EPA Invests $8 Million to Secure San Franciscoâ€™s Drinking Water Supply
San Francisco to pilot cutting-edge early warning contaminant monitoring, detection systems
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced an $8 million grant awarded to San Francisco to help the city develop and evaluate a drinking water contamination warning system for its drinking water supply.
The pilot project, called the Water Security Initiative, is expected to serve as a model for the nationâ€™s drinking water utilities. The grant funds will allow the San Francisco Public Utility Commission (SFPUC) to pilot monitoring, sampling, detection and early warning systems. The $8 million EPA grant will be matched by a $3 million investment by the SFPUC. New York City also recently received a similar grant, announced last month.
â€śThe challenge of protecting our nation's drinking water systems is not just an EPA challenge, a state challenge or a San Francisco challenge, it's everyone's challenge,â€ť said Wayne Nastri, the EPAâ€™s administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. â€śThrough technology, innovation and collaboration with pilot projects like this, we can provide clean, safe water for every American.â€ť
â€śSafe, reliable drinking water is a cornerstone of the Bay Areaâ€™s public health and economic vitality,â€ť said Mayor Gavin Newsom. â€śWith this federal grant, San Francisco can pilot cutting-edge monitoring and detection tools that will help keep our precious drinking water safe from contamination.â€ť
â€śProtecting our nationâ€™s drinking water supplies from contaminationâ€”whether naturally occurring or from terrorist actsâ€”must be the shared responsibility of both our federal and local governments,â€ť said Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. â€śIâ€™m proud that these federal funds will support San Franciscoâ€™s efforts to deploy innovative water quality tools and keep our water system safe.â€ť
The SFPUC currently tests drinking water more than 90,000 times per year throughout the regional water system using state-of-the-art sampling, detection and analysis tools. The EPAâ€™s grant will allow the SFPUC to also deploy and pilot new high technology equipment that monitors and detects for new potential contaminants at key locations in the water system.
While specific details about the system canâ€™t be divulged for security reasons, the contamination warning system to be installed and evaluated by San Francisco involves online water quality monitoring, public health surveillance, sampling and analysis, enhanced security monitoring and consumer complaint surveillance. The warning system is also designed to be sustainable for long-term operation and to even improve water quality management.
The SFPUCâ€™s Hetch Hetchy regional water system delivers reliable, high quality drinking water to more than 2.4 million Bay Area residents in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda Counties from protected Sierra and Bay Area reservoirs and watersheds.
For more information about the EPAâ€™s Water Security Initiative, visit: http://cfpub.epa. gov/safewater/watersecurity/index.cfm. For more information about the SFPUC water system and San Franciscoâ€™s water quality, visit www.sfwater.org.
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