Annual Drinking Water Quality Report

Bremerton Drinking Water Quality Excellent

The City of Bremerton Water Utility is pleased to provide you with its Annual Drinking Water Quality Report (PDF). Bremerton is committed to safeguarding its surface and groundwater sources. This report is a summary of the test results for water provided to over 50,000 customers last year. It reflects the commitment of Water Utility employees to deliver you excellent quality water. Included are details about:
  • Where your water comes from
  • What it contains
  • How it compares to standards set by regulatory agencies
Safe drinking water is essential. Citizens need to be well-informed to wisely utilize water resources and to support the improvements necessary to maintain high quality drinking water.

Protecting Our Water Supplies

Bremerton is fortunate to have high quality, well-protected water supplies. Surface water from the Union River headwaters and groundwater from wells located in the Bremerton area provide the supply for Bremerton's water supply. All sources are managed according to state and federal regulations and best management practices for water supply systems.
Bremerton Water Service Area Map
Bremerton owns and protects the 3,000-acre watershed surrounding the Union River supply - this is a great value to our rate payers. Access to the watershed is secured, patrolled, and limited to water supply and forestry management activities. Each year the Washington State Department of Health inspects the surface supply. Groundwater wells are also safeguarded through efforts to protect critical areas around the wellheads. All water facilities are monitored and patrolled. Bremerton was selected for an "Exemplary Source Water Protection" Award in 2017 by the American Water Works Association. 

Bremerton's Water Needs Minimal Treatment

Bremerton's water system is operated and maintained by experienced personnel certified by the State. Bremerton's Union River water source is such good quality that the city is not required to install a filtration facility as long as all water quality, operational, and watershed protection requirements are met. Bremerton consistently meets these high standards. Treatment of Bremerton's water currently consists of disinfection (chlorine and ultraviolet light) and corrosion control. Corrosion treatment increases the pH of water and is required to prevent Bremerton's water from leaching lead from customer's household plumbing. Sampling results confirm this treatment is successful in achieving corrosion control.

The City of Bremerton performs systematic flushing of the water distribution system. Customers are notified about flushing through newspaper ads, neighborhood signs, the city's website, e-News, and the Water Hotline 360-473-5490. Flushing is a process of sending a rapid flow of water through the mains to clean them. This helps to maintain water quality by removing naturally-occurring sediment. Flushing may cause temporary discoloration of your water. If this happens, call the Water Hotline or visit Bremerton's website for instructions on flushing your service. If your water does not clear up after the flushing process, please call the Customer Response Line at 360-473-5920.

Water Quality Summary

Your drinking water is regularly tested according to federal and state regulations for over 50 substances in both the water sources and the distribution system. Last year the City of Bremerton conducted over 1,000 tests for the parameters listed below. Only those detected are listed in the water quality summary.

Sampling Schedule

Chlorine residual
Continuous monitoring
Continuous monitoring
Continuous monitoring
Total coliform
Disinfection by-products
Giardia / Cyrptosporidium 
Inorganic compounds 
Every 3 years 
Volatile organic compounds 
Every 3 years
Every 6 years 

Substances Detected

Listed below are the few substances detected in Bremerton's water last year. All results meet protective standards set by federal and state agencies. Not listed are the substances that were tested but not detected. The amounts allowed in drinking water are so small, they are measured in parts per million or parts per billion. We have tried to make this report easy to understand; however, drinking water quality issues can be technical. For additional water quality information, please call 360-473-5920.

Regulated at the Surface Water Source

Highest Level Allowed - EPA's MCL
Ideal Goals - EPA's MCLG
Potential Sources
Highest Level Detected in 2016 
Ranges of Levels Detected in 2016 
Meets Standards
Treatment Technique 5 NTU
Soil runoff
2.09 NTUs
0.59 - 2.09 NTUs
Sodium (most recently sampled in 2012) 
No limit set
5.73 ppm
ND - 5.73

Regulated at the Groundwater Sources

Highest Level Allowed - EPA's MCL
Ideal Goals - EPA's MCLG
Potential Sources
Highest Level Detected in 2016 
Ranges of Levels Detected in 2016 
Meets Standards
Arsenic (most recently sampled in 2012) 
10 ppb
Erosion of natural deposits
4 ppb
ND - 4 ppb
Sodium (most recently sampled in 2012)
No limit set
7.39 ppm
5.92 - 7.39 

Regulated in the Distribution System

Highest Level Allowed - EPA's MCL
Ideal Goals - EPA's MCLG
Potential Sources
Highest Level Detected in 2016 
Ranges of Levels Detected in 2016 
Meets Standards
Total coliform
Presence of coliform in less than 5% of monthly samples
883 samples were taken in 2016 and none had coliform present
80 ppb
By-product of drinking water chlorination
64 ppb - locational running annual average
1 - 84 ppb
Haloacetic acids
60 ppb
By-product of drinking water chlorination
42 ppb - locational running annual average
0 - 56.9 ppb
4 ppm
4 ppm
Water additive used to control microbes
0.66 ppm annual average
ND - 1.24 ppm

Regulated at the Customer Tap

Highest Level Allowed - EPA's MCL
Ideal Goals - EPA's MCLG
Potential Sources
Highest Level Detected in 2014 
Ranges of Levels Detected in 2014 
Meets Standards
Lead (most recently sampled in 2014)
Action Level = 15 ppb
Household plumbing
3 ppb 90th percentile
One household tap sample site exceeded the Action Level
Copper (most recently sampled in 2014)
Action Level = 1,300 ppb
Household plumbing
70 ppb 90th percentile
No sample sites exceeded the Action Level


