADU/Garage Conversion will adversely change your permit allotment.

Is there lead in my tap water?

The City of Santa Ana is committed to ensuring the safety and quality of our drinking water. The lead issue in Flint, Michigan, in 2016 highlighted the importance of addressing lead in drinking water systems. Unlike Flint, our water supply does not contain lead, and we adhere to strict regulatory standards to safeguard public health. Here’s what you need to know:

  • We conduct regular testing of water within our distribution system to monitor lead levels in accordance with the Lead & Copper Rule (LCR) established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Our latest city-wide test for lead, conducted independently in 2021, yielded results that were fully compliant with the LCR.
  • Santa Ana’s water supply is non-corrosive, helping to prevent the leaching of lead from plumbing fixtures.
  • We do not have any lead pipes in our distribution system, further ensuring the absence of lead contamination. For more detailed information on the quality of Santa Ana’s water, you can review our Water Quality Report found here.
  • In 2021, 123 residences were tested for lead and copper at-the-tap. Lead was detected in 4 samples, none of which exceeded the Action Level for lead.


Lead In Residential Plumbing

Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. The City of Santa Ana is responsible for providing high quality drinking water but cannot control the variety of materials used in a home’s plumbing components.



If you live in an older house that has copper piping with lead solder, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure. When your water has been sitting for several hours in the pipes, simply flush your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you do so, consider collecting the flushed water and reuse it for another beneficial purpose, such as watering plants. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure are available from the U.S. EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or at

The City of Santa Ana is working with Orange County’s Health Care Agency and their selected contractor Azure Community Development to offer a lead testing and abatement program available to Santa Ana households. To view the eligibility checklist and complete the pre-screening questionnaire click here.


Why does my water taste or smell different during different times of the year?´

The taste or smell of your water may change throughout the year because the City of Santa Ana uses a blend of two water sources. About 77 percent of our water comes from local groundwater, while the rest is imported from Metropolitan Water District (MWD). MWD gets water from the Colorado River and Northern California, treating it with chloramines at their filtration plant. We also treat local well water with chlorine. This blend of waters can result in different tastes or mineral levels in your water at different times. However, these variations don’t affect water safety. Regular testing and monitoring by the City of Santa Ana help ensure that water quality meets regulatory standards year-round. In addition to providing high-quality water at lower costs, using different water sources benefits our customers by improving supply reliability.

Why does my tap water smell like rotten eggs?

It’s not the water itself that smells. In fact, the City of Santa Ana conducts regular monitoring tests throughout the water distribution system to check for any odors. This issue is typically related to organic materials that have been discarded into a kitchen drain or another sink. Over time, these materials can accumulate and decay within the drain, creating an unpleasant odor. There could also be bacteria locked in the P-trap of your bathroom sink drain or a buildup of bacteria in your pipes.

To remedy this issue, routinely clean drain stoppers, faucet aerators and flush the P-trap and/or garbage disposal, the sink and the overflow with a solution of household chlorine bleach. If this awful rotten-egg smell is persistent and the issues continue, you may need to contact a qualified plumber to address it.

Why does my tap water look cloudy or milky?

Tap water can sometimes appear cloudy which is often mistaken for an impurity in the water. Cloudy water, also commonly described as milky white, hazy, soapy or foamy, is usually caused by air in the water. How does this happen? About 70% of our water comes from local wells. The well water we supply is pumped from hundreds of feet below the ground and that pumping process can sometimes result in aeration, or the mixing of air with water. Also, when making changes to your home’s plumbing, such as replacing a water heater or faucet fixtures, it is common for air to enter the pipes when they are repressurized. Aeration creates small bubbles in the water that are harmless but may give the water a cloudy appearance. If your water looks cloudy, pour some water into a clear glass and set it on the counter. Observe the glass of water for a few minutes. If the white color is due to air, the air bubbles will rise to the top of the glass and disappear.

For safe measure, should I drink bottled water or use a water filter?

No, it’s unnecessary! Bottled water and tap water are regulated by different agencies. Tap water actually has more stringent reporting requirements, such as providing customers with a printed Water Quality Report each year. Bottled water suppliers aren’t required to share this data, but some might if asked. The water from the City of Santa Ana is clean, high quality and safe to drink, much less expensive and more environmentally friendly than bottled water. Before switching to bottled water or a filter, compare the data from the City of Santa Ana’s Annual Water Quality Report with the data from the bottled water or filtration device you’re thinking about. The choice between bottled water or a filter should depend on preferences, not concerns about health risks.

