San Diego Water Department

Water's Long Journey to Your Faucet

The city is is mailing residents the annual Drinking Water Quality Report this week

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Most people take it for granted. You turn the faucet on, and water comes out.

But it isn’t that simple. In fact, it’s far more complicated to fill a glass with clean drinking water.

That’s one of the reasons why the City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department is mailing residents the annual Drinking Water Quality Report this week.

“A lot of people just think that when you turn the tap water on, it’s just coming from the lakes and the streams,” said Michael Simpson, the Senior Water Operations Supervisor at the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant near Lake Murray.

Simpson said the report will outline what’s in the water, where it comes from, and how it’s cleaned at the city’s three water treatment plants before being sent to homes. More than 80% of San Diego's water comes from Northern California or the Colorado River. It travels hundreds of miles to be stores in reservoirs before it is treated and delivered to homes.

“In the summertime, we approach 110 million gallons a day [of clean water at Alvarado],” said Simpson.

“The annual Water Quality Report’s going to show that we’re actually more than exceeding the recommendations that’s required from us,” he continued.

“2020 is the year of accountability,” said Kevin Joelson, a visitor to Lake Murray. “I think it’s nice as a resident to see that the city is holding themselves accountable to let everybody know as a resident what’s in the water.”

Simpson said all San Diego residents should receive a copy of the Drinking Water Quality Report in the mail this week. They also have a digital version for anyone who doesn’t receive a copy.

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