Westside San Franciscans are none too happy about new water mix

By Rachel Swan : sfchronicle – excerpt

Tap-Water.jpg

What is coming out of your water? For now, where you live and work will determine the answer. Photo by zrants

San Franciscans take pride in drinking pristine water from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which they treasure as among the purest in the nation.

So a recent move by the Public Utilities Commission to introduce ground water gradually into the city’s drinking supply prompted anxiety and suspicion.

“How will this affect my grandaughter? I feel like she’s the guinea pig,” said Ingrid Eggers, a Mission District resident who spoke at a Wednesday hearing before the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee.

Eggers was among dozens of residents who had concerns about nitrates, pesticide runoff, sewage, artificial turf particulate and traces of pharmaceutical drugs possibly contaminating the blended water, which will go to about 60 percent of San Francisco residents, mostly on the west side.

City water officials began pumping the new mix in March from wells that draw from an acquifer about 400 feet below ground. They plan to add more ground water over the next four years, but it will allow for more than 15 percent of the mixture…

Supervisor Norman Yee, who called the hearing, asked the PUC to perform new quality tests and return with a new analysis… (more)

A lot of questions remain, especially for people with compromised immune systems and chemical sensitivities. You can’t fault people for drinking bottled water as that will be the preference for many, much to the dismay of the water expert, who was “was actually mildly shocked to hear that, ‘Oh my God, people will obviously turn to bottled water’.”

No doubt many will choose bottled water at a time when there is great concern about increasing bottles in our environment. The issues must be weighed and a balance found. Are we going to increase the use of pesticides into our drinking water and increase the number of bottles to recycles or can we return to clean pure Hetch Hetchy water coming out of the taps?

Rec and Park did not show up to explain their use of poisons on our parks that will end up in our water and neither did the health department official. They will be asked to come to the next hearing along with some answers and new data on the actual tests results since the blend was initiated, not based on questionable forecast data.

RELATED:

City Hall flooded with complaints over SF’s new mixed drinking waterCity Hall flooded with complaints over SF’s new mixed drinking water

by Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Yee vowed that the board’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee will hold a follow-up hearing…(more)

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