News Details

WATER QUALITY and OUTAGE Updates

2014 Drought Updates Here

Water Disruptions 

None at this time.

Water Quality


Questions or concerns about water quality? Call us at (650) 329-2161 to report issues or request information. Sometimes our water intake may change and come through a local storage reservoir rather than straight from Hetch Hetchy, which can stir up sediment. If you experience discoloration or sediment in water coming from your tap, flush the water for a minute or more until the water clears. There may be more oxygen in the water, which can give a cloudy appearance. This is not harmful to drink. If problems persist or seem different than these conditions, please notify us right away, take precautions, and do not drink the water.

Keep Informed

    • Rumors about possible dangers of fluoridation are simply false--get the facts.
    • Stay abreast of breaking news about any water disruptions or quality issues by following us on Twitter:@PAUtilities
    • To report a substantial leak, break or other emergency, call (650) 329-2579
    • To report over-watering or runoff infractions, call (650)329-2261 
    • Water Rate & Supply Status information is here.
    • City Water Quality Annual Report available here.
    • SFPUC Water Supply project status (slide presentation) available here
    • Backflow prevention surveys--get the full scoop about what is going on and why here. 
    • Highly Sensitive Customers---since occasional minor fluctuations in water quality do occur, people with high-sensitivity to water quality issues (e.g. those with compromised immune systems) should consult with their health care provider to determine in general if they should be taking precautionary measures such as adding filtration devices.


SFPUC (Hetch-Hetchy) Water Supply Updates

    2014 DROUGHT: Details can be found here.

    RIM FIRE---
    The Rim Fire had no operational or water quality impact to the SFPUC water system. The water system is being monitored very closely and should things change, the SFPUC has back-up plans ready to go. 

    CHROMIUM 6 Not a Concern---The water supplies we receive from the SFPUC fully comply with the new California Chromium 6 MCL standard expected to be finalized in July 2014.  Click here for the latest SFPUC report on Chromium 6. 

      • Chromium is an abundant element in the Earth’s crust,  found naturally in rocks, plants, soil and volcanic dust, humans and animals. One form, hexavalent chromium, is widely found in waters, including source waters for drinking water, typically at VERY low concentration levels.

ALGAE---Long-term Actions: The SFPUC is developing an early warning monitoring program to better identify any future algae bloom events and exploring other improvements.  


SFPUC Hetch-Hetchy System Operations

Click here for a reference map of the SFPUC Hetch-Hetchy System. 

Click here.to read about how the Hetch-Hetchy system uses gravity, not electricity, to deliver your water.


Source water blend change (
effective January 22, 2014)
 

UpdateOctober 6, 2014

There will be a system operation and blend change for the San Francisco Regional Water System (SFRWS) starting October 6, 2014, to accommodate construction and disinfection activities on the new Bay Tunnel which will send water used for its disinfection to the Crystal Springs Reservoir via the Pulgas Dechloramination Facility. In order to accomplish this, the transmission system will be split into two with the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant (HTWTP) serving the customers on the Peninsula and in the City of San Francisco. The SFRWS customers, south and east of the Pulgas Valve Lot (located in Redwood City), will be served by a blend of water from Hetch Hetchy and the Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant (SVWTP). The blend change is shown below comparing the water quality parameters at Irvington Portal. This data is based on the most recent sampling results and represents an estimate of how the blend parameters will change, but some fluctuation may occur due to the flow and demand variations during this time.

 

Parameter

As of

10-3-14

As of

10-6-14

As of

10-10-14

HH Flow (MGD)

190

100

190

SVWTP Flow (MGD)

25

25

25

HTWTP Flow (MGD)

30

110

0

Total Chlorine Residual (mg/L)

2.9

2.8

2.8

Free Ammonia-N (mg/L)

0.03

0.03

0.03

pH

9.7

9.7

9.7

Turbidity (NTU)

0.3

0.3

0.3

Conductivity (uS/cm)

77

93

77

Hardness (mg/L)

17

22

17

Alkalinity (mg/L)

21

25

21

TOC (mg/L)

1.4

1.5

1.4

 

The temporary changes to the transmission system operation and the corresponding timeline are as follows:

 

10/6

-    Reduce Hetch-Hetchy rate to 100 MGD

-    Adjust HTWTP and SVWTP rate to meet system demands

10/7

-    Close valves at Pulgas Valve Lot to split the SFRWS into two with HTWTP serving customers to the north and Hetch Hetchy/SVWTP serving customers to the East and South of Pulgas.

10/10

-    Increase Hetch Hetchy rate to 190 MGD

-    Adjust SVWTP rate to meet system demands and shut down HTWTP.

Additionally, HTWTP will be completely shut down from October 10 to December 15, 2014 to accommodate the final construction and start-up phase of the HTWTP Long-Term Improvements Project. During this time, the entire SFRWS will be served by Hetch Hetchy and/or SVWTP water.

Planned Disruptions are no longer posted to respect the privacy of the impacted customers, all of whom receive direct notification of the disruption. 

Why are any planned disruptions necessary? 
Currently the City is in the process of performing system and seismic upgrades, along with increasing the storage capacity for the City's water distribution system. This work may cause some customers to experience lower than normal water pressures during high demand times of the year, such as warmer months and high usage times of day. You may also experience some cloudy water due to valving modifications done to support the affected areas. There are two primary reasons for water quality changes and planned disruptions:

  • San Francisco Public Utility Commission (SFPUC)'s Routine Maintenance on the Hetch-Hetchy supply system.  While most of the time we are getting our water supply straight from the Hetch-Hetchy aqueduct, periodically that aqueduct must be closed for maintenance and our supply is mixed with water from other reservoirs in the system.  In those cases, the water is still high quality and meets all standards, but may be cloudy (due to air bubbles) or have a slightly different smell or taste.
     
  • The City's Ongoing Aggressive Maintenance Program to test ("exercise") and replace old water valves.  An average of 100 valves per month are exercised and as many as 12 per month are replaced.  Everyone benefits from these improvements to the water distribution system, and we thank our customers for any inconvenience they must experience while their water is briefly turned off.  Customers always receive advance notice of these shut-offs.

Last Updated October 6, 2014