Is my tap water hard? What is the hardness level in Santa Ana’s tap water?

Tap water hardness varies because it absorbs minerals like calcium and magnesium as it passes through soil and rock. These minerals aren’t harmful and can actually supplement essential nutrients in your body. In Santa Ana, as in much of Southern California, hard water is common due to elevated levels of these minerals. Santa Ana’s water has a hardness of about 250 parts per million or approximately 15 grains per gallon.

While the taste of drinking water is subjective and varies among individuals, some residents choose to use water softening treatment systems for their homes or businesses. The City of Santa Ana does not endorse or recommend any specific systems. However, if you are interested in exploring water filter options, the California Water Board website provides a comprehensive list of hundreds of registered Residential Water Treatment Devices. Visit this webpage to find a filter that meets your specific needs. When selecting one, consider capacity, regeneration method, warranty, and manufacturer reputation.

What causes the white residue in my pots and cookware or spots on my glassware?

The white residue or spots on your glassware are typically caused by minerals like calcium and magnesium found naturally in water. These minerals are common in what’s known as “hard” water. However, they don’t pose any health risks; in fact, they can contribute to your daily intake of calcium and magnesium, which are important nutrients according to the National Research Council. Many people even prefer the taste and health benefits of water with these minerals over distilled or “soft” water.

To remove these mineral deposits from your cookware, you can boil a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Similarly, to clean your coffee maker, fill the reservoir with the same vinegar-water mixture and run a cycle.

Why does my home’s water pressure seem high?

Water pressure in Santa Ana can vary from around 50 psi to 100 psi across the distribution system. This fluctuation happens because of routine water system operations and peak water use times. Factors like building water softeners, plumbing restrictions, and point-of-use treatment devices can also influence water pressure on your property. The City can’t adjust water pressure at individual addresses. However, if you’re dealing with high water pressure, you can take steps to address it. For instance, you can install or replace a pressure regulator on your property to lower high water pressure.

What is Pass-Through Commodity Charge?

For the Pass-Through Commodity Charge Table Click here.

We have a problem with cars speeding down our street. How can we get speed bumps installed in my neighborhood?

You can review the procedure for installing speed bumps or call (714) 647-5619 for more information.

How can I get a traffic count?

You may call (714) 647-5619 to obtain information by phone or you can view the 2017-18 data now.

How can I stop people from using the streets in my neighborhood as a thoroughfare?

You can call (714) 647-5619 for information about the City’s traffic management plans. The City has developed a procedure for adopting and implementing neighborhood traffic management plans.

How can I dispose of household hazardous waste?

If you have pesticides, cleaners, batteries, pool chemicals and paints in addition to other chemicals found around your home, proper disposal facilities are nearby. The County of Orange offers free disposal for household hazardous waste at several locations close to Santa Ana. The collection centers are open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please call (714) 834-6752 for more information. The following are collection locations:

1071 North Blue Gum Street

6411 Oak Canyon (Next to City Yard)

Huntington Beach
17121 Nichols Street (Use Gate 6)

How can I report illegal dumping in storm drains?

The City conducts regular inspections and maintenance of the sewer system. A fund has been established to replace or repair worn out sewer laterals using city crews, within the public right-of-way.  Call (714) 647-3380 for assistance. The introduction of fats, oils and grease are detrimental to the proper functioning of the sewer system. See how to eliminate fats, oils and grease from entering the sewer system.

Call (714) 647-3380 to report someone dumping trash or other waste into the storm drain. Storm drains are cleaned annually to ensure streets and sidewalks do not flood during heavy rains.

I’ve been seeing graffiti in my neighborhood. How can I get it removed?

Call the Graffiti Hotline at (877) 786-7824 (877 – STOPTAG) to report graffiti or you can report an issue through our website or through the MySantaAna app. If it is on public property or fences facing the street, it will be removed within 1-2 days. For graffiti found in unincorporated areas or on County-owned and maintained property, please call the County of Orange at (714) 667-1600. For more information regarding Graffiti, please visit the Graffiti Program page.

How can I find out about recycling and trash services?

