Lake Forest Park Water District has compiled this information to better inform our customers about the District and your water.
Is the District source water chlorinated? Do you provide natural drinking water?
We do not routinely chlorinate our drinking water. The district has the capability to treat with chlorine if we ever have concerns about water quality. Currently our customers are drinking unfiltered, untreated, natural well water. Please note that we maintain a chlorination notification list if it is ever necessary. Please contact us if you wish to be added to this list.
What is a WA State Department of Health water testing waiver? Who decides what is to be waived?
The WA State Department of Health (DOH) monitors all water testing timelines and schedules. DOH grants source monitoring sampling waivers or reduced sampling requirements to water systems in areas with little evidence that synthetic organic compounds (non-naturally occurring compounds) contamination could occur. The District tests it water pursuant to DOH requirements and has received a waiver for certain compounds which have minimal risk or no application to the area. More information about DOH testing requirements is available on this link. DOH 331-359
How is the District infrastructure being maintained?
The system is maintained consistent with public water system standards under the guidance of its highly experienced, DOH certified, General Manager. The District has an ongoing and continuous infrastructure replacement program. The District’s Water System Plan outlines the schedule for replacements. We are installing new technology pipe with an expected lifetime of 100+ years.
Does the District have sound financial controls in place?
Yes, financial controls, policies and procedures are stringent and passed a recent Washington State Auditor’s Office audit with no exceptions.
What is the District doing about the abandoned wells in the watershed?
Recently, when updating the Source Water Protection section of our Water System Plan, our due-diligence procedures discovered two wells in the area of the McKinnon Creek Watershed that were not abandoned in accordance with modern standards. Of course, we are taking immediate action to properly abandon them. Our due-diligence also identified a similar well owned by the City in Horizon View Park, formerly a Nike Missile Base. The District is working with the City to ensure proper capping or abandonment of that well.
Who owns the land in McKinnon Creek Watershed?
LFPWD is the owner of the McKinnon Creek Watershed. The previous owner was the Lake Forest Park Water Company (see our history)
Is McKinnon Creek Wellfield still our primary drinking water source?
Yes, McKinnon Creek Wellfield supplies most of our drinking water with the remainder being supplied by the Horizon View Wellfield.
What is the status of Horizon View Wellfield? Can it provide all necessary drinking water for our customers?
The Horizon View property was purchased by the District from the City of Seattle in 2009 and has been developed as a backup source that supplies a limited amount of our drinking water. We cannot fully supply our customer’s water needs from the Horizon View wellfield.
What is a Sanitary Zone? Are the Sanitary Zones a WA State Department of Health requirement?
A Sanitary Zone is a radius, usually 100 feet, around a drinking water well in which a water supplier must have control; i.e., the supplier must be able to legally control the types of activities that occur in the zone. Sanitary Zones are a requirement of the Dept. of Health, Office of Drinking Water and the District has a responsibility to comply with WAC 246-290-135 (Source water protection). More information is available on this link. DOH 331-453
Does the District oppose a trail through the McKinnon Creek Wellfield?
The District opposes a trail that would allow public access near our infrastructure and wells and certainly through the sanitary zones. Some of our wells are rated ‘highly susceptible’ for surface contamination. WA State DOH has specifically stated that access to the wellhead area should be restricted to District activities. The District has a duty to protect the public health and to lessen any potential threat to our water system from contamination, vandalism or terrorism. The District is unaware of a detailed plan for the trail that includes sanitary protection mitigation measures by the City.
What are the District’s concerns regarding the Sanitary Zones if public access is allowed?
Contamination, vandalism and terrorism are all concerns. Also, public proximity to reservoirs, pumps and controls in the McKinnon Creek Watershed also create drinking water vulnerability.
Who has historically controlled the Right-of-Way in the McKinnon Creek Watershed?
The right of way was dedicated in the original plat maps for the area but was never developed or opened for public use. Most of the District’s wells are located within the right of way. From 1909 until the district was formed in 1948, private water providers had full control of the right of way and sanitary zones. As the owner of the property since the District was formed, the District has controlled the access.
Why did the District pursue legal action to clear title to the right of way within the McKinnon Creek Wellfield?
The District and the City engaged in discussions for several years about developing a trail route in the McKinnon Creek Watershed that avoided the District’s sanitary zones and water system infrastructure. Those discussions were not successful. The City then constructed a trail leading up to the District property on the alignment of the right of way. In the background of the trail discussions was always the legal question of whether the right of way had been vacated in 1988 by City ordinance. The ordinance vacated the right of way but also claimed fee title to the underlying ground. This was an ambiguous position at best because established law provides that platted right of way is an easement that overlays fee title. The District’s Board of Commissioners felt compelled to clarify the legality of the City’s 1988 Right-of-Way vacation ordinance and in 2014, a “quiet title action” was commenced in King County Superior Court to determine whether the right of way had been vacated. Prior to the Court ruling on the legality of the 1988 ordinance, the City rescinded the 1988 vacation ordinance. In January 2015, the trial court judge held that the City had the right to rescind the vacation ordinance and the matter is now on appeal to Division I of the Washington State Court of Appeals. A decision is not expected until 2016.
Does the District have low water pressure? What can cause low water pressure?
The District actually has good water pressure. Pressure is measured at your street meter. Many times low pressure or low volume is caused by homes built on a hill much higher than the meter or plumbing installed in accordance with out of date building codes. Occasionally, low pressure in the home may be caused by corroded pipes (especially, galvanized) within the home.
What is a Total Coliform Hit? Does the District chlorinate for fecal coliform?
Non-acute Total Coliform does not indicate an immediate health threat but indicates the possibility of bacteria entering our water system from external sources, such as through tank lids or vents. When we test for Total Coliform, the same water samples are also tested for Fecal coliform and E coli. The District has never had fecal coliform presence in our source water. More information is available on this link. DOH Coliform
What is the District doing about system water loss?
The District is actively replacing aged infrastructure as described in the water system plan. It is pursuing low cost funding through programs like the Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF) and also is self-funding from the District’s Capital Improvement Fund. Operationally, the District responds immediately when leaks are identified. Water losses do not include facility water use for routine water main flushing, system testing and hydrant maintenance. The District has upgraded its telemetry capabilities and reliability for enhanced monitoring of water production and also has a $500 fine for unauthorized fire hydrant use. Unlike surrounding water suppliers, water loss for our District does not result in a significant financial loss because the District does not purchase its water from Seattle Public Utilities.