Three separate water companies serve East Palo Alto (EPA): Palo Alto Mutual, O’Connor Tract, and Veolia (City water). Through these companies, we receive water from various sources: watersheds, wells, groundwater, and aquifers. The largest source is the City of EPA, which contracts with Veolia North America and San Francisco Regional Water System (SFRWS) to serve about 80 percent of the connections in EPA. SFRWS gets most of its supply from Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite. This water is considered some of the purest in the State. The primary issue with the City’s water is aging infrastructure. The remaining connections are served by the mutual companies, which draw from groundwater sources.
As this KALW article points out, about 75% of respondents to a 2019 needs assessment report that they purchase bottled water for cooking or drinking because the water quality is poor—discoloration, bad smell/taste, and burning eyes/hair loss.