Water Quality

City staff is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the City's water distribution system for a constant and safe delivery of potable water to over 10,000 accounts.

Edmonds drinking water is purchased from the Alderwood Water Wastewater District who in turn sources their water from the City of Everett. The original water source is Spada Reservoir, located at the headwaters of the Sultan River about 30 miles east of Everett. From the Spada Reservoir, the water travels through a pipeline to the City of Everett Treatment facility at the Chaplain Reservoir.

The Water Division is responsible for the maintenance and operation of constant and safe delivery of potable water to over 10,000 customer accounts through 138 miles of distribution mains, 18 pressure reducing stations, three 1.5 million gallon reservoirs, and one three-million gallon reservoir and pumping station.

Water Meter Information

The water meter for a customer's property is typically located within the City Right-of-Way or a utility easement.  Water meters are contained in concrete or plastic boxes off of the road and close to property lines.  If you are unsure where your water meter is, feel free to contact us at (425) 771-0235 for assistance.

It is essential to maintain a clear path from the street to your water meter by keeping the area around and above your water meter clear of debris.  Trees, plants, shrubs and other landscape materials can hide the water meter and make it more difficult for City crews to locate, particularly in the event of an emergency.  Please minimize these plantings adjacent to and around water meters.  Additionally, obstructions such as vehicles, rockeries, and fences can block access to the meter and make for unsafe conditions.  Thank you for your cooperation in keeping the water meter clear of these obstructions.

To see where your water meter is located click here.

Drinking Water Quality

drinking water dirtyWhat is a Cross-Connection?  A cross connection is an actual or potential physical connection between a "potable water" line and any pipe, vessel, or machine containing non-potable fluid, solid or gas allowing possible entry to the water system by backflow.  This would include, but is not limited to, sewers, drains, conduits, pools, storage reservoirs, plumbing fixtures, or any other device.  The non-potable or unapproved water supply system may contain contaminated liquids, solids, or gases, of unknown or unsafe quality.  Bypass arrangements such as jumper connections, removable sections, swivel or changeover devices are considered to be a cross connection.

What is Backflow?  Backflow is a flow in reverse from the normal direction of flow in a piping system.  It occurs due to a differential pressure existing between two different points within a continuous fluid system: a fluid of higher pressures flowing to a fluid of lower pressure.  Backflow may occur due to either "back-siphonage" or "back-pressure".

Water Conservation

Water conservation accomplishes a number of goals:

  • Conserves water supply during dry seasons or periods of drought;
  • Reduces the need to expand costly infrastructure;
  • Helps preserve water for natural systems.

Resources to help you conserve include:

  • FREE Water Saver Kits - Available at the Public Works Department while supplies last!

Water Use Efficiency

The Water Use Efficiency program, as required by the Washington State Department of Health, guides management of the City’s water distribution system to minimize water loss and encourages responsible use of water by our customers.

Edmonds purchases 100 percent of its water from the City of Everett by way of the Alderwood Water District and participates in a regional water conservation program with several other Everett water wholesale customers.  In 2007 the program participants agreed to partake in a shared goal designed to save 1.95 million gallons of water a day (MGD) by the end of 2012.

Being a regional partner has allowed the City to promote water conservation to its customers by offering rebates for high-efficiency toilets and distributing indoor and outdoor water-saver kits, toilet tank leak detection tabs and lawn watering calendars.  Partnering has also helped sponsor several water conservation workshops in the elementary schools during the year.

Through various efforts, the regional water conservation program together saved approximately 0.75 MGD in 2012, which brought the cumulative water savings regionally to 2.12 MGD, - surpassing the goal of 1.95 MGD!  

Metering and Distribution Leakage Summary

The Edmonds water system is fully metered.  The State requires that water suppliers maintain their Distribution System Leakage (DSL) at 10 percent or less.  The State also recognizes that a certain amount of leakage is expected and unavoidable.  Please see the Water Use Efficiency section of the City's annual Water Quality Report for details.

In an effort to limit water loss, the City’s water utility has performed intensive system leak detection and repair, replaced aging water mains and has an ongoing service meter replacement program.  Operational improvements, meter testing and other activities aim to reduce the DSL to stay below the State minimum.

Responsible water use by Edmonds’ water customers can have a significant impact on the amount of water used as a whole.  The City is committed to efficiently managing the water distribution system and encourages you to use water wisely.

Water Use Efficiency Goal Establishment

On December 4, 2007, a public hearing was held which included public input to establish the water use efficiency measures as an overall water savings goal.  The goal is to reduce average annual water consumption by a minimum of one percent on a per capita basis and participate in Everett’s regional water efficiency program.

Estimated Annual Savings – The estimated conservation savings the City has achieved in years 2008 through 2012 has averaged approximately .75 percent of the total annual water consumption citywide.  Based on current experience and the projected savings that were established by the City of Everett, Edmonds anticipates that overall annual water savings will be a continued reduction of .75 percent and a minimum of reduction of one percent annually on a per capita basis.  This equates to a decrease of 9 million gallons per year or 25,600 gallons per day. 

