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Sunday, September 18, 2011

The "Boil Water" Alert Issued Last Friday has been CANCELLED. All Tests Came Back Negative and the TAP WATER IS SAFE TO DRINK.

El agua del grifo ha sido probada y se puede tomar. El agua del grifo es seguro.

See the September 16, 2011 "boil water" alert news release here.

For Immediate Release


Redwood City, CA – The City has cancelled the “boil tap water” advisory which was issued to approximately 200 residences and businesses in a small area of Redwood City last Friday. Water testing has been completed, and no contaminants were found. The tap water in the advisory area is SAFE TO DRINK.

On Friday, September 16, the City issued a “boil water before use” alert to residents and businesses within a limited area generally bordered by Woodside Road, Virginia Avenue, Rosemary Lane, and Sierra Street. The alert was issued after the City discovered that a resident’s un-permitted groundwater well had been inadvertently pumping untreated groundwater into the City’s drinking water system due to a mistaken cross-connection.

In an abundance of caution, the City advised the affected area of the possibility of contamination in their tap water, and to boil it before using it for drinking or cooking, until testing could be completed. See Friday’s “boil water” news release at

Immediately upon learning of the possible contamination, City staff collected water samples from both the drinking water system and the groundwater well and submitted them to San Mateo County, to be tested for coliform and E.Coli bacteria. Staff also began flushing the system to remove any potential residual groundwater in the system. Subsequently, staff collected additional water samples and provided them to the County.

On Saturday, September 17, the test results from the first two samples came back negative, meaning no contaminants were found. A third round of water samples was taken on Saturday for County testing, as well as a sample to be tested by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) lab (the SFPUC provides all of Redwood City’s drinking water, via the Hetch Hetchy water supply system).

On Sunday morning, September 18, all water samples came back clean, indicating that the water is safe to ingest. The City then used multiple methods of notifying the affected area that the tap water is safe to drink: its “CodeRED” automated phone/email/text messaging system, written notices posted at each property, notice put on the City’s website, and a media advisory.

The City apologizes for any inconvenience to residents and businesses in the affected area. When there is any possibility of tap water contamination, even a small chance, the City will take all measures to ensure the community is protected and informed of the situation, as in this case. In such situations, an abundance of caution will result in the City’s quick and decisive action to ensure a safe and secure drinking water supply.



Malcolm Smith
Public Communications Manager
(cell) 408-472-8536


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