Officials Say SF's Water Is Safe After Viral Social Media Post Spread Panic

October 10, 2018 - 4:21 pm

SAN FRANCISCO — Public officials spent days this week allaying fears after a social media post from a Sunset neighborhood resident said that a home test of tap water revealed it was contaminated with pesticides. 

The widely circulated Nextdoor message released a flood of questions about water quality, but Public Utilities Commission officials said that city's drinking water remains clean and safe. 

“There’s no reason to suspect that our drinking water isn’t safe for our residents,” said commission spokesman Will Reisman. 

After receiving the initial complaint, Reisman said that the city's “extensive water-quality testing” found not a trace of pesticide. Individual homes may contain unsafe water due to old pipes or other problems, according to the commission. 

Such assurances still had to contend with the tide of residents who found the original Nextdoor message to be credible. Part of the Sunset resident's message said that an unnamed city worker had corroborated the results of her home test. 

Reisman acknowledges that some incorrect information may have been conveyed.

“Going forward, we’re really gonna try to zero in on our communication efforts and make sure that everything that gets out there is accurate and helpful for our residents.”

The commission is running its own tests throughout the city and the results, which are expected next week, will be made public. 

Reported by Keith Menconi.

Written by Arooba Kazmi.