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Water

Quality Reports

  • 2016 Report (PDF)
  • 2015 Report (PDF)
  • 2014 Report (PDF)
  • 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 are working in your area.

    Our next flushing activity occurs:

    October 23 – 27, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, flushing will occur in the valley service area north of 31st Street SE, east of A Street SE, south of 21st Street SE, and west of D Street SE.  Please see the 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 9:00 AM to 3:00 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 bathtub 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.

    Water

     For service changes or questions concerning billing, email the Utility Billing Division or call 253-931-3038. 

    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 are 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.

    Safe Drinking Water in Auburn

    For many years, the City of Auburn Water Utility has been working to eliminate the threat of lead from customers’ drinking water supplies. A metal used for most of the 20th century in everything from paint and gasoline to plumbing pipes and fixtures, lead has been linked to a number of serious health ailments. Because it can accumulate in the body, infants, children and developing fetuses are particularly susceptible to the effects of lead exposure.

    The water from the City’s wells and springs is free of lead. However, lead is sometimes present in pipes connecting older homes to the water system or in fixtures and home plumbing. The City of Auburn adjusts the water’s chemistry to minimize the possibility of lead dissolving into the water, but there are additional steps you can take at home.

    Have your water tested by a certified laboratory, particularly if your home was built before 1945. If you would like to test your home’s water to see if lead is present, and if levels are cause for concern, the Department of Ecology has a list of accredited water quality labslinks to external site that can perform the testing. 

    The surest way to protect against lead in water is to get the lead out altogether. 

    Replace Lead Service Lines

    The City has a program that regularly looks at water main replacement needs within the water system and provides the funding to construct these replacements. The City has replaced many older pipelines where lead fittings between the water main and customers' water meters may have been present. 

    Replace Other Plumbing That Contains Lead

    We recommend you use an experienced, certified plumber to look for and replace lead fittings, fixtures or other potential sources of lead. 

    In the meantime, if your tap water tests positive for lead, here are a few easy steps you can take right now:

    • Use a filter – Several types of inexpensive household water filters are effective at removing lead. Before purchasing, look for a certification from the NSF International that verifies the filter’s ability to remove lead. It will usually be found on the packaging.
    • Run the tap before use – Lead levels are likely at their highest when water has been sitting in the pipe for several hours. Clear this water from your pipes by running the cold water for several minutes , which allows you to draw fresh water from the main. You can use this water on house plants or to flush toilets.
    • Use cold water for cooking – Always cook and prepare baby formula with cold water, because hot water dissolves lead more quickly, resulting in higher levels in water. 
    • Clean aerators – Aerators are small attachments at the tips of faucets which regulate the flow of water. They can accumulate small particles of lead in their screens. It’s a good idea to remove your aerators at least monthly and clean them out.

    The City of Auburn is committed to providing its customers with drinking water that meets all state and federal water quality standards. If you have any further questions, please contact City of Auburn Community Development and Public Works Department - Engineering at 253-931-3010. 

    Fluoride

    The City of Auburn does not add fluoride to its drinking water. Fluoride levels at or below 0.2 mg/L are naturally present in the groundwater. Please check the Fluoride Map (PDF) for fluoride levels where you live.

    Water Conservation

    Water conservation is always encouraged, whether we are experiencing a drought or above normal rainfall. 

    Here are some simple, effective conservation ideas:

    • Only operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers when they are fully loaded. Set the water level for the size load you are washing.
    • Take shorter showers and replace your showerhead with a low-flow showerhead. Low flow showerheads are available, free-of-charge, to Auburn water customers at the Customer Care Center, City Hall Annex second floor.
    • Replace your old, high-water-use toilet with a low flow toilet. For information on Auburn's toilet rebate program, visit the city's website at Frequently Asked Questions - WaterSense Toilet Rebate Program (PDF).
    • Turn off the tap when brushing teeth. Letting the faucet run can waste up to 4 gallons of water.
    • Do not wash your cars or recreational vehicles at home; use commercial car washes that recycle water.
    • Consider drought-tolerant plants as you plan your garden this year.

    Conservation Promotions

    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 brochurelinks to external site .

    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.

    Backflow devices need to be tested annually to ensure that they are functioning properly to protect your health and to prevent contaminants and pollutants from entering the public water system.  The customer is responsible for hiring a certified backflow testing company to perform this annual test.  For information about companies who are registered to perform backflow assembly testing in the City of Auburn, consult the City's "2017 City of Auburn Registered Backflow Assembly Testers" list (PDF).

    Comprehensive Water Plan

    Water Meters

    The City began a water meter replacement program in 2015, which will continue through 2017.
    View the Water Meter Replacement Program Details and Frequently Asked Questions.


    For questions or concerns regarding the following, call 253-931-3048:

    • new installations
    • repairs
    • 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.