October 18, 2018
Last week, some residents in the Sunset District noticed a change in taste and odor in their tap water, prompting them to use a home water quality testing kit.
Some of the kits reportedly detected the pesticides simazine and atrazine in the water.
Our regular testing and monitoring showed no detection of pesticides in the City’s drinking water.
However, we take all water quality concerns seriously and we did everything we could to get to the bottom of these concerns.
We went above and beyond our rigorous daily testing and monitoring program to conduct extensive water quality testing across the City.
We collected more than 20 water samples, including ones from wells, distribution monitoring points, a customer home test kit site, area schools and Sunset Reservoir. The map here illustrates the sampling sites.
The samples were sent to an independent lab, which confirmed that no pesticides—including simazine and atrazine— were found. The full tests results are available here.
At no time during this process was the water unsafe to drink.
Changes in taste to your drinking water are not unusual.
The Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System includes six sources of surface water. The major source of surface water is Hetch Hetchy Reservoir located in Yosemite National Park. That source is supplemented with surface water from two Bay Area watersheds and stored in five local reservoirs.
Changing the blend of water from SFPUC’s reservoirs, even slightly, may result in potentially noticeable changes to taste.
Even though changes can be detected, the quality of water delivered meets and often exceeds all regulatory standards.
Our top priority is to protect the public health and deliver high-quality drinking water to our customers every day.
We have a rigorous water quality monitoring and testing program. We regularly collect and test samples from reservoirs and designated sampling points throughout the City’s drinking water system to ensure the water we deliver to customers meets or exceeds federal and state drinking water standards.
To help us track and respond quickly to any water quality concerns, we urge customers to report any concerns with taste, odor or color to 311.
We will continue to work hard every day to educate customers about the City’s drinking water system and what we do to keep it safe.