Meet Biologist Tammy Egger, Who Has Multi-generational Ties with the SFPUC

As a Biologist in the Natural Resources and Lands Management Division, Tammy Egger plays an integral role in monitoring the quality of San Francisco’s drinking water. As a woman in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field, she knows firsthand the importance of providing high-quality water to the SFPUC’s 2.7 million customers throughout the Bay Area.

“The role here is to maintain this incredible system that delivers water via gravity flow, to San Francisco. Every day, seven days a week, we’re performing a service to keep our water supply safe,” said Egger.

Tammy Egger testing water turbidity.

Egger has a unique role at the SFPUC as she is one of very few people who has the opportunity to go out on to the Hetch Hetchy reservoir to test the water. She enjoys going out on the reservoir and no matter how many times she’s been out there, it never gets old.

“I go to every creek that runs into Hetch Hetchy and sample water from those. So, we’re getting the water before it hits the reservoir. And then I come back, and I probably do a week or two of analysis here in the laboratory,” she shared. “I love going out on to the reservoirs and seeing the system up close like that, it’s amazing.”

For Egger, the SFPUC has long ties with her family – from her great grandfathers work on the construction of the O’Shaughnessy Dam to her mother, who was a custodian at Moccasin.

Tammy Egger working in the Moccasin lab.

“I definitely grew up around the history of Hetch Hetchy and I definitely feel a connection with the history of the area,” said Egger. “My great grandfather, I believe he hauled freight; he’s in the Hetch Hetchy book. My grandfather worked on the train and drove the train. My great uncle drove the snow plows. And then my father worked in the Powerhouse at Moccasin and my mom worked at Moccasin as well as a custodian.”

Out of the SFPUC’s six core values of service, excellence, stewardship, diversity, safety, and inclusiveness, Egger says the core values that resonates with her the most are “service” and “excellence.”

“Service and excellence stand out the most to me and I think they go hand in hand because there’s no reason to do a service if you don’t do excellent work,” shared Egger.