A High-Quality Reason to Celebrate This Week

It’s National Drinking Water Week—a good time anywhere in the country to review the many health benefits of hydrating all day.  It’s also an occasion for San Francisco to celebrate its high-quality tap water—a blend of mostly High Sierra snow melt with protected local watersheds in Alameda and San Mateo Counties, as well as aquifers in San Francisco and northern San Mateo County.

Gathering water from those sources is just the first step in providing high-quality water to customers and consumers. From collection through treatment, regular water quality testing, and distribution, SFPUC’s complex system ensures it delivers quality tap water every day. SFPUC experts conduct over 100,000 tests each year throughout the system to confirm that the water consistently meets or exceeds state and federal standards for health and regulatory requirements.

A water quality technician measures the cloudiness in a water sample taken from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
A water quality chemist testing the water in the lab.

Since 2010, the SFPUC has installed outdoor lead-free tap stations in school yards, parks and other public spaces throughout the City. Residents, commuters and visitors are able to easily refill their water bottles at the tap stations rather than purchase costly single-use bottled water. This encourages conserving natural resources and reduces single-use plastic bottles from entering the waste stream.

In addition to environmental benefits, drinking tap water also replenishes cells with the hydration they need to function and thrive. Some health benefits include:

  • Water strengthens the immune system, making us more resilient to viruses and other illnesses.
  • It’s essential for healthy kidneys and other vital organs, while flushing toxins from our digestive system.
  • It cleanses impurities from the skin, plumps the cells, and gives the face a glowing, younger look.
  • Water is an energy booster. (Remember, as soon as you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, and more likely to feel tired or run down.)
  • It lubricates the joints and spinal cord, so you’re ready for a walk, run, or other exercise—followed by more water. 
Filling up a reusable bottle at a tap station located in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood.

To locate tap stations around San Francisco, explore the map below:

RED dots indicate taps located in schools. BLUE dots indicate taps in the public realm.