The PUD abides by the water quality regulations outlined in the State Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Standards.
All public water systems are required to conduct water quality testing of some form or another. The types of testing and frequency will depend on the size, location, susceptibility to contamination and other factors. There are two general categories of tests that are scheduled:
- Bacteriological (organic)
- Chemical (inorganic)
Bacteriological tests are conducted monthly at various locations of the distribution system. The PUD maintains a coliform-testing plan that identifies frequency and location of sample sites.
Chemical testing varies tremendously. The types of tests conducted include:
- Synthetic Organic Compounds (SOCs):
Generally testing for the presence of pesticides
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs):
Testing for petroleum based products
- Total Triholomethanes (TTHMs):
Testing for by-products of chlorine
Testing for the presence of radioactive substances
Testing for by-products of septic systems, dairy farms, poultry farms etc.
- Lead and Copper:
Tests showing high level of these metals may indicate highly corrosive water which deteriorates pipes
- Inorganic Compounds:
Testing for the presence of metals, salts and sulfates
The PUD takes the sample and sends them into a state-approved laboratory, which then sends the results to the State of Washington Department of Health as well as to the PUD.