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Water Quality

The City of Burlingame purchases all of its water from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). Our major water source originates from Yosemite National Park snowmelt flowing down the Tuolumne River to storage in Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. The well protected Sierra water source is exempt from filtration requirements by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water. Water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir receives the following treatments to meet appropriate drinking water standards for consumption: ultraviolet light and chlorine disinfection, pH adjustment for optimal corrosion control, fluoridation for dental health protection, and chloramination for maintaining disinfectant residual and minimizing the formation of regulated disinfection byproducts.


Water Quality Report

CCR_coverEvery year, the City of Burlingame publishes the Water Quality Report which contains important information about the City's drinking water. The report describes where our water comes from, how it is treated to ensure it is top quality and the results of water quality monitoring performed by the City of Burlingame and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. With this knowledge, consumers can make healthy decisions concerning their water use.

Read the 2019 Water Quality Report here.

Previous Water Quality Reports:
2018, 20172016201520142013201220112010

Lead and Copper Rule


Lead and copper enter drinking water primarily through plumbing materials. Exposure to lead and copper may cause health problems ranging from stomach distress to brain damage. In 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a regulation to control lead and copper in drinking water. This regulation is known as the Lead and Copper Rule.

The treatment technique for the rule requires systems to monitor drinking water at customer taps. If lead concentration exceed an action level of 15 parts per billion or copper concentrations exceed an action level of 1.3 parts per million in more than 10% of customer taps sampled, the system must undertake a number of additional actions to control corrosion.

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Lead Sampling in Burlingame Schools

In January 2018, Assembly Bill 746 went into effect and requires community water systems like the City of Burlingame to collect lead samples in all daycares, preschools, and kindergarten through 12th grade schools on public property to ensure students have access to safe drinking water.

The City of Burlingame has sampled all 10 schools that meet this criteria. Of the 75 samples collected at these 10 schools, zero (0) have been found above the action level for lead.

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Lead Service Line Inventory Requirement

State law requires public water systems, such as the City of Burlingame, to test for and remediate certain contaminants in drinking water, including lead and copper, and prohibits the use of any pipe, pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture, solder, or flux that is not “lead free” in the installation of repair of any public water system or any plumbing in a facility providing water for human consumption, except as specified.

Under the Lead Service Lines section of the California Health and Safety code, Section 116885, added by Senate Bill 1398 (2016) and amended by Senate Bill 427 (2017), all community water systems must compile an inventory of known partial or total lead user service lines in use in its distribution system by July 1, 2018. The inventory is to include all user service lines that are active and those that are reasonably expected to become active in the future. Also, the bill requires CWS to identify areas that may have lead user service lines in use, and/or identify any areas within the CWS distribution system that includes materials used for the service line that cannot be identified. CWS will further be required to propose a schedule to replace all the known lead user service lines and user service lines constructed of unknown material by July 1, 2020.

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Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule

The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) amendments require that once every five years EPA issue a new list of no more than 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored by public water systems (PWSs). The fourth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 4) was published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2016. UCMR 4 requires monitoring for 30 chemical contaminants between 2018 and 2020 using analytical methods developed by EPA and consensus organizations. This monitoring provides a basis for future regulatory actions to protect public health.