2018 Annual Water Report to Customers

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Kevin Aiken, Mina Gomez, Aaron Gale, Herb Gardner, Krista Herling


Este informe contiene información importante acerca de su agua potable.  

Puede que necesite un traductor para leerlo.

Except for holidays, the Water District Board meets on the first and third Mondays at 3957 Malaga Ave at 7PM.  We encourage you to attend.  Your drinking water comes from a well field under downtown Malaga.  If you live in this area please help protect your water from contamination by NOT dumping oil, antifreeze, or other materials that would contaminate the ground water. 

            The District tests your water every month for bacteria.  In 2018 we had 1 bacteria tests fail in October.  Tests for other contaminates are also made yearly. See the results below.

            The District sees changes coming and is trying to prepare for them by adding a new well and planning for new reservoirs. The new well will provide protection from contamination of our current single source well and the new reservoirs will help outlast power outages.

For more information about your drinking water or District activities, you are welcome to call our District Manager, Jon Johnston at 664-0142.

If you have an emergency call one of our cell phones, Jon Johnston: 509-670-3341 or Bob Hammond: 670-3342

TEST RESULTS.  We tested for the following items in 2018. The results have been rounded off to whole numbers for ease of comparison. For more details call the office.


Item tested                        our result                           Maximum allowed by the state and EPA (MCL)

Nitrate                                     3.81                                                     10

Herbicide                                Call for results, acceptable

Volatile organic chemicals: if you need copy of the results, call the office and we will get you one.            

Required wording by EPA:  Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminant.  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 Environmental Protection Agency’s safe drinking water hotline at 1-800-425-4791.  Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population.  Immune-compromised persons such as persons with cancer 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/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

Nitrate in drinking water at levels above 100 is a health risk for infants less than 6 months of age. 

            In 2018 we could not account for 7.93% of our pumped water. This may be because of unauthorized use or leaks.

            In 2018 we found 1 water leak.  Leaks and unauthorized use of water drive up the cost of pumping which is reflected in the rates you pay.  The District is fully metered and unreliable meters are replaced every year to ensure accurate measurement of water used. 


            Ideally, water rates pay for the costs of providing safe potable water to you.  Rates cover items like electricity for pumps, monitoring costs, supplies, insurance, planning and engineering, taxes to the state, wages, maintenance and repairs, reserves for emergency, debt payments and reserves for future construction.  All are considered in setting rates each year.  Our current rates and fees are listed below.

            Rates for 2019 are $49 a month plus $2.00 per 1000 gallons of water under 18,000 gallons, and $3.50 per 1000 gallons of water over 18,001 gallons to 36,000 gallons. $5.00 per 1,000 gallons of water over 36,001 gallons. Laurel Hills and Stemilt Hill rates are $60.00 a month plus the water charges.  Rates cover the cost of running the District.

             We bill every two months for the previous two months.  Bills are overdue 30 days from the billing date.  Late charges are added after 30 days and water is subject to shut off after 40 days. 

            New connection charges are $6500, plus charges for meter installation depending on the size of meter. 

Other charges include but are not limited to: Deposits for all new customers, surcharges on large meters, late charges, returned checks etc.


All customers are required to keep a 5-foot radius around the meter box cleared of all hazards to allow the district access at any time for repair or maintenance as needed per policy. Including alley access points. We now are charging a non-access fee if we cannot get to it to read or work on.


Cross connection is any connection between potable and non-potable water.  This might contaminate our drinking water and is prohibited by law. We require certain customers to have backflow protection because of the potential of backflow.  However, a cross connection may happen anywhere.  Please do not directly connect any lawn or tree sprays to a domestic water hose.  A backflow prevention device is available for connection to a fire hydrant at a low cost for orchardists who need water before irrigation season.


Leaks are costly in terms of extra pumping costs and to you in water going through your meter.  A toilet leak can waste about 200 gallons a day.   A pinpoint leak in a line can waste 100 gallons a day or more depending on the pressure behind that leak.  Water sense appliances may save you money and be eligible for PUD rebates. 

We continually inspect our lines for any sign of a leak.



The District has approximately 520 connections at this time.  The Department of Health has limited us to 604 connections without improvements in our system. We have drilled a new well away from the downtown area that should reduce the possibility of contamination.  Our Comprehensive plan identifies locations for new reservoirs which will need to be built in the next 10 years.  There are also smaller lines that are beginning to rust away and will need replacing in the next 10 years. A pipe's life span is 30 to 40 years and we have pipes in ground now 60 years old. Our engineer has identified some one million dollars in repairs and replacements in the near future.  With the loss of federal and state grants, our rates must start to cover those replacements. 



The District is required to account for as much water as possible.  The District has fully metered all customers and reconciles as much as possible the use of pumped water with the water sold.  Fire Hydrants and unknown leaks account for most of our unaccounted water.  Our stated goal is to reduce water use to 250 gallons per day per residence by 2020.  This will require educating our customers on ways to reduce water use in their homes and outdoors.  Water use will become a major discussion in the near future as aquifers become depleted and the politicians get involved.



Water Conservation Tips:

There are lots of places to learn about water conservation such as Water Use It Wisely. This website has resources for the whole family to learn about water conservation. From water usage audits to fun games that teach lots of ways we use and can save water. Also on their website, is a list of 100 Ways to Conserve. A few we liked are:

  1. Select the proper pan size for cooking. Large pans may require more cooking water than necessary.

  2. If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.

  3. Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water houseplants.

  4. When shopping for a new dishwasher, use the Consortium for Energy Efficiency website to compare water use between models.