Water Quality Project Summary

Project Summary

UC San Francisco has initiated a program to voluntarily test the quality of the drinking water on campus and ensure that lead levels are not above what is considered actionable by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Testing began in late June 2016, following EPA guidelines for testing water in schools and childcare facilities. The University is collaborating with water quality testing and health experts at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the San Francisco Department of Public Health and UCSF.

The following water fixtures are being tested on UCSF-owned properties: drinking fountains, water-bottle filling stations, break room/kitchen sinks, food preparation sinks, including UCSF Health cafeterias and vendor-operated eateries on UCSF property and residential housing kitchen sinks. Bathroom, laboratory and custodial sinks that are not primarily used for consumption and showers will not be tested.

Here are the latest news updates:

Lead Water Sampling Completed at UCSF Hospitals
By Travis Clark on January 31, 2018

UCSF Town Hall Update on Water Testing (MyAccess required)
May 30, 2017

UCSF Finds Most Drinking Water Sources Meet EPA Standards for Lead
By Lisa Cisneros on February 17, 2017

UCSF Town Hall Update on Water Testing
August 8, 2016


Roles and Responsibilities

UCSF Leadership Group – Provide final approval for all project implementation strategies, internal and external communications, and proposed mitigations. The Leadership Group will provide approval to proceed at the beginning of each phase, review project milestones and approve lead reduction strategies/mitigations.

Strategic Communications Group – Develop and approve all communications to user groups for sampling notification, data results, and future mitigation, if necessary. UCSF University Relations will coordinate with SFDPH and SFPUC communications staff to ensure messaging is consistent with SF City & County and will manage all communication with external constituents, including media.

Scientific Advisory Group – The primary role of the Scientific Advisory Group is to provide suggestions and advise UCSF Leadership on strategy and best practices for implementation of this plan and technical aspects of this project. The Scientific Advisory Group will be made up of subject matter experts from various disciplines and, as necessary, may include members from SFPUC, SFDPH, UCSF EHS, members of the research community with recognized expertise in testing drinking water, and stakeholder groups. The Scientific Advisory Group may review all aspects of the project plan at the request of the UCSF Leadership Group, including sampling protocol, sampling data, proposed mitigations, messages to internal and external audiences, and research and reference material for consistency and scientific accuracy.

Current membership of the Scientific Advisory Group includes:

  • Robert Kosnik, MD, Director of Occupational Health Services, UCSF Medical Center; Clinical Professor of Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine
  • Anisha Patel, MD, MSPH, MSHS, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UCSF School of Medicine
  • Timur Durrani, MD, MPH, MBA, Assistant Professor, UCSF School of Medicine
  • Andrew DeGraca, PE, Director, Water Quality Division, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • June Weintraub, ScD, Manager, Water, Noise, and Medical Cannabis, San Francisco Department of Public Health

Project Manager – Facilitate communication and coordination between project functional groups, ensure efficient flow of information, and provide status updates and/or summary reports to project functional groups and UCSF Leadership Group as requested or necessary.

SF Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) – Provide expertise in water quality, water distribution systems and public communication. SFPUC will appoint one or more members to the Scientific Advisory Group and the Strategic Communications Group. SFPUC also operates the analytical lab that will be used for this project.

SF Department of Public Health (SFDPH) – Provide expertise in water quality and messaging to the community as it relates to this project. SFDPH will also appoint one or more members to the Scientific Advisory Group.

UCSF Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) – EHS will appoint one or more members to the Scientific Advisory Group, provide staff to collect samples and coordinate water analysis with SFPUC.

Facilities Services – Identify sampling locations and isolate fixtures prior to sampling. Propose mitigations where appropriate and execute mitigations upon approval.

Capital Programs – Large-scale mitigations, if necessary, will be performed by Capital Programs, such as underground pipes.

Housing Services – Notification of when residential units become available for sampling and coordinate with the sampling team to provide access.

Contact Us

For questions about the water quality testing program, email WaterTesting@ucsf.edu.