Water Quality Report

For Year 2016

Why am I receiving this report?

In 1999, the Federal Government re-authorized the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996 which requires all public water utilities and companies to provide annual drinking water quality reports to their customers. Accordingly, Point Roberts Water District No. 4 is pleased to provide you with this report.

Where does my drinking water come from?

The District purchases its water from the Greater Vancouver Water District, which draws its water from three protected source lakes: Seymour, Capilano, and Coquitlam; with Point Roberts' main water supply coming from the Seymour facility.

The water to Point Roberts is drawn from the Pebble Hill Reservoir located in Tsawwassen, B.C. and is distributed through our own water distribution system to your tap.

Do you have questions or concerns about your drinking water?

If you have any questions regarding this report or concerning your water utility, please contact our office at (360) 945-4696, available online at www.pointrobertswater.com or e-mail us at prwd@whidbey.com or use the contact form at the bottom of this page.

The Greater Vancouver Water District writes a comprehensive Water Quality Control Annual Report. A copy of this report may be obtained at any B.C. lower mainland library, or online at http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/water/WaterPublications/2016_Water_Quality_Annual_Report_Volume1.pdf

Additionally, further information maybe acquired by contacting the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791) or by visiting their website at: www.epa.gov/safewater/.

We invite you to attend any of the Point Roberts Water District's regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners Meetings, currently held on the second Tuesday of each month at the District Office at 79 Tyee Drive, Suite A, beginning at 5 PM.

What’s in my drinking water?

Point Roberts Water District #4 and the Greater Vancouver Water District routinely monitor for contaminants and constituents in your drinking water in accordance with Federal and State Laws. For the year 2016, we conducted forty-eight (48) tests for bacteriological analysis. All results tested satisfactory. Additionally, the Greater Vancouver Water District conducted tests for over 80 drinking water contaminants.

Additionally, the Greater Vancouver Water District conducted tests for drinking water contaminants see , http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/water/WaterPublications/2016_Water_Quality_Annual_Report_Volume2.pdf

The Seymour water source from Vancouver is currently filtered. Chlorination treatment is added to protect against giardia and bacteria. Corrosion control treatment is done at Seymour and Coquitlam. Since surface water tends to have a low pH, soda ash and/or lime are added to increase the pH to 7 or above.

All drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least trace amounts of some contaminants. It is important to remember that the presence of contaminants does not necessarily pose a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-comprised persons such as persons 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 also available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline.

Contaminants that may be present in source water before it is treated include:

Microbial contaminants such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.

  • Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining or farming.
  • Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture and residential uses.
  • Radioactive contaminants, which are naturally occurring.
  • Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems.

In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public drinking water systems. We treat our water according to EPA regulations. Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.

Terms & Definitions

  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL): the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water
  • Action Level (AL): the concentration of a contaminant which, when exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow
  • Million Fibers per Liter (MFL): a measure of the presence of asbestos fibers that are no longer than 10 micrometers
  • (ppm): parts per million or milligrams per liter
  • (Bq/l): Bequerels per liter (Bq/l)


Water Quality Data

The following table lists some of the drinking water contaminants that the District detected during the 2014 calendar year or in our most recent test as noted:

Regulated Substance


Your Water
Sample Date
Typical Source of Contamination
Total coliform bacteria
Leaks in service lines; animal waste
Nitrates as N (ppm)
Runoff from fertilizer
Lead (ppm)
0.015 AL
Corrosive water & home plumbing
Copper (ppm)
1.3 AL
Corrosive water & home plumbing
Alpha Radiation (Bq/L)
Erosion of natural deposits
Beta (pCi/L)
Erosion of natural deposits
TTHMs (ppm)
By-product of drinking water chlorination
Haloacetic Acids (ppm)
By-product of drinking water chlorination
< 0.116 MFL
Decay of asbestos-cement water Mains; erosion of natural deposits
Arsenic (ppb)
< 0.05
Erosion of natural deposits

Facts About Tested Contaminants

Coliform Bacteria: Coliforms are common in the environment and generally are not harmful. The presence of these bacteria in drinking water, however, generally is a result of a problem with water treatment or the pipes which distribute water and indicate that the water may be contaminated with organisms that can cause disease.

The Point Roberts Water District No. 4 did forty-eight (48) coli form bacteria tests for the year 2016. The Washington State Department of Health determines the minimum number of samples required based on the population that is served. Two (2) samples per month are required by the State during the months of January through May and from September through December; however, the Point Roberts Water District completed four (4) samples during this time period.

Nitrates: Nitrates in drinking water at levels about 10 ppm is a health risk for infants of less than six months of age. High nitrate levels in drinking water can cause blue baby syndrome. Nitrate levels may rise quickly for short periods of time because of rainfall or agricultural activity. If you are caring for an infant, you should ask for advice from your health care provider.

Lead: Infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess of the action level could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.

Copper: Copper is an essential nutrient, but some people who drink water containing copper in excess of the action level over a relatively short amount of time could experience gastrointestinal distress. Some people who drink water containing copper in excess of the action level over many years could suffer liver or kidney damage. People with Wilson’s disease should consult their personal physician. their personal physician.

Alpha/Radiation: Some people who drink water containing levels of Alpha/Radiation in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased risk of developing cancer.

TTHM (Total Trihalomethanes): Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous systems and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Asbestos: Some people, who drink water containing asbestos in excess of the MCL over many years, may have an increased risk of developing intestinal polyps.

Arsenic: Some people, who drink water containing arsenic in excess of the MCL over many years, may have decreased longevity, blood effects, dermal and nervous system toxicity effects.


Water Use Efficiency Rule

The State Department of Health has been directed to adopt an enforceable WUE program intended to achieve a high level of stewardship among all water suppliers, contribute to long-term supply reliability and public health concerns, and insure efficient operation and management of water systems. Below are the measures that Point Roberts Water District has already implemented and also our goals for 2016.


Total Usage Reduction Goal: 2% total usage reduction by year 2016 achieved by a combination of demand side and supply side measures.

Demand Side Goal (The Customer): Reducing from an average of 111 gallons per connection per day to an average of 95 gallons per connection per day.


Measures to achieve Supply Side Goal: The District has replaced 6000 lineal feet of water main in known leakage areas. Additional water main replacement will continue in problem areas.

The regular scheduled water rate surveys encourage conservation along with staff working with customer water use evaluations and helping with water loss in the home.

Recommended Publications and Websites

Washington State Department of Health, Water Use Efficiency

American Water Works Association – Water Wiser

Partnership for Water Conservation

Alliance for Water Efficiency

Download a Adobe Acrobat PDF of the Point Roberts Water District #4 - Water Quality Report 2016.