SAN FRANCISCO TO RECEIVE WATER CONTAMINATION EARLY DETECTION AND ALERT SYSTEM

San Francisco to Pilot Cutting Edge Early Warning Contaminant Monitoring and Detection Systems that Could Benefit Utilities Across U.S.

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Mayor Gavin Newsom today joined Speaker of the U.S.House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) General Manager Ed Harrington to announce a new $8 million USEPA grant to fund innovative water security and drinking water contamination early detection systems for the SFPUC water system.

The grant funds will allow the SFPUC to pilot monitoring, sampling, detection and early warning systems that could serve as a model for other water systems across the nation. New York City also recently received a similar USEPA grant, announced last month.

“Our Hetch Hetchy water is the cleanest and most pristine drinking water in the nation,” said Mayor Newsom.

“With this federal grant, San Francisco can pilot cutting-edge monitoring and detection tools that will help keep our precious drinking water safe from contamination.”

“Federal and local governments must share responsibility for protecting our nation’s drinking water supplies from contamination,” said Speaker Pelosi.

“I’m proud that these federal funds will support San Francisco’s efforts to deploy innovative water quality tools and keep our water system safe.”

“The challenge of protecting our nation’s drinking water systems is not just an EPA challenge, a state challenge or a San Francisco challenge, it’s everyone’s challenge,” said Regional Administrator Nastri.

“Through technology, innovation and collaboration with pilot projects like this, we can provide clean, safe water for every American.”

The SFPUC currently tests drinking water more than 90,000 times per year throughout the regional water system using state-of-the-art sampling, detection and analysis tools. The USEPA grant will allow the SFPUC to also deploy and pilot new high technology equipment that monitors and detects for new potential contaminants at key locations in the water system.

While security considerations prevent specific discussion of the project details, the drinking water contamination alert system will be among the first of its kind used in the United States and could serve as a model for other utilities and cities across the nation.

San Francisco was selected for the grant through a competitive process evaluated by professional EPA water quality and homeland security staff. The $8 million federal grant from the USEPA will be matched by a $3 million investment by the SFPUC.

In March, Newsom directed the SFPUC to develop a thirty-year water quality protection plan to evaluate emerging potential contaminants and treatment methods to ensure San Francisco continues to deliver the nation’s highest quality tap water.

The SFPUC’s Hetch Hetchy regional water system delivers reliable, high quality drinking water to more than 2.4 million Bay Area residents in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara & Alameda Counties from protected Sierra and Bay Area reservoirs and watersheds.

For more information about the SFPUC water system and San Francisco’s water quality, visit sfwater.org.

For more information about the USEPA Water Security Initiative, visit cfpub.epa.gov/safewater.

See Related: SAN FRANCISCO TAP WATER SAID SAFER THAN BOTTLED WATER – San Francisco launches Take Back The Tap campaign geared to consumers and restaurants

See Related: HEALTH CARE

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