In the midst of a global health crisis, it is important that the SFPUC continues to ensure customers, businesses, and communities how safe its drinking water is.
The SFPUC recently released its 2019 Water Quality Report, which details the efforts the agency has taken to ensure safe and healthy water for the 2.7 million customers it serves in the Bay Area. The report highlights in extensive details the steps the SFPUC undergoes to maintain its rigorous standards for drinking water.
The agency’s drinking water comes from a variety of protected sources carefully managed by the SFPUC. These sources include surface water stored in reservoirs located in the Sierra Nevada, Alameda County and San Mateo County, and groundwater supplies stored in a deep aquifer located in San Francisco and San Mateo counties.
The SFPUC employs a multi-step treatment process that removes and kills viruses, including coronaviruses such as COVID-19, as well as bacteria and other pathogens. All finished SFPUC drinking water has a residual disinfectant, chloramine, to provide additional treatment and protection to your tap. In fact the SFPUC’s treatment processes provide 10 to 60 times the required level of treatment to remove viruses, including the novel coronavirus.
To meet drinking water standards for consumption, the SFPUC’s water undergoes extensive treatments before it is delivered to customers. Water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is exempt from state and federal filtration requirements but receives ultraviolet light and chlorine disinfection. Operators include other safety measures such as adjustments for optimum corrosion control and fluoridation for dental health.
Water from local Bay Area reservoirs in Alameda County and San Mateo County is delivered to Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant and Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant, respectively, for filtration, disinfection, fluoridation, and optimal corrosion control prior to delivery to customers.
In 2019, the SFPUC conducted more than 100,000 drinking water tests in the source, transmission, and distribution system. These samples are tested daily at one of four water quality laboratories operated by our staff.
Additionally, the 2019 Water Quality Report highlights the agency’s efforts to test, monitor and treat for lead, contaminants, chemical compounds such as quinoline, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the agency’s drinking water.
The full 2019 Water Quality Report can be found at sfwater.org/qualitymatters.