Annual Drinking Water Quality Report - 2022

City of Bremerton; ID 08200R

Bremerton Drinking Water Quality Excellent

The City of Bremerton Water Utility is pleased to provide you with its Annual Drinking Water Quality and Efficiency 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 64,000 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.
Bremerton Water Service Area Map

Protecting Our Water Supplies

Bremerton is fortunate to have high quality water supplies. Surface water from the Union River headwaters and groundwater from wells located in the Bremerton area provide Bremerton’s water supply. Bremerton owns and protects the 3,000-acre watershed surrounding the Union River supply – this allows Bremerton’s surface water system to remain one of only a few systems not required to filter. This is a great value to our rate payers as water filtration plants cost 15-20 million dollars to construct and close to a million dollars a year to operate and maintain. To continue to ensure the source can remain unfiltered, access to the Union River Watershed is secured, patrolled, and limited to water supply and forestry management activities. 

Groundwater wells are also safeguarded through the City’s Wellhead Protection Program to protect critical areas around the wellheads. All sources are managed according to state and federal regulations and best management practices for water supply systems. The Washington State Department of Health regularly inspects Bremerton’s water system, including the surface supply. Bremerton was selected for an “Exemplary Source Water Protection” Award in 2017 by the American Water Works Association.

Source Water Assessment Program

Washington State Department of Health Office of Drinking Water has compiled source water assessment data for all public water systems in Washington. This assessment shows wellhead protection zones and inventories potential contaminants as part of a coordinated effort to protect drinking water sources in Washington.

Washington DOH’s Source Water Assessment Program is online.

 Bremerton Sources 
Source #  Source Name Water Type Depth (feet) Susceptibility
S01 Union River Main Stream Surface Water   High Chlorine, UV
S02 Union River West Branch Surface Water   High Chlorine, UV
S07 Bremerton Well 2R Groundwater 273 Low Chlorine
S08 Bremerton Well 3 Groundwater 316 Moderate Chlorine
S12 Bremerton Well 7 Groundwater 627 Low Chlorine
S13 Bremerton Well 8 Groundwater 578 Low Chlorine 
S14 Bremerton Well 13 Groundwater 273 Low Chlorine
S15 Bremerton Well 14 Groundwater 278 Low Chlorine
S17 Bremerton Well 17 Groundwater 293 Low Chlorine
S20  Bremerton Well 15 Groundwater 294 High Chlorine
S21  Bremerton Well 19 Groundwater 182.5 Moderate  Chlorine
S22 Bremerton Well 20 Groundwater 210.5 Low  Chlorine
S25 Bremerton Well 6R Groundwater 645 Low Chlorine
S27  Bremerton Well 18R Groundwater 270 Moderate Chlorine

Outside Sources

Bremerton’s Water System receives water from Port Orchard’s McCormick Woods Water System, through a shared reservoir in the area between Gorst and Port Orchard.

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 to about 8 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

To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the Department of Health and EPA prescribe regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Your drinking water is regularly tested according to federal and state regulations in both the water sources and the distribution system. Last year the City of Bremerton conducted over 1,200 tests for the parameters listed below. Only those detected are listed in the water quality summary.

Our water system has violated a surface water treatment monitoring requirement. Even though this was not an emergency, as our customer you have a right to know what happened and what we did to correct the situation. We are required to monitor your drinking water for specific parameters on a regular basis. Results of regular monitoring are an indicator of whether or not our drinking water meets health standards. During the month of September 2021, we did not complete all the testing for biological contamination.

What should you do? There is nothing you need to do at this time. The table below lists the parameter not properly tested for, how often we are required to sample for this parameter, how many samples we are required to take, how many samples we took, and when samples should have been taken.

 Parameter Required Sampling Frequency  Number of Samples Required  Number of Samples Taken  When All Samples Should Have Been Taken 
Source Fecal Coliform Five days each week system serves water to the public  1 sample every day for five days during the week 4 samples were taken 5 samples should have been taken Sept. 5-11, 2021

What happened? What is being done? During the week of September 5 through September 11, 2021, only 4 source fecal coliform samples were taken instead of the required 5 per week for each week the water system serves water to the public per WAC 246-290-694 (l)(b). A holiday occurred on the Monday of that week, and the operator of the day neglected to collect the 5th sample on Saturday as planned to make up for the holiday.

All other required bacteriological monitoring was completed in September (23 source fecal coliform samples and 51 post-treatment samples from the distribution system) and the drinking water delivered to your tap met all state and federal water quality standards. However, the City takes its responsibility as a water purveyor and steward of public health very seriously. The source fecal coliform monitoring standard operating procedure was updated, and all staff attended refresher trainings on pertinent drinking water regulation and requirements.

