City of Bremerton; ID 08200R - Annual Drinking Water Quality Report, 2023

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 72,000 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 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 NameWater TypeDepth (feet)Susceptibility 
S01Union River Main StreamSurface Water HighChlorine, UV
S02Union River West BranchSurface Water HighChlorine, UV
S07Bremerton Well 2RGroundwater273LowChlorine
S08Bremerton Well 3Groundwater316ModerateChlorine
S12Bremerton Well 7Groundwater627LowChlorine
S13Bremerton Well 8Groundwater578LowChlorine 
S14Bremerton Well 13Groundwater273LowChlorine
S15Bremerton Well 14Groundwater278LowChlorine
S17Bremerton Well 17Groundwater293LowChlorine
S20 Bremerton Well 15Groundwater294HighChlorine
S21 Bremerton Well 19Groundwater182Moderate Chlorine
S22Bremerton Well 20Groundwater210.5Low Chlorine
S25Bremerton Well 6RGroundwater645LowChlorine
S27 Bremerton Well 18RGroundwater164ModerateChlorine

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 1,400 water quality compliance tests for the parameters listed in the water quality summary below. Only those detected are listed in the water quality summary.

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, are more than a year old as the results reflect the most recent required sampling period.

Regulated at the Surface Water Source

ParameterHighest Level Allowed - EPA's MCLIdeal Goals - EPA's MCLGPotential SourcesHighest Level Detected in 2022 Ranges of Levels Detected in 2022 Meets Standards
TurbidityTreatment Technique 5 NTUN/ASoil runoff1.99 NTUs0.35 - 1.99 NTUsYes
Sodium (most recently sampled in 2021) No limit setN/ANaturally-occurring5.19 ppmND - 5.19 ppmYes
Nitrate 10 ppm10 ppmFertilizer use < 0.5 ppm< 0.5 ppmYes

Regulated at the Groundwater Sources

ParameterHighest Level Allowed - EPA's MCLIdeal Goals - EPA's MCLGPotential SourcesHighest Level Detected in 2022 Ranges of Levels Detected in 2022 Meets Standards
Arsenic (most recently sampled in 2021) 10 ppb0Erosion of natural deposits3 ppbND - 3 ppbYes
Sodium (most recently sampled in 2021) No limit setN/ANaturally-occurring11.7 ppm< 5 - 11.7 ppmYes
Nitrate 10 ppm 10 ppmFertilizer use0.80 ppm< 0.5 - 0.80 ppmYes

Regulated in the Distribution System

ParameterHighest Level Allowed - EPA's MCLIdeal Goals - EPA's MCLGPotential SourcesHighest Level Detected in 2022 Ranges of Levels Detected in 2022Meets Standards
Total coliformPresence of coliform in less than 5% of monthly samples0Naturally-occurringThere were three coliform present in the 968 samples taken in 2022 Yes
Trihalomethanes80 ppbN/ABy-product of drinking water chlorination58 ppb - locational running annual average2.5 - 69 ppbYes
Haloacetic acids60 ppbN/ABy-product of drinking water chlorination42 ppb - locational running annual average2.5 - 61 ppbYes
Chlorine4 ppm4 ppmWater additive used to control microbes0.81 ppm annual average0 - 1.64 ppmYes

Regulated at the Customer Tap

ParameterHighest Level Allowed - EPA's MCLIdeal Goals - EPA's MCLGPotential SourcesHighest Level Detected in 2022 Ranges of Levels Detected in 2022 Meets Standards
Lead (most recently sampled in 2020) Action Level = 15 ppb0Household plumbing5 ppb 90th percentileNo sample sites exceeded the Action LevelYes
Copper (most recently sampled in 2020) Action Level = 1,300 ppb0Household plumbing41 ppb 90th percentileNo sample sites exceeded the Action LevelYes


  • 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; the year of the most recent sampling event is 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. The next round of UCMR sampling will be conducted in 2025 and will include PFAS and Lithium (see PFAS information below).

 Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring 
 Parameter Highest Level Detected in 2018Ranges of Levels Detected in 2018
Manganese57.1 ppb9 - 57.1 ppb
TOC (indicator)1400 ppb1200 - 1400 ppb
HAA558.3 ppb0.4 - 58.3 ppb
6BR4.3 ppb ND - 4.3 ppb
HAA960.9 ppb0.4 - 60.9 ppb

PFAS Monitoring

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a large family of long-lasting, human-made chemicals (also called “forever chemicals”) in use since the 1950s to make stain-resistant, water-resistant, and non-stick consumer products (including clothing, food packaging, and kitchenware). In Washington State, PFAS have been used in some types of firefighting foams used by the U.S. military, local fire departments, and airports. Some of the most common PFAS have been removed from most products because of health and environmental concerns. Some of these chemicals accumulate in the human body over time.

Current research has shown that people can be exposed to PFAS by: 

  • Working in occupations such as firefighting or chemical manufacturing/processing
  • Drinking water contaminated with PFAS
  • Eating certain foods (including fish) that may contain PFAS
  • Swallowing contaminated soil or dust, or breathing air containing PFAS
  • Using products made with PFAS or that are packaged in materials containing PFAS (for example, using frying pans with non-stick coating or eating from a microwave popcorn bag)

Concurrent with EPA’s decision to include PFAS in the next round of UCMR sampling, the WA State Board of Health adopted the PFAS Rule which sets State Action Levels (SALs) for PFAS and requires Group A public drinking water systems to monitor for PFAS chemicals in drinking water supplies ( Though the first round of PFAS Rule monitoring was not required until this year (2023), the City chose to participate in early, EPA-funded monitoring and tested for PFAS in its sources in 2022. Only one of the 25 PFAS chemicals measured was detected, and only in one well (see table of results below). The concentration was extremely low (<1% of the SAL), so no further action is required. The next round of sampling is scheduled for 2025.

PFAS Monitoring in 2022
Results measured in nanograms per liter (ng/L); one ng/L = one part per trillion
Highest Level Detected in 2022
Ranges of Levels Detected in 2022
State Action Level
PFBS3.66 ng/L*2.7-3.66 ng/L*345

*Results are less than 1% of the SAL; no further action required

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. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested by a state-certified laboratory:

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—consider storing about a two-week supply at home, or at least 3 days for evacuation 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 2022

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 2022, the annual water production rate was 6.4 million gallons per day.

Efficiency Goals

GoalHow 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 143 gallons per day. Goal was met. Great job by our customers!
State RegulationHow Regulation Was Met Last Year
Keep distribution system leakage less than 10% on a 3-year averageBremerton water system leakage as 5.2% on a 3-year average.

National Average Residential Indoor Water Use

  • Toilets - 27%
  • Showers - 23%
  • Faucets - 23%
  • Clothes washers - 18%
  • Bath - 4%
  • Dish Washers - 2%
  • Other - 3%
AWWA 2016 Residential 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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