Water in Small, Plastic Bottles (21 Ounces or Less)

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Environmental & Health Information

Many plastic water bottles contain chemicals called phthalates that it has been 24 shown can leach into the water. Phthalates are known to disrupt testosterone and other 25 hormones, which can lead to infertility, cancer, miscarriages and other health problems. 

The City's own supply of tap water is one of the cleanest in the country.  It meets or exceeds all federal and state criteria for drinking water quality and is tested over 100,000 times per year.  The system also uses gravity to transport water to the City, while bottled water uses less environmentally-friendly means for transportation. 

Criteria for Water in Small, Plastic Bottles (21 Ounces or Less)

Info on this product category: Water: Dispensers & Small Bottles

Criteria for Water: Dispensers & Small Bottles

Drinking water should be provided through dedicated dispensers or faucets, but bottled drinking water should be avoided. Bottled drinking water is defined as water in a sealed rigid plastic bottle having a capacity of 21 fluid ounces or less.

Last updated

Last updated: 
October 7, 2014

Guide for City Staff

Excerpt from San Francisco Environment Code:


SEC. 2405.  BARRING USE OF CITY FUNDS FOR PURCHASE OF BOTTLED WATER.
   (a)   No City officer, department, or agency (collectively, "department") shall use City Funds to purchase Bottled Water for its own general use. A department may use City Funds to purchase Bottled Water for uses specifically exempted from or allowed under this Chapter.
   (b)   It shall be City policy not to have drinking water systems in City offices or facilities that use plastic water bottles of any size where satisfactory alternatives exist and are feasible at the location under consideration. It shall further be City policy to conform drinking water systems in City offices or facilities to this goal where reasonable by the end of 2016.

Citywide Contract

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