Water Quality in the State of Washington

Washington state water supply mostly comes from surface water and underground water. The Columbia River is one of the state's biggest surface water sources and has many uses such as irrigation, aquatic habitat, and hydropower generation in Washington. More than 6.2 million Washington State residents (85 percent of the state's population), get their drinking water from public water systems. About 725,000 Washington residents get their drinking water from individual private wells and are regulated by local health jurisdictions.


Water Hardness by City

Washington water hardness is considered very low to moderately hard. The average water hardness is between 12 PPM to 218 PPM, which is considered to be hard water, by the USGS water hardness measures. Some examples of cities with very soft water are Seattle with 22 PPM and Everett with a hardness level of 12 PPM. Most hard water numbers are in eastern Washington, in cities like Spokane with 218 PPM and Walla Walla with 178 PPM.


For more information on the water hardness in specific cities, please see the table below.


City Water Hardness Data
Seattle Metro Area 22 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Spokane 218 PPM (mg/L) or 13 gpg
Tacoma Metro Area 15 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Vancouver 96 PPM (mg/L) or 6 gpg
Bellevue 25 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Kent 47 PPM (mg/L) or 3 gpg
Everett 12 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Renton 33 PPM (mg/L) or 2 gpg
Federal way 24 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Tri-Cities 174 PPM (mg/L) or 10 gpg
Olympia 83 PPM (mg/L) or 5 gpg
Bellingham 24 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Mount Vernon 23 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Longview 91 PPM (mg/L) or 5 gpg
Whidbey Island 25 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Port Angeles 88 PPM (mg/L) or 5 gpg
Sequim 108 PPM (mg/L) or 6 gpg
Yakima Valley 87 PPM (mg/L) or 5 gpg
Walla Walla 180 PPM (mg/L) or 10 gpg
Moses Lake 73 PPM (mg/L) or 4 gpg
Ellensburg 33 PPM (mg/L) or 2 gpg
Wenatchee 147 PPM (mg/L) or 8 gpg


PPM = Parts Per Million

mg/L = Milligrams Per Liter

gpg = Grains Per Gallon


Agriculture, Farming and Water Hardness

Washington is a major agricultural state, with 39,000 farms on more than 15 million acres. Agricultural highlights include cattle ranching, dairy farms, wheat, apples, pears, cherries and other tree fruits, as well as varieties of grapes and vegetables. The cool valleys of Western Washington are idyllic for raising milk cows, berries, nursery products, flowers and poultry. Eastern Washington, known for its desert-like climate, has both irrigated and dry land farms. 


As a great deal of Washington has water rich in calcium (the primary source of water hardness), many farms and food processing plants experience issues related to scale buildup in their irrigators and equipment. In addition, contaminants polluting soil and waterways have increased greatly over the past few decades and there is a greater need for waste and chemical control. Many farmers are looking for eco-friendly solutions that can increase the quality and yield of their crops while saving water. Read more about how HydroFLOW can increase crop yield.



Solutions to your Water Quality Problems

Fixing your water quality issues in the state of Washington will depend on your specific water source. It is best to test your potable water supply in order to get a better understanding of your water quality. Testing is relatively cheap. The test results will allow you to understand if your potable water has issues that need to be addressed. Common solutions to water contamination problems may include a water filtration system, a reverse osmosis system or other whole home water treatment solutions.


A problem that some Washington residents will have to deal with is hard water. One old-fashioned, inefficient, expensive and unhealthy method to treat hard water is with a salt-based water softener. Most people don’t realize that if you’re using a water softener you are basically removing calcium and magnesium from your drinking water and adding salt to your diet. In addition, many states are banning the use of salt-based water softeners


Alternative water treatment solutions such as “water conditioners” have been gaining popularity in recent years because they are cheap to operate and the best eco-friendly solution for hard water. Hydropath technology, which powers the HydroFLOW water conditioners is by far the most efficient and cost-effective eco-friendly solution to deal with hard water problems. To learn more about how HydroFLOW solves the problems created by hard water, please check out our technology page. You might want to read this blog that explains the difference between water conditioners and water softeners: Water Conditioner vs. Water Softener Blog.


For more information, please contact HydroFLOW West