Water Quality Monitoring
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 months, 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, soit isn't regularly tested, but a test report from 2009 listed water hardness, based on CaCO3, as 140 mg per litre. Residents who need more current or detailed information than this are encouraged to purchase a water-hardness test kit. Amazon sells reusable test kits that are inexpensive and reliable. If you just want a rough idea of water hardness (e.g. for a new dishwasher), you can get a free test strip from Morton Salt.
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.
Recently, there has been a lot in the news about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in municipal water systems. The Washington Department of Health is already formulating plans for testing for PFAS, and the Town was part of their fact-finding work. We submitted several samples for testing that were intended to help DOH determine how widespread the problem may be. The list of PFAS tested for was quite long, and the good news is that our water had no detectable amounts. If DOH determines that PFAS testing will be added as a regular item to their testing schedule, we will conduct those tests according to the schedule they provide.