Facilities Updates

March 18, 2022

Important Information About Your Drinking Water - Monitoring Requirements Not Met for San José State University

We are required to monitor campus drinking water for specific contaminants on a regular basis. Results of regular monitoring are an indicator of whether or not our drinking water meets health standards. Monitoring is guided by a water sampling and testing plan approved by the State Water Board and requires that we pull 18 samples from designated locations across the campus on a weekly basis which are then analyzed by outside testing laboratory.

On January 3, a sample taken from a custodial closet in Duncan Hall tested positive for coliform bacteria. The sample did not contain e. coli. Test results from repeat samples were not received by the campus due to issues with chain of custody.

Even though this failure was not an emergency, our campus community has the right to know what happened, who might have been impacted, and what we did to correct this situation.

What should I do?

  • There is nothing you need to do at this time.
  • The table below lists the contaminant(s) we did not properly test for during the last year, how many samples we are required to take and how often, how many samples we took, when samples should have been taken, and the date on which follow-up samples were (or will be) taken.
Contaminant Repeat bacteriological samples
Required Sampling Frequency

3 samples following a positive total coliform sample

Number of Samples Taken


When All Samples Should Have Been Taken

Within 24 hours after notification of a positive test result from the laboratory

When Samples Were or Will Be Taken

Through March 11, 2022, the University has tested 10 additional samples from that location as well administered 170 other routine samples across our system (including up and down stream). None of these samples have been positive.

  • If you have health issues concerning the consumption of this water, you may wish to consult your doctor.

What happened? What is being done?

In January, the University’s contracted laboratory obtained water samples and conducted testing per our campus State Water Board approved water sampling and testing plan. When processing the results, the laboratory confirmed one sample tested positive for total coliform and notified a staff member in Facilities Development & Operations. The staff member then obtained repeat samples (one from the same location, one from an upstream location, and one from a downstream location) as required by the State Water Board. The test results from that round of sampling was not received by the University due to a chain of custody issue.

Later rounds of water sample testing showed no sustained contamination.

The University has conducted a formal review of its procedures concerning routine sampling, chain of custody, and the reporting of results. Additional safeguards now being implemented will ensure that all results, whether from routine sampling or repeat sampling are promptly logged and reported. All staff and laboratory representatives will receive training on these new procedures to ensure consistent implementation.  

For more information, please contact Traci Ferdolage, Senior Associate Vice President, Facilities Development & Operations at 408-924-1940 or via email at traci.ferdolage@sjsu.edu.

This notice has been shared directly, via email, with the campus community but please do share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly. You can do this by directing people to this website.

This notice is being sent to you by San José State University, Facilities Development & Operation.

State Water System ID#: 4310028 

Date distributed: March 18, 2022