Skagit PUD has provided safe drinking water to customers in Skagit County for more than 85 years.

Owned By The People We Serve

On November 3, 1936, Public Utility District No. 1 of Skagit County was formed by voters with approval of 6,173 to 4,971. Within 10 years, Skagit PUD purchased the private water systems that served the cities of Mount Vernon, Burlington, and Sedro-Woolley and consolidated them into an extensive water system serving most of the Skagit Valley.

The PUD’s customer base has since swelled to approximately 80,000 people served through 650 miles of pipeline.

Initially, each city maintained its water filtration facility, but in 1954 the PUD replaced the aging and worn-out filter plants with a new well near the Skagit River. During the early 1960s, the PUD began diverting water from streams in the Cultus Mountains to the newly constructed Judy Reservoir, which became the PUD’s primary water supply.

Judy Reservoir (named after L.B. Judy, the utility’s first general manager) brought a dependable supply of high-quality, gravity-fed water to the valley. The consolidated storage and treatment facility also meant that chlorinated water could be delivered through 11 miles of transmission lines to Sedro-Woolley and Mount Vernon. The transmission lines loop together in Burlington, creating a strong backbone for the valley’s water supply.

Judy Reservoir

Providing water for a growing community

In 1990, as the Safe Drinking Water Act gained momentum, the PUD constructed a new 12-million-gallons-per-day filtration plant to meet new treatment requirements. This plant features direct filtration and chlorine dioxide treatment followed by chlorination before distribution.

Before constructing the filtration plant, the utility needed to treat Judy Reservoir with copper sulfate to kill algae. Unfortunately, that left a slight odor in the water and upset the algae population’s natural food chain. After the filtration went online, Skagit PUD discontinued copper sulfate and allowed the algae to grow naturally. The filtration process now removes all algae.

To address our area’s growing and changing needs, the PUD doubled its water filter plant’s capacity at Judy Reservoir in 2009. Along with this expansion, the PUD has constructed a new pumping station on the Skagit River to augment flows from four streams in the Cultus Mountains, which have been the primary source of our water supply. Pulling water from the Skagit lets us fill Judy Reservoir when fish protection requirements limit diversions from the streams.

With its five 900-horsepower engines, the pumping station can deliver up to 36 million gallons per day from the river to Judy Reservoir. It will ensure that sufficient water is available to meet projected demands for the next 40 years.