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Archived News Release from 2004

For Immediate Release

Water Quality Improvement Coming to Redwood City, All SFPUC Water Customers

Redwood City, CA - January 27, 2004 - The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has announced that the conversion to chloramine as the water treatment disinfection process will begin February 2nd, 2004. The system-wide conversion to chloramine will benefit 2.4 million retail and wholesale water customers in San Francisco, and parts of Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties, including water customers in Redwood City.

Converting to chloramine will allow the SFPUC to provide water that meets the stringent drinking water standards for disinfection byproducts. Chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, is a more stable disinfectant, lasts longer in water, produces lower levels of disinfection byproducts, and may improve taste and odor. Redwood City’s entire drinking water supply comes from the SFPUC’s Hetch Hetchy system.

Over the past two years the SFPUC has built three new facilities and made modifications to its water system to make this water improvement a reality. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than one-third of the country's water agencies have already switched to chloramine from chlorine as a final disinfection agent, including many agencies in the Bay Area.

During the transition period, customers may experience a change in the taste and odor of their drinking water. This is temporary, and carefully monitored by water quality and treatment staff. Customers can be assured that the water is safe to drink and meets all state and federal drinking water regulations and standards. Chloraminated water is safe for people and animals to drink, cook with, bathe in, and for all other general uses.

As with chlorine, those using water for kidney dialysis, fish and amphibian tanks, and sensitive industrial/biotechnology uses must take precautions prior to using the water. Chloramine must be neutralized or removed for those purposes. Fish owners must neutralize or remove chloramine from water used in aquariums or ponds as it doesn’t dissipate quickly from standing water as chlorine does. Treatment products are readily available at aquarium supply stores.

More information is available from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission website at, or by calling the City of Redwood City at (650) 780-7464. Visit Redwood City’s website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business.

Contact: Manny Rosas
Public Works Superintendent
(650) 780-7468




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