Cloudy tap water safe to drink

December 29, 2008 5:50:47 PM PST
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission issued a warning today that tap water may appear cloudy or milky for some customers in the Peninsula, the South Bay and the East Bay beginning Jan. 5.

Customers whose drinking water appears cloudy should not be alarmed. According to the utility, the water will still be safe to drink and will continue to meet or exceed all state and federal water quality regulations.

The temporary cloudiness is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water, resulting from regular system maintenance.

SFPUC customers are currently receiving water exclusively from local reservoirs while work is being done on the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir system.

The increased draw from the utility's Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant in the East Bay causes air to be mixed into the water, which makes it appear cloudy, according to the utility.

Cloudy tap water should clear after a few minutes if it is allowed to stand.

SFPUC customers will again begin receiving Hetch Hetchy water by Feb. 1 at the latest, at which point the water should appear clear.