Water Quality

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As a water utility, it is the City of Wenatchee’s duty to provide safe drinking water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The City’s drinking water comes from an excellent source which produces some of the highest quality water in the state. Based on monitoring conducted over the last 30 years, the water quality has consistently been outstanding from the source to the customer’s faucet.  The City's drinking water is rated as moderately hard water with a hardness of 77 mg/L. (This corresponds to 4.5 grains per gallon) 

The City of Wenatchee does not add fluoride to the drinking water. 

The City of Wenatchee mails an annual Water Quality Report to customers in our service area. This report contains test results, information on water quality and our utility. To view the latest Water Quality Report, select the link below:

   Water Quality Report (pdf)
   Water Quality Report - Spanish (pdf)

During the most recent round of testing, drinking water in the City of Wenatchee met or surpassed all State and Federal standards for safety and quality.  If you have additional questions about the quality of the water in the City of Wenatchee please call the Environmental Division at (509) 888-3235.

Lead in Drinking Water
In Washington State, lead in drinking water comes primarily from materials and components used in household plumbing. The more time water has been sitting in pipes, the more dissolved metals, such as lead, it may contain. Elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially in pregnant women and young children.

To help reduce potential exposure to lead:

  • For any drinking water tap that has not been used for 6 hours or more, flush water through the tap until the water is noticeably colder before using for drinking or cooking. You can use the flushed water for watering plants, washing dishes, or general cleaning.
  • If you live in older housing build before the mid-1940s, it is recommended that you run your tap at least 2 minutes after the water has sat in the pipes for 6 hours or more.
  • Only use water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead.
  • Clean the screens and aerators in faucets frequently to remove captured particles.
  • Use only “lead free” piping and materials for plumbing when building or remodeling.

The City of Wenatchee monitors for lead and copper following the Department of Health requirements. The size of our system dictates that 30 homes are tested every 3 years. The homes selected are homes most vulnerable to lead and copper corrosion. All samples have been below the action level for both lead and copper. For the latest results please see the data table included in the Water Quality Report.  

Information on lead in drinking water is available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or online.  The Washington State Department of Health has additional information on how to reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water on their web site.

Legionella Bacteria
Legionnaires’ disease is a very serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by bacteria called Legionella.  In nature, Legionella live in fresh water and rarely cause illness.  In man-made settings, Legionella can grow if water is not properly maintained.  These man-made water sources become a health problem when small droplets of water that contain the bacteria get into the air and people breath them.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considered adding Legionella to the list of Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring for drinking water systems.  After further study they determined that the Legionella bacteria was found to be problematic in large or complex plumbing systems within buildings, not in the water system providing water to the building. 

Legionnaires’ Disease

  •  If you develop pneumonia symptoms and may have been exposed to Legionella, see a doctor right away.  Be sure to mention if you have used a hot tub, spent any nights away from home, or stayed in a
    hospital in the last two weeks.
  • Signs and symptoms can include: cough, muscle aches, high fever, shortness of breath and headache
  • Legionnaire’s Disease is serious, but it can be treated with  antibiotics.  Most people who get sick need care in a hospital but make a full recovery.
  • Most healthy people do not get Legionnaires’ disease after being exposed to Legionella.  Being 50 years or older or having certain risk factors can increase you changes of getting sick.  The risk factors include:  being a current or former smoker, having a chronic lung disease, having a weakened immune system from diseases like cancer, diabetes, or kidney failure, or taking medication that weakens your immune system.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is a good source of more information on Legionnaire's Disease as well as the Chelan Douglas Health District website.

Historic Water Delivery
The City of Wenatchee's water delivery system in 1912 was a little different than it is today.  Below are pictures showing the horse and wagon delivery service.

 horse and wagon collecting water from the Columbia River for delivery around 1912

Horse and Wagon delivering water to a business around 1912

 

 

 

 

 

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