CCRs Provide Info on Drinking Water Quality

Posted Thursday, July 29, 2021

Every time you turn on the tap in your home, you receive one of the world’s most precious commodities—fresh, clean drinking water. At Skagit PUD, we are committed to providing you the safest and most reliable drinking water possible at an affordable price.

Skagit PUD ensures safety by continually monitoring and testing your water for potential contaminants. For example, the Judy Reservoir system serves 70,000 people in the Burlington, Mount Vernon, and Sedro-Woolley areas. The PUD’s water quality staff collects 80 water samples each month to check for total coliforms and E. coli bacteria. Total coliforms include bacteria found in the soil, in water that has been influenced by surface water, and in human or animal waste. Most E. coli are harmless and are an essential part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli are pathogenic, meaning they can cause illness, either diarrhea or illness outside the intestinal tract. The types of E. coli that can cause diarrhea can be transmitted through contaminated water.

Depending on the monitoring schedule provided by the Washington State Department of Health, Skagit PUD also tests for a variety of other contaminants, including pesticides, lead and copper, disinfectant by-products, and a host of different chemicals.

Because Skagit PUD maintains over 650 miles of pipeline throughout the county, we not only want to make sure the water leaving the treatment plant is safe, but we need to know if it’s safe to the last customer in the distribution system. Part of the PUD’s testing protocol is to monitor the chlorine level of each sample. It’s important to have a sufficient level of chlorine remaining in water after its initial application to ensure that any bacteria entering the pipelines are killed.

“Chemical reactions are still taking place from the moment the water leaves the treatment plant until it reaches your house,” Water Quality Coordinator Emilia Blake explained. “If there is a main break, bacteria can get in.”

Each year, Skagit PUD produces an annual water quality report to let customers know how the district’s water quality compares to established federal and state drinking water standards. You are encouraged to review this report as it provides details about the source and quality of the drinking water delivered to your community.

If you wish to have a paper copy, you can print one directly from our website or receive a printed version by contacting our Water Quality Department at (360) 848-2135.