Town of Beaux Arts Village
The Beaux Arts Water Department supplies water drawn to residents of the Town and is the only utility operated by the Town. Originally developed in 1908 by the Western Academy of Beaux Arts, the water system was acquired and operated as King County Water District No. 22 in 1925. In 1973, the Town took over operation of the system. The Water Department draws water from a deep artesian well located near the north end of the beach, stores it in a 30,000-gallon water tank, and moves it by gravity feed from the tank sitting 67.5 feet high to each residence on demand.
Chapter 13.05 of the Beaux Arts Village Municipal Code establishes the rules and regulations of the Water Department. The Town's water is neither chlorinated nor fluorinated, but it is regularly tested to meet State Health Department requirements and is often praised for its taste and freshness. Newcomers may notice that the Town's water pressure seems lower than in other locales, but this is normal for our gravity-fed system. The Water Department maintains a connection to the Bellevue Water Utility, which is designed to activate automatically in an emergency, ensuring that no residence is left without water if the Water Department is out of service for any reason.
The Water Department is operated by a resident volunteer, who supervises the operation and maintenance of the water-distribution system and works with the Town Council to fund that effort. He is assisted by a contractor, who acts as superintendent handling routine maintenance, installing new water-service connections, collecting water samples for testing, and performing special projects when needed.
Each month, the Water Superintendent collects one or more water samples and sends them to an independent testing facility. The samples are always tested for the presence of coliform bacteria. In some instances, the samples are also tested for Volatile Organic Compounds, heavy metals (including lead and arsenic), and inorganic substances. The results of these tests are sent to the Water Department and the Washington State Department of Health. Should any sample indicate that the water supply is possibly unsafe in any way, the Water Department switches residents to Bellevue water while it takes all appropriate action to restore water quality.
Recently, customers have asked the Water Department about the hardness of our well water. Water hardness is not regulated by the Washington State Department of Health, so it isn't regularly tested, but a test report from 2009 listed our hardness, based on CaCO3, as 140 mg per litre. Residents who need more current information that this are encouraged to purchase a water-hardness test kit. If you want to be able to test your water hardness on a regular basis, Amazon sells a test kit that is re-usable and reliable: www.amazon.com/Hach-5B-Hardness-1453-00-Grains/product-reviews/B0051V5580. On the other hand, if you just want a rough idea of the hardness (e.g. for your new dishwasher), you can get a free test strip from Morton Salt: www.mortonsalt.com/article/order-a-free-test-strip-to-find-out-if-you-have-hard-water/.
Occasionally, residents may notice a strong "sulfur-like" smell, particular in water delivered through a faucet, spigot, or hose that hasn't been used for some time. The odor is cause by an anaerobic bacteria that thrives on naturally occurring manganese in our water. While neither the bacteria nor the manganese pose a health threat, the odor can be unpleasant. Sometimes, flushing the line with plenty of water will resolve the problem. If not, some residents have contacted one of the companies listed in the Yellow Pages under "Water Purify & Filter Equipment", e.g. Culligan, for help in eliminating this odor.
Water usage at residences is metered, in part to encourage conservation. Water meters are read every two months by a contractor, usually someone who lives in the Village. The Clerk-Treasurer uses these readings to produce the bi-monthly bills and mail them to each residence. The billing rate is a made up of two parts:
Payments must be postmarked by the 25th of the billing month
and may be mailed to
Homeowners who have a lawn-irrigation system, fire-sprinkler system, pond, spa, hot tub, swimming pool or any other installation that is permanently connected to the water-distribution system are required to install and maintain a backflow prevention device (BFD) . This device prevents water sitting in any of these systems from flowing back into the water-distribution system -- another potentially serious source of contamination. This device must be tested annually by a certified inspector. Each spring, the Town makes arrangements for bulk testing of BFDs for those customers who wish to participate in the program for a nominal testing fee, usually about $40 per test. Homeowners who choose NOT to participate in this bulk testing must arrange for their own annual test and submit the results of that test to the Beaux Arts Water Department, 10530 SE 27th Street, Beaux Arts, WA 98004.
Each year, the Water Department prepares a Water Quality Report that is mailed to each residence. This report, also known as the Consumer Confidence Report, provides users with a "snapshot" of the quality of the water provided by the Water Department. The report summarizes the water source, contaminants detected over the previous year (if any), and a discussion of of those contaminants. Click on one of the following to view the report for the corresponding year.
(You will need to install Adobe Acrobat reader to view these reports.)