Water Quality in Bellevue, Washington
Watershed: Lake Washington – Sammamish River
What is the water quality like in Bellevue, WA?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Bellevue water.
What’s in Bellevue water?
Here are the top 6 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are six of the 15 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
9 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
See the What Can You Do? section below for all of the contaminants you can filter out and how to do it.
Where does Bellevue’s water come from?
Bellevue’s water comes from the Lake Washington – Sammamish River watershed.
113 of the 128 EPA assessed water sources in the Lake Washington – Sammamish River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Ballinger Lake
- Bitter Lake
- Coal Creek – two segments
- Echo Lake
- Fairweather Bay Creek
- Forbes Creek – two segments
- Green Lake
- Hall Creek
- Johns Creek
- Juanita Creek – 3 segments
- Kelsey Creek – 3 segments
- Lake Union – 9 segments
- Lake Washington – over 30 segments
- Lyon Creek
- May Creek – 5 segments
- McAleer Creek
- Mercer Slough – 2 segments
- Puget Sound – 2 segments
- Ravenna Creek
- Salmon Bay – 2 segments
- Taylor Creek
- Thornton Creek – 3 segments
- Totem Lake – 2 segments
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. 12 segments of Lake Washington are in Good condition along with Boren Lake and Central Puget Sound.
Whether a water source is in Impaired or Good condition refers to the quality of these uses:
- Drinking Water
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Bellevue’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality can be surprising.
But there’s no reason to lose hope. There are things you can do in your household as well as things you can do at a community level.
In Your Household:
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out 14 of the 15 contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 13 of the 15 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your home.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Arsenic – health risks
- Bromochloroacetic acid
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
- Chloroform – side effects
- Dichloroacetic acid
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Monochloroacetic acid
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
- Trichloroacetic acid
*Chlorination is an effective method of disinfecting/treating drinking water. You can then use a water filter to reduce the effects of chlorination byproducts to get the safest, cleanest water possible.
In Your Community:
Contact your local government officials and put pressure on them to invest in cleaner waterways and upgraded city water filtration and treatment.
Go to: https://bellevuewa.gov/city-government to find contact information for your local officials.