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Rim Fire Reaches Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Water Supply Safe

The majority—87 percent—of Mountain View's water comes from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

The Rim Fire has reached the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir which supplies 87 percent of Mountain View's drinking water. Photo courtesy of CAL Fire via YouTube screenshot.
The Rim Fire has reached the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir which supplies 87 percent of Mountain View's drinking water. Photo courtesy of CAL Fire via YouTube screenshot.

The Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park has jumped to the fifth largest in California history, according to CAL FIRE officials.

The wildfire, whose cause remains under investigation, has burned 199,237 acres and destroyed 111 structures. It's only 23 percent contained.

But while the Rim Fire has reached the Hetch Hetchy water reservoir, from where Mountain View residents receive 87 percent of their water supply, local officials tell consumers not too worry—the water remains safe.

"We are taking our queues from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission," said Gregg A. Hosfeldt assistant Public Works director for the City of Mountain View. "They don’t perceive a severe issue or even a minor one."

According to the SFPUC, "no change or impact" to customers exists and to be safe they've "increased the amount of water delivery from Hetch Hetchy to our local reservoirs in the Alameda and Peninsula areas."

Since before the Rim Fire began on Aug. 17, the SFPUC had started to transder water from the full Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to other reservoirs closer to San Francisco, and has now increased that amount from 275 million gallons to 302 million gallons a day as a precaution.

"We are pleased with how they are handling this," Hosfeldt said. "They are moving water and we think things are under controlled."

Hosfeldt further explained that "if something really critical happened" the city could access more water from current sources like the Santa Clara Valley Water District and its own groundwater wells.

Bay City News contributed reporting to this article.

Sam August 31, 2013 at 05:56 PM
"But while the Rim Fire has reached the Hetch Hetchy water reservoir, from where Mountain View residents receive 87 percent of their water supply, local officials tell consumers not too worry—the water remains safe." The sentence above repeats a sloppy bit of journalism found in most reports about the source water in San Francisco's system. The true source is the Tuolumne River. Reservoirs don't create water; they simply capture and store it. The true source is a river.
Jeff M September 02, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Not so fast with the sloppy bit of correction. The river is the original source, but it is perfectly correct that the water comes from the storage reservoir to MV (et al).

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