Put your trash carts at the curb no earlier than 4:00 pm on the day before your scheduled collection, and put them out of sight by midnight the day your trash is collected. Never leave your carts at the curb beyond your scheduled trash day. If you see carts in public view, help us by reporting online by filling out this form on our website or use the mySantaAna app to submit a report. You can also call us at (714) 647-3380 between 7 am and 4 pm Monday-Thursday and every other Friday 7 am to 3 pm Holiday and Friday Closure Schedule.

When New Year’s Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day is observed on a weekday, collections for the remainder of the week will be delayed one day. When refuse collection and street sweeping occur on the same day, please place your carts on top of the curb to allow the street sweeper to clean the curbs and gutters.

For household cleanup, please call Republic Services, Inc. at (657) 467-6220 and ask for a temporary three-yard bin for general clean up.

For remodeling and other construction and demolition projects, please call Ware Disposal (714) 834-0234 or Republic Services at (657)467-6220 for a construction bin or roll-off container.

You can contact Republic Services at (657) 467-6220 to:

  • Change the size of your trash carts
  • Order large item pick-ups for curbside customers
  • Replace your damaged or missing carts, free
  • Order additional carts

How can I dispose of used motor oil?

The City provides curbside used motor oil and filter collection at no charge. Contact Republic Services at (657) 467-6220 to receive your free oil container and filter bag. After you have filled the container with used motor oil, and placed your used oil filter in the plastic bag, call Republic Services to schedule a pickup. Your oil and oil filter will be picked up on your next regularly scheduled refuse collection day and a new empty container and oil filter bag will be left for your next oil change. DO NOT dump used motor oil into storm drains as they flow to the ocean.

How can I report vandalism and unsightly conditions at bus stops and shelters?

Bus shelters and stops are cleaned twice a week. To report trash, debris, and vandalism at bus shelters you can report an issue through our website or through the MySantaAna app. Bus schedules can be viewed here.

How can I have abandoned shopping carts removed?

For shopping cart removal, call  (714) 667-2780 or you can report an issue through our website or through the MySantaAna app.

Who do I contact regarding abandoned property, weeds and rubbish on public property (streets, alleys and parkways)?

For abandoned property, weeds, and rubbish on public property, help us by reporting online by filling out this form on our website or use the mySantaAna app to submit a report. You can also call us at (714) 647-3380 between 7 am and 4 pm Monday-Thursday and every other Friday 7 am to 3 pm Holiday and Friday Closure Schedule.

Where can I find the street sweeping schedule for my neighborhood?

Residential City streets are swept every week and are posted with the day and time of the sweeping schedule. Click to see a map of the street sweeping schedule. It is illegal to park on the street during the scheduled sweeping times. Vehicles parked on the street when the sweeper passes will receive a parking citation. It is illegal to park vehicles on residential lawns, even on street sweeping day. Streets are not swept on City holidays and are not rescheduled for sweeping the following day.

City Holidays are New Year’s day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day following Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and the last working day before Christmas day or, if Christmas Day falls on Thursday, the Friday following Christmas Day. Holidays which fall on a Sunday will be observed on the following Monday and holidays which fall on a Saturday will be observed on the Friday preceding the Holiday. Help us by reporting online by filling out this form on our website or use the mySantaAna app to submit a report. You can also call us at (714) 647-3380 between 7 am and 4 pm Monday-Thursday and every other Friday 7 am to 3 pm Holiday and Friday Closure Schedule.

Water is coming out of the meter box in front of my house. Who do I call to fix it?

If the water is coming from the street side of the meter, it is the City’s responsibility to fix it. Help us by reporting online by filling out this form on our website or use the mySantaAna app to submit a report. You can also call us at (714) 647-3380 between 7 am and 4 pm Monday-Thursday and every other Friday 7 am to 3 pm Holiday and Friday Closure Schedule.

How can I get a new tree planted in the parkway in front of my home?

The City has 40 different species of trees we plant in parkways. However, some trees will not work in certain parkways due to the size of the parkway and the root structure of the tree. Your choice of tree will also be limited to those already planted in your neighborhood’s parkways. You may call (714) 647-3380 to request a site inspection to determine which species of tree will work best in your parkway.

Homeowners will be responsible for deep watering their trees. City staff will provide trimming and pesticide services as well as re-staking the tree, if necessary. Call (714) 647-3380 to verify when a City-owned tree will be trimmed. View a complete list of trees.

How can I report street median problems?

