(Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

SFPUC reports no pesticides found in Sunset drinking water

Ten days after reports circulated on the neighborhood-based social media network NextDoor that a home testing kit had detected pesticides in the Sunset District drinking water, city officials said Thursday that more rigorous testing has found no evidence of the chemicals.

“This was a $25 home test kit,” said Andrew Degraca, director of the water quality division at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. “It’s a colorimetric test, so you’re comparing two blue lines (to see) if one is darker than the other…so it’s a challenge. The method has limits.”

Degraca said home testing kits come with a lot caveats and are a “crude, preliminary type of test.” By way of comparison, SFPUC sent out more than 20 samples from around The City to a private laboratory in Southern California. Those tests cost approximately $1,200 each and meet more rigorous testing requirements.

The Sunset District resident who reported her findings to SFPUC was prompted to use the home test kit because of a “bad taste” in her water, she wrote on social media.

Degraca said the SFPUC frequently changes water sources, which may have accounted for the taste.

“We change our source of water all the time,” he said. “We think it was a source blend change that some customers picked up on. When you add the home test kits, social media and whatnot, it became a little more exciting than normal.”

SFPUC estimates they have spent approximately $50,000 responding to the incident but stressed that customers are an important part of the water monitoring system.

“If anyone has any concerns about water quality we encourage them to give us a call,” Degraca said, adding that 311 is the best way to make a report. Bay Area News

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City Administrator Naomi Kelly said Wednesday that the allegations against her husband were “based on the word of a liar.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Administrator Naomi Kelly takes leave after feds charge husband

High-ranking official under scrutiny over 2016 China trip

Lyft, owner of the Bay Wheels bikeshare program, stands to receive more than $300,000 in a legal settlement with The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supervisors to weigh $330,000 settlement with Lyft over bikeshare dispute

If approved, deal would resolve an 18-month long legal battle over San Francisco’s e-bike market

The J Church train could begin running again later this month on at least part of its surface route. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)
First Muni trains will return to service Dec. 19

Three additional bus routes coming back online in January

Smoking cannabis. (Shutterstock)
Supes ban tobacco smoking in apartments but exempt cannabis

San Francisco banned smoking and vaping of tobacco in apartments Tuesday night,… Continue reading

Dr. Grant Colfax and Mayor London Breed said new restrictions could come this week due to rising COVID-19 cases.<ins> (Examiner screenshot)</ins>
Breed: ‘More restrictive action’ needed to slow spread of COVID-19

San Francisco officials said Tuesday tougher restrictions will soon be imposed to… Continue reading

Most Read