  • Action Level is the concentration of contaminant that, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements a water system must follow. Ninety percent (90%) of all samples must be below this amount.
  • MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level) is the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.
  • MCLG (Maximum Contaminant Level Goal) is the level of a contaminant in drinking water below which no known or expected risk to health exists. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety. MRDL (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level) is the highest level of a disinfectant allowed in water.
  • MRDLG (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal) is the level of a drinking water disinfectant below which no known or expected risk to health exists.
  • pCi/L stands for picocuries per liter. This is in parts per trillion.
  • ppb is parts per billion and is the same as a microgram per liter (ug/L) (equivalent to 1 penny in 1,000,000).
  • ppm is parts per million and is the same as a milligram per liter (mg/L) (equivalent to 1 penny in 1,000).
  • N/A means not applicable.
  • ND means the laboratory did not detect this substance.
  • NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Unit) is the measurement of water clarity. Monitoring turbidity is a good indicator of water quality.
  • Treatment Technique is a required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant. Bremerton's surface supply is shut off when turbidity increases above set points.

Information from EPA

Sources of both tap and bottled drinking water include rivers, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring substances such as minerals and radioactive materials. It also dissolves substances resulting from animal or human activity. Contaminants that may be present in source water are microbes; pesticides; herbicides; and radioactive, organic and inorganic chemicals. To ensure tap water is safe to drink, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Washington State Board of Health regulate the amount of certain contaminants in public drinking water.

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants, can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA guidelines on appropriate means to lessen risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791. Please note that Cryptosporidium was not detected in Bremerton's source water last year and Bremerton's ultraviolet treatment inactivates Cryptosporidium.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Normally your water is safe to drink, but should a disaster happen, you will need to treat it or have an emergency supply on hand if the city’s water supply is interrupted.  To prepare for a drinking water emergency, the American Red Cross recommends storing one gallon of water per person per day—enough for at least three days for drinking, food preparation, and sanitation. For more information on preparing for emergencies we recommend the following resources:

“Treating Drinking Water for Emergency Use”, Washington Department of Health 

“Preparedness”, Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management 

Professional Water Organization

The City of Bremerton is proud to be members of the following professional water organizations:
  • American Water Works Association
  • Alliance for Water Efficiency
  • EPA WaterSense
  • Partnership for Water
  • WaterPAK
Professional Water Organizations Logos

Water Use Efficiency Performance Report for 2016

Efficient water use benefits the environment, public health, and economy by helping to improve water quality, maintain aquatic ecosystems, and protect water resources. The City of Bremerton has emphasized water use efficiency since the 1990s. The city has a customer conservation program and is active in water use efficiency programs such as the Water Purveyors Association of Kitsap County, the Partnership for Water Conservation, the Alliance for Water Efficiency, and EPA's WaterSense.

In 2016, the annual water production rate was 6.2 million gallons per day.

Efficiency Goals

How Goal Was Met Last Year
Maintain water use per single-family residence to below 180 gallons per day on a 3-year average.
Three-year average water use per single-family residence was 138 gallons per day. Goal was met. Great job by our customers!

State Regulation
How Regulation Was Met Last Year
Keep distribution system leakage less than 10% on a 3-year average
Bremerton water system leakage as 7.2% on a 3-year average.

Average Residential Indoor Water Use
  • Toilets - 27%
  • Clothes washers - 22%
  • Showers - 17%
  • Faucets 16%
  • Leaks - 13%
  • Other - 5%
Average Residential Indoor Water Use Pie Chart

How to Use Water Wisely

Rain fills the reservoir and feeds underground aquifers to supply our drinking water. Wise water use is always recommended and your conservation efforts are important. Use water wisely to save money and this remarkable resource.

Tackle the biggest water guzzlers first!
  • Install high efficiency low flow toilets.
  • Consider purchasing a water/energy efficient clothes washer/dishwasher.
  • Repair leaky toilets and faucets.
  • User water saving habits such as washing full loads only, turn off the faucet when you shave or brush your teeth, and take shorter showers.
  • Install low flow showerheads.
  • Look for the WaterSense label on new plumbing fixtures.
Nearly 1/3 of the water demand in the summer is for irrigation.
  • Water late in the evening or early in the morning.
  • Consider drought tolerant plants or native plants in your landscape.
  • Use soaker hoses or install drip irrigation.
  • Repair broken irrigation system sprinkler heads.
  • Water lawns no more than 1 inch per week using a shallow can to measure.
  • Install a rainwater collection barrel.
  • Wash your car in a commercial car wash that recycles.
For more information about water conservation, please visit the city's Water Conservation pages.
Bremerton Water is a Great Value
Your water rates pay for delivering high-quality water to your tap and keeping the water system in top condition. City customers pay water rates among the lowest in Washington State and nationwide. We are able to keep rates low through ownership of the watershed, conscientious system operation and maintenance, and award of ARRA funding for our Advanced Disinfection facility completed in 2011.

Customer's Views Welcome

  • Please call Customer Response at 360-473-5920 or email
  • The Bremerton City Council meets Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at the Norm Dicks Government Center, 345 6th Street, Bremerton
  • For billing information call 360-473-5316
  • For flushing instructions please call our Water Hotline at 360-473-5490
  • Sign up for Bremerton e-News to receive updates about the city