California Water customers in Menlo Park may have been wondering what's up their pipes after experiencing low water pressure during the past month. In a word -- algae.
CalWater provides service to 18,800 addresses in Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside. According to district manager Tony Carrasco, water drawn from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) system "is experiencing naturally occurring algae blooms in its water supply source. As a result, some customers are experiencing difficulty with aeration screens and home filtration systems becoming clogged. It is possible that lower water pressure is associated with the clogging."
The SFPUC said the algae presents a seasonal problem, although the factors responsible for the current bloom have yet to be determined.
"Recently, we have received some sporadic reports of clogged aerators, filters, and screens with algae from various customers in the regional system," said Tyrone Ju, director of communications. "We are currently investigating and will report back on our action when we have determined the cause. In the meantime, people experiencing a decrease in pressure or flow are advised to simply remove the aerators, filters, and other screens to clean them."
In an online post to its customers, CalWater said the algae presents no health hazards. Both water utility companies are cleaning their screens and filters more often, and they suggest customers do the same.
Contact CalWater at 558-7800 for more information.