News Details

WATER QUALITY and OUTAGE Updates

2014 Drought Updates Here

UNPLANNED DISRUPTIONS

Thursday, March 20:  Water service was interrupted on the 2900 block of Middlefield Rd starting at about 10:30am to allow repair of a significant leak. Service restored by 3pm but a night-time shutdown March 27 was required to permanently fix the pipeline.


KEEP INFORMED

    • Stay abreast of breaking news about any water disruptions or quality issues by following us on Twitter:@PAUtilities
    • To report a leak, break or other emergency, call (650) 329-2579 
    • 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

    DROUGHT IN 2014? It's way too early to tell...our supplies depend on Sierra Nevada Mountain snowpack, most of which falls in January through March.  We expect the SFPUC to issue an update about conditions by April.  More details 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)
 

The following table compares 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. 

Note: The Hetch Hetchy reservoir was shut down for maintenance between January 6-26, 2014 during which time local reservoirs have been used. When the Hetch-Hetchy supply is restored there will be variable water quality for a few days (1/23-1/26). See above for note re brief period of sediment in water east of El Camino.

Parameter

As of 1-22-14
(East of El Camino variance in green)

As of 1-27-14

HH Flow (MGD)

0

150

SVWTP Flow (MGD)

105

0

Total Chlorine Residual (mg/L)

2.8/2.9

2.8

Free Ammonia-N (mg/L)

0.06/.08

0.05

pH

8.5/9.0

9.6

Turbidity (NTU)

0.1/.06

0.3

Conductivity (uS/cm)

305/217

40

Hardness (mg/L)

102/60

10

Alkalinity (mg/L)

94/60

10

TOC (mg/L)

2.3/2.2

1.4

 

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Please call the Water Quality Division at (650) 652-3100 (or through Millbrae Dispatch at (650) 872-5900) if you have any questions.

 

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 March 20, 2014