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Archived News Release from 2008

For Immediate Release

Redwood City’s Water Supplier Advises that Air in Water May Cause Temporary Cloudy Appearance

Redwood City, CA - December 22, 2008 - The supplier of all of Redwood City’s drinking water, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), has advised the City that starting January 5th 2009, our drinking water may temporarily have a cloudy or milky-white appearance when drawn from the faucet. This is merely due to air trapped in the water - it is perfectly safe to drink and for other uses, and all of our drinking water continues to comply with State and Federal water quality standards.

The trapped air is due to a temporarily higher flow rate of water coming from the SFPUC’s Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant - and with that higher flow rate, very small bubbles become trapped and are carried in the water, giving it a cloudy appearance. If the water is allowed to stand for a few minutes, the cloudiness will dissipate as the air bubbles break apart. The City and the SFPUC want to assure the community that there is absolutely no cause for concern, as the water continues to meet all regulatory requirements. The water is expected to return to a normal appearance by late January, 2009.

Each winter the SFPUC shuts down a portion of the Hetch Hetchy pipeline system (the source for our water) for maintenance. During that period Redwood City’s water (as well as water for other SFPUC customers) instead comes from regional watersheds, and is treated and distributed for the duration. Once the maintenance is complete, the water will again be coming from the Hetch Hetchy system, and will return to normal appearance.

Any concerns or questions about the appearance of our water, or any questions about Redwood City’s water supply and system, can be directed to the Redwood City Water Department at (650) 780-7464.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business. Subscribe to Redwood City’s electronic newsletter or other City documents at


Justin Ezell
Public Works Services Superintendent
(650) 780-7474


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