Oct 09, 2018

San Francisco’s Sunset District Running Drinking Water Tests

Customer said her water “tasted funny” in San Francisco

Customer said her water “tasted funny” in San Francisco
Customer said her water “tasted funny” in San Francisco.

San Francisco water officials said they are testing drinking water in the city’s Sunset District after a report from a customer who said her water “tasted funny.”

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, officials with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission said the tests are “out of an abundance of caution” and they have no evidence of water quality issues.

The customer who said she complained, Mel Scardina, said officials told her they found pesticides in water around the Sunset. Scardina posted a notice to alert her community to water contamination on social networking site Nextdoor. She said water employees confirmed the presence of pesticides after checking into her report.

Scardina became concerned about her drinking water when she used a home water testing kit she purchased to investigate the “odd” taste of her tap water. Her water tested positive for the herbicides Atrazine and Simazine. City water officials confirmed to her they discovered pesticides in her water to be in excess of water safety guidelines.

“When I asked them about my area, they said that ‘yours tested positive as well but in lower concentrations (than other parts of the Sunset),’” Scardina said to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tyler Gamble, spokesman for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, denied the city’s confirmation to Scardina of unsafe drinking water. Gamble said even if the testing has already begun in some parts of the Sunset, it would likely be days before the results came back.

“From all the testing that we do, we have no evidence that the water isn’t safe,” he said.

Gamble said it is possible there are isolated issues of contamination due to private piping in individual homes.

The Public Utilities Commission monitors the water it delivers to households across the Bay Area. Last year, the agency did 101,900 drinking water tests on its delivery systems according to city records. More than 80% of the city’s water comes from reservoirs in the Sierra Nevada, smaller portions coming from local reservoirs and groundwater supplies.

Water to the Sunset District is a blend of surface water and groundwater, though some is purely surface water, according to city records.