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No One Does it Better: SFPUC’s 2021 Water Quality Report

Pouring tap water from the faucet

Joseph Sweiss
(628) 231-9861  

Tuesday, June 28, 2022 

No One Does it Better: SFPUC’s 2021 Water Quality Report

Rigorous daily monitoring and more than 240,000 water tests prove key to demonstrating commitment to outstanding water quality throughout the region.

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) released its annual Water Quality Report this week detailing where the agency’s high-quality water comes from, how it is treated, and its overall chemical composition, all of which meet or exceed state and federal standards. To ensure healthy and safe drinking water for its 2.7 million Bay Area customers, the SFPUC conducted more than 240,000 water tests regionally in 2021. These tests were done in addition to the rigorous treatment processes carried out daily by the SFPUC’s certified operators.  

"Year after year, we earn the trust of our customers by carefully and continuously testing water quality throughout our system," General Manager Dennis Herrera said. "Despite the ongoing drought, we continue to deliver efficient and reliable water service of the highest quality from source to tap."    

The SFPUC provides drinking water to four Bay Area counties from a variety of protected and carefully managed sources. Those sources include:

  • Surface water from the Tuolumne River in the Sierra Nevada, as well as creeks in Alameda and San Mateo counties. 
  • Groundwater supplies stored in a deep aquifer located in both San Francisco and San Mateo counties. 

Because ongoing drought remains a critical concern for the entire state, the SFPUC’s ability to draw water from multiple sources helps protect customers from potential disruptions in supply. Help from business and residents is also needed to reduce demand and thereby ensure sufficient water remains available for all needs. 

This diverse mix of water sources provides resiliency against long-term water vulnerabilities, such as global climate change, regulatory changes and population growth.  

To meet drinking water standards for consumption, the SFPUC’s surface water sources undergo treatment before delivery to our customers. This includes water from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which is exempt from state and federal filtration requirements for its high quality, but still receives ultraviolet light and chlorine disinfection, pH adjustment for optimum corrosion control, fluoridation for dental health protection, and other measures to continue providing safe and healthy drinking water.  

The SFPUC’s lead and copper sampling studies add an additional layer of safety for customers. The SFPUC has also developed a voluntary, 5-year recurring monitoring program with local schools, including the San Francisco Unified School District, to detect any lead in the tap water. To date, nearly 200 public and private schools have been tested. 

Additionally, as part of its voluntary water quality efforts, the agency conducts studies for man-made chemicals and other “Contaminants of Emerging Concern” such as Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and found that no PFAS were detected in SFPUC water sources.  

The agency’s annual Water Quality Report shows the depth of the SFPUC’s commitment to providing water that meets or exceeds all quality standards. For more information about the SFPUC’s commitment to providing safe, reliable, and healthy drinking water, visit  

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission 
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and meets over 70 percent of the electricity demand in San Francisco. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at