The SFPUC recognizes the importance of effective and accurate communication to customers and ratepayers. It is our policy to provide Limited English Proficient (LEP) San Francisco residents with timely and effective access to agency services and programs. LEP refers to those people who have a limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English. All LEP ratepayers conducting business with or receiving services from the SFPUC will be provided free interpretive services by bilingual staff or through one of our translation consultants.
Our Language Access policy is consistent with the federal and state guidelines and in compliance with San Francisco Administrative Code, Chapter 91, Language Access Ordinance (LAO).
Assistance in language is provided Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. through Customer Service (415) 551-3000 and Communications (415) 554-3289.
The Customer Service Bureau (CSB), located on the first floor of 525 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, provides in person payment and information services during regular business hours from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. If staff is not available to help customers in their preferred language, we will use consulting telephonic translation service.
Home Water-Wise Audits
The Water Conservation Unit assigns bilingual inspectors to conduct Water Wise home audits in San Francisco.
SFPUC Public Hearings, Presentations and Meetings
We provide free interpreter services for public hearings, presentations and meetings. Requests for specific language interpretation should be made 48 hours in advance by contacting Communications at (415) 554-3289.
We provide written in language materials at sfwater.org. Requests for written translations can be made by calling (415) 554-3289.
Crisis/Emergency Communications Procedures with LEP Population
- The SFPUC website posts emergency procedures in multiple languages to inform the public to contact 311 regarding water, sewer and power emergencies.
- Bilingual staff informs the ethnic media and impacted neighborhood organizations via media advisories to keep the LEP community informed.
- Our Water Quality Communications Plan includes easily customizable templates for any water quality related emergency
- We deploy door-to-door bilingual staff for urgent, time sensitive notifications.
If appropriate translation or interpretation support is not provided in a timely fashion, a customer may file a complaint .The complainant will be notified of any action taken to ensure compliance with the Language Access Ordinance. A written copy of said conclusion will be submitted to respective bureau, Communications Director and Language Access Liaison for record.
A customer may file a complaint by contacting:
Customer Service at (415) 551-3000 or Communications at (415) 554-3289
USPS mail to:
Language Access Liaison
525 Golden Gate Avenue, 12th floor
San Francisco, CA 94102