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. Some of the data, though representative of the water quality, is more than a year old.

Regulated at the Surface Water Source

Highest Level Allowed - EPA's MCL
Ideal Goals - EPA's MCLG
Potential Sources
Highest Level Detected in 2021 
Ranges of Levels Detected in 2021 
Meets Standards
Treatment Technique 5 NTU
Soil runoff
2.52 NTUs
0.37 - 2.52 NTUs
Sodium (most recently sampled in 2021) 
No limit set
5.19 ppm
ND - 5.19 ppm
Nitrate  10 ppm 10 ppm Fertilizer use  < 0.5 ppm < 0.5 ppm Yes

Regulated at the Groundwater Sources

Highest Level Allowed - EPA's MCL
Ideal Goals - EPA's MCLG
Potential Sources
Highest Level Detected in 2021 
Ranges of Levels Detected in 2021 
Meets Standards
Arsenic (most recently sampled in 2021) 
10 ppb
Erosion of natural deposits
4 ppb
< 1 - 4 ppb
Sodium (most recently sampled in 2021)
No limit set
11.7 ppm
< 5 - 11.7 ppm
Nitrate  10 ppm  10 ppm Fertilizer use < 1.76 ppm < 0.5 - 1.76 ppm Yes

Regulated in the Distribution System

Highest Level Allowed - EPA's MCL
Ideal Goals - EPA's MCLG
Potential Sources
Highest Level Detected in 2021 
Ranges of Levels Detected in 2021 
Meets Standards
Total coliform
Presence of coliform in less than 5% of monthly samples
There were zero coliform present in the 894 samples taken in 2021 
80 ppb
By-product of drinking water chlorination
74 ppb - locational running annual average
1.3 - 94 ppb
Haloacetic acids
60 ppb
By-product of drinking water chlorination
37 ppb - locational running annual average
0 - 66.1 ppb
4 ppm
4 ppm
Water additive used to control microbes
0.76 ppm annual average
0.02 - 1.49 ppm

Regulated at the Customer Tap

Highest Level Allowed - EPA's MCL
Ideal Goals - EPA's MCLG
Potential Sources
Highest Level Detected in 2021 
Ranges of Levels Detected in 2021 
Meets Standards
Lead (most recently sampled in 2020)
Action Level = 15 ppb
Household plumbing
5 ppb 90th percentile
No sample sites exceeded the Action Level
Copper (most recently sampled in 2020)
Action Level = 1,300 ppb
Household plumbing
41 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 one penny in $10,000,000).
  • ppm is parts per million and is the same as a milligram per liter (mg/L) (equivalent to one penny in $10,000).
  • 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.

Waiver Information

The Washington State Department of Health reduced monitoring requirements for the Bremerton system for various contaminants because sources were determined not to be at risk of contamination. Inorganic compounds, including arsenic and sodium, are among the list of contaminants with a waiver; years of last samples are listed in the table, and results met all applicable standards.

Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring

Unregulated contaminants are those for which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not established drinking water standards. The purpose of unregulated contaminant monitoring is to help EPA determine their occurrence in drinking water and potential need for future regulation. These contaminants may be naturally occurring, or are, in some cases, byproducts of disinfection. Those found by the City of Bremerton in the 2018 round of UCMR sampling are listed in the following table. No cyanotoxins were detected in the 2018 sampling event.

 Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring 
 Parameter  Highest Level Detected in 2018 Ranges of Levels Detected in 2018
Manganese 57.1 ppb 9 - 57.1 ppb
TOC (indicator) 1400 ppb 1200 - 1400 ppb
HAA5 58.3 ppb 0.4 - 58.3 ppb
6BR 4.3 ppb  ND - 4.3 ppb
HAA9 60.9 ppb 0.4 - 60.9 ppb

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. Bremerton's ultraviolet treatment inactivates Cryptosporidium.

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. 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. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water is available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or online at

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:
Professional Water Organizations Logos

Water Use Efficiency Performance Report for 2021

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 2021, the annual water production rate was 6.1 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 145 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 4.4% 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 virtually on Wednesdays, please visit for information
  • Check out Bremerton1 in your app store
  • For billing information call 360-473-5316 or 
  • Bremerton Utility Billing is located on the first floor of the Norm Dicks Government Center (temporarily closed due to COVID)
  • For flushing instructions please call our Water Hotline at 360-473-5490
  • Sign up for Bremerton alerts to receive updates about the city

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