News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 12/10/2008
Subject :

Maintenance of Water Supply System to Result in Changes in Look and Smell of Water in December 2008 and January 2009
Water Quality to Remain High
Contact : John Reinert, Water Transmission Supervisor, Utilities Department    650-496-6967
Jane Ratchye, Assistant Director, Utilities Department    650-329-2119
Palo Alto, CA – Palo Alto residents may notice a slight change in water quality occurring over the next few months as a result of routine maintenance conducted on the Hetch Hetchy water system by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). 

The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) was alerted by the SFPUC, which provides water to Palo Alto, that beginning December 9, 2008 through early January, 2009, the SFPUC will be conducting maintenance on its system. This maintenance may temporarily cause water turbidity resulting in the water having a milky appearance caused by air bubbles created in the transport process.

The water remains completely safe for drinking and other uses; however, water customers may notice that in addition to the cloudy appearance, the water may be slightly discolored, or may have a slightly different taste or odor. Customers are advised to let water sit for a few seconds after pouring it out of the tap to allow the air bubbles to settle.

The temporary change in water supply is caused by maintenance and expected to last through most of the month of January. CPAU personnel will continue to monitor the situation and work with the SFPUC to furnish the high quality Hetch Hetchy water to Palo Altans.

Visit the City's web site at or the SFPUC’s web site at for more information.