Water Quality FAQs

 1. I am installing a water softener. What is the “hardness” of PUD water? 

Here are some sample results for hardness. Hardness is not a frequently required water test and therefore the results below may be several years old. In some sources, hardness can vary annually by 10-20% with the hardest water often in the winter and the softer water in the spring and summer as the water levels recharge. In the chart below, hardness  is shown per system and area served (several systems have multiple sources). All of our sources are groundwater and the amount of hardness can range significantly depending on which source is serving your service location.

System (Area) Hardness
(in mg/l Calcium Carbonate)
Hardness in
Quimper (Airport) 200 12
Quimper (Kala Point) 185 11
Quimper (Port Hadlock) 176 10
Quimper (Chimacum) 136 8
Bywater Bay (Shine) 100 6
Bywater Bay (Alpine Court ) 120 7
Gardiner (Gardiner) 110 – 120 6 – 7
Snow Creek (Uncas) 107 6
Quilcene (Quilcene) 90-100 6
Lazy C (Brinnon) 85 5
Triton Cove (Brinnon) 16 – 24 1 -1.5
LUD#3 (Ocean Grove) 200 12
For more information on how to access public water system data, see #2 below.
2. How can I find out what is in the water coming into my home?

Under the Clean Drinking Water Act we are required to test on a schedule for certain potential contaminants. The water quality test results performed for compliance with state and federal regulations are posted on the Department of Health’s Sentry Internet Database. Anyone can query the Sentry system by water system name or system number to find these results. Below is the list of our systems. Enter the name of the system, then click on the ID number for more info. Click on “Samples” tab and look for the source number based on where you are. For instance, if you live in Eagle Ridge, your water system is “Quimper” and your source is SO12.  Click on “Exceedances” to see if samples tested over the maximum contaminant level (MCL).  Note that most of the listed results are below the detection limit of the analytical method and are designated a “LT”. For those samples that measured something in the water above the detection limit, it has an “EQ” next to it.

System Name (Area) Water System ID # Active Source
(pumping rate)
Quimper (Airport) 05783 S10 (67 gpm)
Quimper (Port Hadlock) 05783 S06  (200 gpm)
Quimper (Chimacum) 05783 S05 (1500 gpm)
Quimper (Woodland Hills) 05783 S11 (40 gpm, summer)
Quimper (Eagle Ridge) 05783 S12 (15 gpm)
Gardiner LUD #1 (Gardiner) 07877 SO1 (300 gpm)
Snow Creek (Uncas) 01220 SO1 (30 gpm)
Bywater Bay (Shine) 02043 SO1 (150 gpm)
Bywater Bay (Alpine Crt) 02043 SO2 (30 gpm)
Quilcene (Quilcene) AB292 SO1 (28 gpm)
Lazy C (Brinnon) 02676 SO3 (50 gpm)
Triton Cove (Maple Ave.) 89477 SO1 (65 gpm)
Triton Cove (Williams Addition) 89477 SO3 (15 gpm)
We are also required to submit a consumer confidence report (CCRs) annually to all of our customers to inform them of any contaminants found in their water.  We are in the process of uploading the CCRs to the website.

3. Does the PUD chlorinate?

Yes, in most of our systems, chlorine is required to adequately disinfect the water. We work hard to keep chlorine at the appropriate level that it does not cause taste problems. If you do smell a lot of chlorine, it is often an indicator that there is not enough chlorine in the system (indeed, this is the opposite of what one would think). Please call or email to tell us if you can easily smell chlorine (swimming pool smell). Some of our systems with deep well sources do not need chlorine. Gardiner is the best example of a source that does not require any treatment.

4.  Does the PUD use other kinds of treatment?

Generally, we need to treat for iron and manganese in nearly all of our wells. Iron and manganese can affect the taste and appearance of water as well as stain everything from toilets to white linen. The treatment we prefer is a combined chemical cation exchange and mechanical process that requires very little chemicals (called ATEC). At the Sparling well site, we have both an ATEC process and a costly chemical process.  Raw water at the Sparling site is often high in organic acids (from peat deposits underground) which can interfere with both the chemical and ATEC treatment processes. Recently at Sparling, we upgraded our treatment so that we can get more water out the door for each gallon we withdrawal from the ground.

5. Does the PUD treat for arsenic?

No, PUD waters are below state and federal regulatory limits.  There are traces of naturally  occurring arsenic in almost all local waters. We have sample results that vary from about 0.001 – 0.008 mg/l or 1 to 8 parts per billion (ppb) district-wide. The EPA has determined that any quantity of arsenic in water presents some health risk. In January 2001 the EPA lowered the maximum contaminant limit of arsenic to  0.01 mg/l or 10 ppb.

6. Does the PUD fluoridate its water?

No. We do not fluoridate our water. Nor do we have any plans to do so at this time.

7. My water tastes stale or musky. What can I do about it?

Water at dead end lines can often taste bad, especially if those on the end of the line don’t use much water. Water needs to circulate to properly chlorinate as well as retain a favorable taste.  If you find your water tastes stale or strange, call our front desk at (360) 385-5800 and we will dispatch one of our water crew members to fix the problem which usually requires us to discharge water from main lines to improve circulation.

Got a water quality question?
Feel free to call or email Bill Graham at 385-8375 or bgraham@jeffpud.org.