Auburn's water, unlike that of other cities, comes from deep well aquifers and springs. It is not dependent on the Cascade Mountains' snowpack replenishing open reservoirs. The City is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the water service lines from the street to the backside of the service meter. The owner is responsible for the service from the backside of the meter to the home. All plumbing in the home and landscape irrigation systems is also the responsibility of the owner. Backflow prevention devices are required on all irrigation systems and fire lines.
Residents are billed according to the amount of water used. The City has established an inclining block rate for the quantity of water consumed to promote water conservation.
2015 Water Supply Outlook - August 14, 2015 Update
The City's water supply is provided from 10 groundwater wells, 2 springs, and connections with Tacoma's regional surface water system. In response to this past winter's "snow drought" and the recent hot, dry weather, the City of Auburn Water Utility has increased monitoring of the City's water supply from its wells and springs.
The City of Auburn Water Utility will continue to monitor the City's water supply from its wells and springs. We currently have sufficient water supplies to meet our customers' needs. However, if our monitoring begins to show a decline in available supplies, we may implement portions of our Water Supply Contingency Plan to encourage customers to reduce consumption.
Tacoma Water, the City's regional wholesale water supplier, has initiated the next stage of their Water Shortage Response Plan, and is asking for Voluntary cutbacks of lawn watering. Since a portion of the City's water comes from Tacoma, the City of Auburn Water Utility is also asking our costumers for Voluntary reduction on watering lawns.
Thank you for your understanding and for your continued efforts to conserve our vital resource. We will keep you informed if additional reductions become necessary.
- Low-flow showerhead giveaway: Come to the Utility billing counter at 1 East Main ST, 2nd floor, and pick up a free low-flow (2-gallon-per-minute) showerhead.
- Toilet Rebate Program:
For service changes or questions concerning billing, email the Utility Billing Division or call 253-931-3038.
Water System Maintenance
The City of Auburn Water Department periodically conducts water system maintenance that involves flushing hydrants and water mains. We try to notify customers in advance in a variety of ways including City website, phone messages, text and email alerts, and roadway message boards placed in the area. So please expect to hear from us by one of these methods when we're working in your area.
Our next flushing activity occurs:
June 8th - 12th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, flushing will occur in the Valley service area north of 29th Street SE, east of A Street SE, south of 21st Street SE, and west of K Street SE. Please see the Water Flushing Map (PDF) for more details.
During flushing, customers may experience a slight drop in household water pressure and notice discolored water as sediments are removed from the system. The sediment and discolored water are not a health hazard and are not a cause for concern.
Customers should avoid water use, especially laundry, during flushing events. We recommend the following.
- Closing water valves to appliances, icemakers and other automatic water-using devices.
- If possible please keep valves closed during the flushing time period of 9 AM to 3 PM.
- If you experience discolored water after the flushing period, follow these steps before using your water:
- First, open the outside faucet closest to your water meter and run water until it flows clear.
- Next, flush a toilet or run water into a bath tub until the indoor water is clear.
- Once your water is running clear, you may resume normal water use.
We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your patience. If you have questions or experience any problems or damages because of discolored water due to flushing, please contact us at 253-931-3048. We are working to provide you with safe, reliable and adequate water service.
Avoid Cross Connections
The City of Auburn water system provides drinking water that is safe to drink and meets all State Department of Health and Federal health standards.
One of the concerns of the Washington State Department of Health involves drinking water cross connections. A cross connection is any connection between a safe drinking water source and a unsafe source of water or liquid. This connection presents a health risk and needs to be eliminated or controlled. For more information on eliminating or controlling cross connections, download this helpful brochure (PDF).
If you need help determining what type or where to install a backflow device, or the safety of your plumbing with regards to backflow, please contact the City of Auburn Cross Connection Control Specialist at 253-931-3064. You may also request a Water Usage Survey Questionnaire or an on-site survey at the same number.
Comprehensive Water Plan
- Draft 2015 Water Comprehensive Plan - updated March 2015 (PDF 25 MB)
- Draft 2015 Water Comprehensive Plan Appendices part 1 - updated March 2015 (PDF 23 MB)
- Draft 2015 Water Comprehensive Plan Appendices part 2 - updated March 2015 (PDF 16 MB)
- Report (PDF 131MB)
- Appendices (PDF 40MB)
Note to Firefox users: If you experience issues accessing larger PDFs, go to Tools > Options and increase your browser's offline storage cache to 100 MB on the Advanced tab.
For questions or concerns regarding the following, call 253-931-3048:
- new installations
- maintenance of existing services
- water quality
- water pressure problems
- help in locating leaks
- reporting broken hydrants or leaking water mains
After-hour water emergencies are currently handled by calling the emergency operator at 911.