Water Quality is Job #1

Posted Wednesday, March 11, 2020

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.

Elaine -2018We ensure 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. Our Water Quality staff collect 80 water samples each month to check for total coliforms and E. coli bacteria. Total coliforms include bacteria that are 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 actually are an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli are pathogenic, meaning they can cause illness, either diarrhea or illness outside of 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 600 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 all the way to the last customer in the distribution system. Part of our testing protocol is to monitor the chlorine level of each sample. By having a sufficient level of chlorine remaining in water after its initial application ensures we kill any bacteria that may enter the pipelines.

“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 provides its customers with an annual Water Quality Report to let them know how our water quality stacks up against established federal and state drinking water standards. We encourage you to review this report as it provides details about the source and quality of the drinking water delivered to your community.

Click here to view the reports.

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