Water and Conservation

The City’s goal is, and always has been, to provide a safe and dependable supply of drinking water. We encourage public interest and participation in our utility decisions affecting drinking water. Citizen input is welcomed at our regularly scheduled Council Meetings.

System Overview
The City is the municipal water supplier to most Port Orchard residences and businesses.  We actually have two water systems that combine the use of 6 wells, 8 tanks and approximately 230 miles of piping.  We supply more than 500,000 gallons of clean drinking water per day. During peak summer months water use can be almost double this amount. We are currently working on a Water Comprehensive Plan to meet the state Department of Health requirements.

Appearance, Tastes and Odors
Taste and odor problems within the distribution system are generally caused by pressure surges in the main water system, which causes sediment in the pipes to become suspended in the water.  Among the causes of pressure disturbances are watermain breaks, street construction, or the use of fire fighting connections. The most common cause of pressure changes in home plumbing systems is the corrosion of galvanized plumbing systems. This situation is usually indicated by yellow or reddish water and appears in the first water drawn from the faucet each day.

Safe Drinking Water
Drinking water (including bottled drinking water) may be reasonably expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.  The presence of contaminants doesn’t necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk.  Information about contaminants and potential health affects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

Cross Connection Program
In an effort to ensure that water service providers maintain the highest quality of potable water, the Department of Health oversees the Cross Connection Control Program which requires all municipal water system customers with potential backflow or cross connections to install a backflow prevention assembly.  It also requires customers to have the backflow prevention assembly tested by a state certified backflow assembly tester on a yearly basis.

The most common cause of backflow is backsiphonage due to lowered watermain pressure caused by instances of high water withdrawal (for example, during firefighting.)  When this occurs, water can be siphoned from a home or business, thereby bringing unwanted materials into the water distribution system.   An example of this scenario is typical in-ground landscape sprinkler systems that can have stagnant and/or polluted water in the irrigation pipes that could be siphoned back into the potable water system.  This contamination can then enter back into your home’s potable water supply.  This is why the City, under State mandate, requires all sprinkler systems to have a backflow prevention device installed.

Another example is fire protection systems such as sprinklers used in commercial buildings.

If you should have any questions, would like more information regarding this program, or would like a list of testers that service this area, please contact the City’s Public Works Department at (360) 876-4991.

 Why Do We Need To Conserve Water?Conservation Education

The simple answer is because conserving Port Orchard’s water helps ensure that a sustainable, high-quality water supply will be available for our residents in the near and distant future.  Conserving water also helps protect local rivers and streams.  Conservation supports the fish and wildlife that depend on clean water.

Making Water Conservation Part of the Northwest Lifestyle
People in Northwestern Washington are often seen as leaders in conservation issues.  We live in a spectacular part of the country, and we do what we can to ensure it stays that way.  Yet water conservation has not been high on our radar.  This is probably not surprising since the Northwest is also known for its abundant rainfall.

Water and abundant are two words not being used together much anymore.  The natural beauty of our region has attracted an ever-growing population that has put increased demand on our water resources.  At the same time, Mother Nature has thrown us a curve, sending us warmer temperatures and reduced snow pack.  This is a trend that seems to be our future.

For more information

On the benefits of conservation and ideas on how to save water, please visit this helpful website:  http://www.wateruseitwisely.com

Close window