Water FAQs - Regulations & Quality

How about home treatment devices I’ve seen advertised? Should I get one to offer additional protection for my family?

Before you consider investing in a home treatment or filtration system for your home, do your homework. How specifically are you trying to improve your water quality, and what do you hope to achieve through this treatment? Contaminant levels are monitored regularly by the water utility and are provided for your information in the Consumer Confidence Report, which is provided annually to all customers. If this report does not address your concerns, please contact KPUD's Operations for the latest monitoring results.

The term "contaminant" refers to everything from naturally occurring minerals, which your body needs, to synthetic organic compounds, some of which may cause health problems. The mere presence of a contaminant does not pose a health threat, and in fact, the removal of a "contaminant", such as calcium, may be detrimental to your health. While treatment systems can remove "contaminants" from your water, there is no one system that will remove all contaminants. If, after a thorough evaluation of the water chemistry, you decide treatment or filtration is warranted for your home, be sure to review the systems maintenance manual thoroughly and adhere to all recommended maintenance procedures. Without proper maintenance, regular replacement of filters or treatment media, etc., your treatment system can cause excessive buildup and release of collected contaminants into your drinking water.

Finally, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is aimed at ensuring that individual treatment devices are not necessary for individuals who receive their water from public water systems. In most cases, water is treated at the source by the utility to maintain contaminants within allowable levels. Usually this treatment can be done more effectively and economically by the utility. Still, you may have specific health or aesthetic concerns that dictate your need for a treatment system. The ultimate decision is yours.

Should we be drinking bottled water?

Just because water comes from a bottle doesn't guarantee it to be of high quality.

Kitsap Public Utility District (KPUD) water systems are routinely tested and monitored. Tests show that the water is safe and that there is no need to drink bottled water. The testing requirements for bottled water are less stringent than those imposed on public water systems.

How do you keep contaminants from getting in the water in the first place?

We work with the County Ground Water Guardian Program to help protect ground water sources. We work with local zoning authorities to restrict activities that might have a negative health effect, to prevent them from being located near sources of water.

We take precautions in construction of facilities to keep out contaminants and disinfect the facilities prior to use.

We work with industry and government agencies to ensure that both comply with environmental requirements concerning pollutant discharges.

What are you doing to protect us from chemical contamination?

We are carefully fulfilling the requirements of the State Department of Health Wellhead Protection Program (WHPP). The goal of the WHPP is to prevent contamination of our public drinking water supplies. In Washington, the State Department of Health (DOH) is the lead agency for developing and administering the WHPP. All group A public water systems (those that serve more than 25 persons or 15 connections) are affected by the WHPP. Key components of any wellhead protection program include:

  • Mapping of wellhead protection areas (WHPAs) – WHPAs identify the geographic area that directly contributes water in the short term to the drinking water supply
  • Inventory of potential sources of ground water contamination within wellhead protection areas
  • Development of management strategies to eliminate or minimize the possibility that these potential contaminant sources may become actual sources of ground water contamination
What kind of contaminants or chemicals are in my water?

Water quality reports, referred to as Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR) can be found on the Water Quality section of our website. CCRs provide information about the frequency and type of water quality testing as well as the test results.

KPUD drinking water meets or exceeds all water quality standards as set forth in the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act. The Washington State Department of Health considers drinking water that meets these water quality standards safe for human consumption.

What State drinking water regulations must the District comply with and what water quality parameters are being tested for?

Volatile organic chemicals (VOC)-State regulations set Maximum Contamination Levels (MCLs) for 8 chemicals and monitoring requirements for 51 additional contaminants for systems serving less than 3,300 people.

Total Coliform- Public water systems are required to sample for total coliform on a monthly basis. Sampling must be conducted in accordance with a written plan. The number of samples required per month depends on the number of persons served. Systems that serve 25 to 1000 persons, for example, must take 1 sample per month. When a Total Coliform sample is positive, additional testing of the sample must be conducted for fecal coliform and E. coli and repeat samples must be taken. If the repeat sampling and testing indicates fecal coliform or E. coli is present, the public must be notified.

Lead and Copper- Rules for minimizing lead and copper in drinking water have been developed. The regulations include corrosion control treatment, sampling for lead and copper levels in drinking water, water treatment if required, and public education.

Synthetic organic and inorganic chemicals (SOC and IOC)-This rule sets MCLs for 33 contaminants and require monitoring for 110 additional contaminants.

Additional rules are expected to be implemented in the future that will address additional volatile organic and synthetic organic chemicals, radionuclides, radon, disinfectants, arsenic, and many other contaminants.

The expense of conducting the comprehensive testing program mandated by the SDWA will drive up water system costs. The potential for additional expenses which could result if sampling uncovers problems with water systems may far exceed the cost of sampling. For example expensive water treatment could be necessary or some water sources may have to be abandoned and new sources developed (e.g., drill a new well at some distance from the old one and lay pipe to move water to the system).