Water Quality Project Mitigation Strategy

General Sampling Evolution Steps

When a water fixture is identified for sampling, end users can expect the following activity:

  1. The identified water fixture is removed from service 8 to 18 hours prior to sampling. Typically, this occurs the evening by placing a bag over the fixture and signage to avoid using the water location until sampling can occur. This does not mean that the drinking water at your fixture is over the Action Level. This isolation step is a requirement of the sampling protocol
  2. The following morning, EHS will sample the location
  3. The bag and sign are removed and the fixture is returned to service
  4. Water Samples are logged on a Chain of Custody and delivered to the analytical lab
  5. Analytical results are issued to UCSF approximately 10 business days after the sampling event
  6. If lab results indicate that water at the fixture is over the Action Level:
    • The fixture is immediately removed from service upon receipt of the results
    • Signage is placed on the fixture
    • If the identified fixture is the only drinking water source for a user group, an alternate source of water will be provided until the mitigation can be implemented
    • Results are posted on the EHS website
    • Mitigation planning begins
    • Communication is provided to end users in the immediate area
    • Mitigation implementation (Each location is evaluated individually. Mitigation / Repairs may take weeks to months, depending on the actions required to return the fixture to below the Action Level)
    • Follow up sampling occurs after repair work is complete
    • UCSF receives results 2-10 days after sampling
    • If the subsequent results are below the Action Level, the fixture is returned to service and signage removed
    • Results are posted on the EHS website
    • In some cases, follow up communication will be conducted
  7. If lab results at a fixture are below the Action Level:
    • Results are posted on the EHS website

General Mitigation Approach

In the event that lead levels above the 20 ppb action level are detected at a sampling point, UCSF will remove the fixture from service until an appropriate mitigation can be implemented. UCSF, under the advisement of the Scientific Advisory Group, take the following actions:

Strategic Communications Group: Draft communications to affected user groups to ensure users and/or their parents or caregivers are fully informed of the sampling results, planned mitigations and timeline. Individuals may, at their discretion, decide whether to seek personalized health assessments, screenings or testing from their personal physicians.

Facilities Services: Develop a corrective action plan to reduce lead levels below the 20 ppb. Mitigations may include one or more of the following and will depend on the situation:

  • Remove the fixture from service
  • Clean aerators
  • Install a filter
  • Supply an alternate source of drinking water (bottled water)
  • Instruct users to flush for 30 sec – 2 min prior to drinking or food preparation
  • Replacement of physical components in the plumbing system. Please note that replacement of the physical components of the plumbing system is likely to span an extended period.

All proposed mitigations are subject to approval by UCSF Leadership.

EHS: If mitigation measures are required at a sampling point, EHS will retest the sampling point after the mitigations are completed to ensure lead concentrations are below 20 ppb.

UCSF Leadership Group: Review and approve communications and corrective action plans.

Medical Center Mitigation Strategy

Medical Center has employed a risk-assessment / priority methodology for reduction of lead at all designated “Water Ingestion Points (WIPs)”. Water Ingestion Points are identified as:

  • Water Dispensers
  • Ice Machines
  • Water Fountains
  • “Insta-hot” Type Water Dispensers
  • Bottle Fillers

For the above WIP locations, the Medical Center has adopted filtration at the point-of-use as the primary mitigation measure. Facilities Management at the Medical Center has researched filtration solutions and has selected the “Pentair Everpure 4FC-L” 2-stage filter, specifically chosen for its lead reduction capabilities, as well as its compatibility with other water program parameters. These filters are expected to be deployed at all WIPs at Mt Zion and Parnassus Medical Centers.

As part of Pilot C, 30 locations were sampled at the Medical Center at Mission Bay (Children’s Hospital, Gateway Medical Building, Adult Hospital, and Energy Center). Results from all samples collected at the Medical Center at Mission Bay were below the detection limit (<1 ppb). For this reason, the Leadership Group and the Medical Center have suspended further sampling at the Mission Bay Medical Center within the scope of this project.

The Medical Center will add lead as an analyte in the already rigorous water-borne pathogen maintenance sampling program to monitor lead levels over time.

Campus Mitigation Strategy

The Campus Mitigation Team has employed multiple mitigation strategies as they encounter new and varied issues within the Campus buildings. Unlike the Medical Center, there is very little standardization of water dispensers and fixtures. Building age and multiple renovations over time add to the complexity.

To date, the Campus has replaced fixtures, updated local piping connections and implemented significant infrastructure repairs to address the issues identified during Pilot A, Pilot B and Phase 1. Each result above the Action Level is assessed within the context of the larger data set and mitigations are developed as required.

To best characterize mitigation options, the Campus Mitigation Team has employed all of the sampling techniques outlined in section 5.