Mountain View residents may notice their tap water has a different color, taste or odor for the next few months, but city officials are giving assurances that the water remains safe to drink.
Starting Dec. 29, Mountain View homes have been receiving water from the Sunol Valley Treatment Plant rather than from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, according to city officials. The city's water supplier, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), is making the change while it conducts inspections and repairs of the Mountain Tunnel pipeline, which delivers from the Hetch Hetchy aqueduct.
The shutdown of the tunnel is expected to last through the beginning of March. During this period, SFPUC will provide treated water from its other sources for its wholesale customers, including many Peninsula cities, counties and water districts.
Although the SFPUC began taking water from the Sunol Valley Treatment Plant two weeks ago, Mountain View officials first confirmed the water switch to the ==I Voice= on Jan. 4.
The changes in the water's taste, odor and color can come from the mixing process that can stir up sediment or algae in the water distribution system, according to the utilities department.
"The water is safe to drink and continues to meet all drinking water standards," Jacqueline Solomon, assistant public works director, wrote in an email.
SFPUC reportedly told its municipal customers that it will do all it can to address taste and odor changes. The water is reportedly being tested daily to ensure that it meets quality standards.
Mountain View residents who live south of Cuesta Drive should not be affected because they receive water from the Santa Clara Valley Water District, which uses different water sources.
Anyone with questions or concerns about the water can contact the Mountain View Public Works Department at (650) 903-6329.