Water Quality

Seattle's drinking water remains safe from COVID-19

Seattle's drinking water remains safe and protected against contaminants, including COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus.

The City's water is chlorinated to remove microbial contaminants, such as bacteria and viruses. The water is also treated to remove and inactivate microbial contaminants such as chlorine-resistant Cryptosporidium.

Additionally, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) conducts water quality tests daily to help ensure contaminants stay out of our drinking water supply.

During emergency events, Seattle's drinking water facilities are considered high priority. This means essential services, like the delivery of water to customers, will be maintained as outlined in the utility's Continuity of Operations Plan.

The City of Seattle remains in close coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Public Health - Seattle & King County and are following their guidelines in response to COVID-19.

Members of the public can call the DOH hotline at 1-800-525-0127 and press # if they believe they have symptoms of COVID-19. Up-to-date information is also available on the Public Health - Seattle & King County's website.

Seattle residents and those who work or travel through the City of Seattle can sign-up for Alert Seattle, the City's official emergency notification system. Through Alert Seattle, the City can send real-time and customized notifications via text, email, voice message and social media during emergencies to include significant public health updates.


Water Quality Topics

  • Cross-Connection Control – Protecting the quality of our drinking water includes protecting the water as it passes through the pipes to all the buildings in the City.
  • Lead – Learn about lead and what you can do at home to lower your exposure to it from your drinking water. 
  • Fluoride – SPU has supplied fluoridated drinking water to our customers since 1970.
  • Health and Water Quality Standards – Water quality standards are set to ensure your health is protected.
  • Cryptosporidium and Giardia – Find out about these microscopic organisms.
  • Water Taste, Odor and Color – Seattle has some of the finest tasting, purest source water in the world. But if your water doesn't come out of the tap tasting good and clean, there is usually something you can do about it at home.
  • Algae and Filter Clogging – If you filter your water, during an algal bloom you may notice your filter clogs faster than usual. Typically, the blooms occur in the late spring, but they can occur at unexpected times of year. To help alleviate the filter clogging problem, you can install an inexpensive pre-filter.
  • Home Water Filters – Some customers filter their water to improve the things such as taste and odor while others filter their water because they are concerned about water safety. If you decide to filter your water at home, it is important to do it correctly and maintain your system regularly. NSF International evaluates and certifies filters.