The City maintains landscaping in street medians. To report problems such as damaged trees, plants, signage or irrigation, help us by reporting online by filling out this form on our website or use the mySantaAna app to submit a report. You can also call us at (714) 647-3380 between 7 am and 4 pm Monday-Thursday and every other Friday 7 am to 3 pm Holiday and Friday Closure Schedule.

Who do I call to report shoes on overhead wires?

To report discarded shoes or foreign objects hanging on overhead wires, you can call the City of Santa Ana Public Works Agency to report the location at the number below or if you are familiar with the utility wires, you can contact the utility company directly. Click here to view an example of overhead wires on a utility pole.

• City of Santa Ana Public Works Agency: (714) 647-3380

                 – OR –

• Southern California Edison1 (800) 611-1911 – Press Option “1”
• Spectrum (Cable): 1 (800) 238-2955 – Press Option “5”
• AT&T611 – Press Option “8”

How can I report a traffic light malfunction?

You can call (714) 647-5619 to report a malfunctioning traffic light or you can report an issue through our website or through the MySantaAna app.

How can I report a street light outage?

To report street lighting problems, help us by reporting online by filling out this form on our website or use the mySantaAna app to submit a report. You can also call us at (714) 647-3380 between 7 am and 4 pm Monday-Thursday and every other Friday 7 am to 3 pm Holiday and Friday Closure Schedule. Before reporting, please identify the street light by either an address or a pole number located on the street side of the pole, approximately seven feet above the sidewalk.

Who do I call to report potholes and damaged sidewalks?

The City maintains a regular street and sidewalk repair and maintenance schedule. Help us by reporting online by filling out this form on our website or use the mySantaAna app to submit a report. You can also call us at (714) 647-3380 between 7 am and 4 pm Monday-Thursday and every other Friday 7 am to 3 pm Holiday and Friday Closure Schedule.

How much are fire hydrant construction meter rental fees?

Meter rental fee is $2.32 per day regardless of use, including Saturday and Sunday. Minimum meter rental fee is five days at $2.32 per day. Deposits will be refunded upon return of undamaged meter and tools, after payment has been deducted for a cost of the water used and daily meter rental fees. All or part of the deposit may be forfeited for failure to pay any bill, reporting meter stolen, failure to return meter, or damage to any meter or tools used by the permittee. Billings and refunds are processed within 4 – 8 weeks from the date meter is returned.

Deposit is subject to current Miscellaneous Fee Schedule.

How can I obtain a permit for fire hydrant construction meter?

Fire hydrant construction meters (FHCMs) are issued when an appointment is made through to complete a permit application form and the following documents are brought to the appointment:

  • A copy of the current business license with the City of Santa Ana;
  • A deposit check made payable to the “City of Santa Ana” in the amount of $3,298.00 (company name on the check has to match the name on the business license);
  • Job location (map of location where meter is to be installed).

Here is an example of an application you will be provided during your appointment.  Be ready to fill it out with the following information:

  • The job location(s);
  • Estimated completion date;
  • Company name and telephone number;
  • Foreman’s name, email, and telephone number;
  • Company business address and City Business License Number.

Once all requirements are met and a permit application is issued, the fire hydrant construction meter (FHCM) will be provided to you at the time of the appointment. Please email to make an appointment and to obtain any additional information.

How can I obtain a street work permit?

Street work is required to be performed by a licensed contractor. The contractor must provide the following information prior to the issuance of the street work permit:

  1. A City of Santa Ana business license
  2. A Certificate of Insurance of general liability containing requirements as set forth by the City Attorney
  3. A contractor’s license (with approved classification).
  4. Proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  5. Two sets of the approved street improvement plans

For additional information, you can call (714) 647-5039.

How can I get a parking permit for a Single Family Dwelling?

To be eligible for a parking permit, you must live on a qualifying block in a permit parking district. Parking signage is posted within each permit parking district. Permits are processed at the Public Works Agency counter, Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and alternate Fridays from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM (except holidays), at a cost of $81.00 per permit (as of July 1, 2023).

Permits expire every two years on a common date for each parking district. A maximum of three permits can be issued per single-family home and one permit per multifamily residential unit. To obtain a parking permit, a valid driver’s license, current vehicle registration, and proof of residence are required. Please note that all requested documents must match the eligible address and name on drivers license. Please review our City of Santa Ana Residential Permit Parking Flyer for complete details. Call (714) 647-5623 for additional information.

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