City Provides Annual Report on Drinking Water Quality

All federal and state standards were met or exceeded again.

Kirstin Davis, 509.625.7773

Friday, June 7, 2024 at 2:42 p.m.

The City of Spokane today is releasing its required annual report on the quality of drinking water provided by the City’s Water Department. For 2023, as in previous years, the City met or exceeded all federal and state drinking water standards.

“The City continues to deliver safe, clean drinking water to our customers at an affordable price,” says Marlene Feist, the City’s Director of Public Works. “As we see more contaminants enter the environment, our commitment to protect our drinking water remains our strongest priority.”

The City’s Water Quality Report for 2023 is available on the City’s water quality webpage. Community members may request a mailed copy by calling the Water Department at (509) 625-7800 and providing an address.

An Update on PFAS or “forever chemicals”

Using a more sensitive testing methodology, the City of Spokane detected PFAS/PFOA in its water system for the first time in April 2023. Tests were completed at six of the City’s seven wells, in coordination with the Washington State Department of Health. Results came back in April 2023, with low detections of the chemicals found at two of the six locations, including the Ray Street Well on Ray at about 23rd Avenue. The City’s other locations came back without detections.

The State of Washington set a State Action Level for PFOS/PFOA that went into effect in early 2022. Meanwhile, in early April 2024, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed its first-ever rule on these chemicals, setting a new standard at 4 parts per trillion (ppt). The City’s testing results are well below the state’s action level, but the Ray Street well has had detections just over the new federal standard. For perspective, tests in Airway Heights, near Fairchild Air Force Base, found concentrations of PFAs as high as 1,500 ppt.

The City has implemented updated testing and monitoring procedures for these contaminants. As part of its commitment to protect the community’s drinking water, the City joined a lawsuit against manufacturers responsible for PFAS/PFOA contamination.  Additionally, it is supporting the Spokane Aquifer Joint Board with investigation of potential sources of contamination. The Water Department continues to monitor regulatory actions and conduct testing to provide timely and accurate information to our customers. More information can be found on the state Department of Health’s PFAS in Drinking Water Dashboard.

Conservation Efforts

In addition to basic information about water quality, the annual Water Quality Report also provides information on efforts to reduce water use, particularly during the peak irrigation season in the summer. City Council approved an ordinance requiring residents and businesses to adopt an every other day, “odd/even” watering schedule to help protect water resources, maintain affordable water rates, support landscaping health, and reduce the need for costly water system expansions over time.

The Washington Department of Ecology has declared a drought emergency for much of the state, including the Spokane area, making wise water choices even more important. To assist customers with water-saving efforts, the City has a variety of rebates available for water-efficient equipment upgrades and a turf replacement program called SpokaneScape.


  • 1,000 miles of water mains and distribution lines make up the City’s water system
  • 8 well stations deliver water to approximately 80,000 homes and businesses within the current water service area
  • Up to 150 million gallons of water can be provided to the community every day

The City of Spokane operates the third largest water system in the state of Washington. Only Seattle and Tacoma have larger systems.