Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Our Drinking Water: Some of the Best in the Land

The Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System, operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), provides its 2.6 million customers with some of the highest-quality water in the country.  

It originates as pristine snowmelt and precipitation from the protected Tuolumne Watershed in the Yosemite National Park wilderness, and flows into Hetch Hetchy Reservoir’s granite basin for storage. 

In fact, waters collected here so consistently meet and exceed Federal and State standards for safe drinking water that no filtration is required. (The SFPUC is one of the few water utility districts in the country to be granted this exemption.)

Hetch Hetchy water makes up about 85% of your tap water, with the rest coming from Bay Area reservoirs that capture and store rainfall and runoff from the SFPUC’s Alameda and Peninsula watersheds. Both watersheds are carefully managed to preserve both the quality of the waters and the variety of natural habitats that support an abundance of native plant and animal life.

Local reservoir water is treated by one of two state-of-the-art treatment plants. On the Peninsula, it’s the newly upgraded Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant where waters from the Peninsula Watershed’s  Lower Crystal Springs, Upper Crystal Springs, and San Andreas reservoirs are pumped in for disinfection, filtering and post-treatment before delivery to about 1 million customers.  More on those treatment steps in an upcoming blog.   

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