San Francisco water official say funny tasting and smelling water reported in The City this week is safe to drink. (Courtesy photo)

SF officials pinpoint source of unusual odor and taste in drinking water

San Francisco water officials have located the source of a harmless chemical that gave drinking water in The City a funny taste and odor this week.

When operators with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission last week changed the source of some of the drinking water consumed by the agency’s 2.6 million customers, an aromatic compound called geosmin lingered in the water and was somehow not flushed out when the water was treated at the Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant.

That chemical is believed to have originated in the San Antonio Reservoir, which the SFPUC began drawing from prior to the first reports of a funny odor or taste in the water on Dec. 2, said Steve Ritchie, the SFPUC’s assistant general manager for water.

About 85 percent of the drinking water consumed by SFPUC customers comes from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, and the agency receives the remaining 15 percent from five other Bay Area reservoirs on a rotating basis.

To mitigate the funny odor and taste, the SFPUC is switching to a reservoir on the Peninsula as a drinking water source and expects the issue to dissipate within a week.

Ritchie emphasized the water is safe to drink.

Just Posted

Suspect in Embarcadero attack surrenders to authorities on new allegations

Austin James Vincent has landed at the center of a battle over plans to build a homeless shelter

Jurors replaced and deliberations set to begin again in Ghost Ship trial

Three jurors have been dismissed Monday in the trial of Ghost Ship… Continue reading

Rocks off! Rolling Stones sound great in Santa Clara

No Filter tour serves up classic hits

Gov. Gavin Newsom signs bill setting new standards for police use of force

Here’s how ‘Stephon Clark’s law’ sets California rules

Community-led efforts to monitor air quality in Bayview, Eastern neighborhoods gain traction

San Francisco community groups are working to install high-quality sensors in the… Continue reading

Most Read