Distribution System Leakage – Based on 2013 water consumption records, the overall non-revenue water amount equates to 8.4 percent of the total water supplied by the Alderwood Water District master meter.  The City will continue to monitor its records to provide documentation that the overall system leakage remains below 10 percent.

Planned Water Use Efficiency Measures for 2014 – 2019 – The City will continue to participate with the Everett Water Utility Regional Conservation Program.  This program, as demonstrated by the City of Everett, is shown to be very cost effective.  The cost is included in the wholesale water pricing to Edmonds and equates to one percent of the average water bill.

A summary of the planned water use efficiency measures is as follows:

Leak detection surveys – The City will continue to contract for annual surveys.

Water main replacement program – The City will continue this program at a cost of approximately $2 million annually.

Bills showing consumption history – The City will continue to provide this information and offer ways for customers to obtain additional information via the city website.

School-based education – As part of the regional EWUC program, the City will continue to participate in school-based education programs including classroom presentations, teacher workshops, and classroom educational materials.

Public outreach – As part of the regional EWUC program, the City will continue to participate in public outreach programs including water conservation messaging, offering of a summer lawn watering calendar, and partnering with other regional efforts.

Indoor and outdoor water conservation kits – The City will continue to make available these free water-saver kits, offered as part of the regional EWUC program.  This measure applies to the single-family and multi-family sectors, both existing and new customers. 

Toilet leak detection – The City will provide free toilet leak detection dye strips for customers to determine if their toilets leak and provides detailed information on how to fix leaks.  This measure applies to single-family and multi-family sectors, both existing and new customers, and businesses with tank-style toilets.  Only tank-style toilets are targeted since most leaks occur in that type of toilet, usually via flapper leaks.

Sprinkler Irrigation Systems

sprinkler irrigation 2Installation of an irrigation system requires compliance with Washington State Law (WAC 245-290) and Edmonds City Code Chapter 7.20.  These Laws require that all irrigation systems have approved backflow protection.  An City permit is also required when installing an irrigation system.

Without proper backflow protection, your irrigation system could endanger the health of your family, neighbors, and others in the community who are using the public water system.

The following state approved backflow assemblies are required to be installed per City of Edmonds standards, and must be tested by a Washington State Certified Backflow Assembly Tester upon installation, repairs, relocation, and annual thereafter:

arrow-b  Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker (AVB)
arrow-b  Pressure Vacuum Breaker Assemblies (PVBA)
arrow-b  Double Check Valve Assemblies (DCVA)
arrow-b  Reduced Pressure Backflow Assemblies (RPBA)

Improper installations of a State Approved Backflow Prevention Assembly or failure to have the backflow prevention assembly tested are grounds for termination of water service.  Please note, an AVB does not required annual testing.

Sprinkler Irrigation System Permit - Please submit permit applications and/or annual assembly certifications to:

City of Edmonds
Public Works Department - Water Quality
7110 - 210th St SW, Edmonds WA  98026

Drinking Water Source and Service Area


Edmonds purchases your drinking water from the Alderwood Water District.  Alderwood Water District purchases their water from the City of Everett.  The water comes from Spada Reservoir, located at the headwaters of the Sultan River about 30 miles east of Everett.  The Spada Reservoir, created in 1964 in partnership with the Snohomish County PUD, holds about 50 billion gallons of water.

From Spada Reservoir, the water travels through a pipeline to the City of Everett Treatment facility at the Chaplain Reservoir.  Chaplain Reservoir is about 8 miles downstream from Spada Reservoir and holds about 4.5 billion gallons of water.

Spada Reservoir is in the Sultan Basin Watershed.  A watershed is a geographic area where all precipitation drains into a single body of water.  In the Sultan Basin Watershed, rain and snow melt from the Cascade Mountains flow into Spada Reservoir.  The Sultan Basin Watershed covers an area of about 84 square miles and is one of the wettest watersheds on the west side of the Cascade Mountains.  The average rainfall is about 165 inches, or 5 times our local rainfall.  To protect the natrually pristine water in Spada Reservoir, water quality in the Sultan Basin is carefully monitored.



i-mapMost of the incorporated City limits are servced by the Edmonds public water system.  However, areas that are both south of 220th Street (or Elm Street) and west of Highway 99 and 76th Avenue West are servced by the Olympic View Water District.



Water Comprehensive Plan

comp dev plan icon
The comprehensive plan provides an analysis of the City's water system.  It provides planning information and will guide the City in operating, maintaining and improving it's water system and ensure existing and future customers are provided with a safe and reliable supply of drinking water and fire protection.


Interesting Facts and Information

arrow-b  The Spada Reservoir, located in the Sultan Basin Watershed and created in 1964 in partnership with Snohomish County PUD, holds about 50 billion gallons of water.  The watershed covers about 84 square miles and is one of the wettest watersheds on the west side of the Cascade Mountains.

arrow-b  The Chaplain Reservoir, located about 8 miles downstream from Spada Reservoir, holds about 4.5 billion gallons of water.

arrow-b  City staff operates and maintains over 138 miles of distribution water mains, 19 pressure reducing stations, three 1.5 million gallon reservoirs, one 3.0 million gallon reservoir, and one pumping station.