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Water Hardness in Washington Cities

Water hardness in Washington state, much like in other regions, is influenced by the concentration of dissolved minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium, in the water supply. Given the state’s various landscapes and water sources, water hardness in Washington is also quite variable.

In Washington, water hardness can differ substantially from one area to another, reflecting the state’s complex geology and hydrology. For instance, areas that derive their water from glacial or snowmelt runoff, such as regions near the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, typically experience softer water. This is because the water may have less contact with minerals found in soil and rock formations.

Conversely, parts of Washington that have more contact with limestone or other mineral-bearing formations, such as regions in the eastern part of the state, may have higher water hardness due to greater mineral dissolution. These variations not only affect the taste and aesthetic qualities of the water but can also have practical implications for cleaning efficiency, plumbing maintenance, and the lifespan of appliances that use water.

The provided data showcases a spectrum of water hardness levels across various cities in Washington, measured in parts per million (ppm) and grains per gallon (gpg). For instance, Richland and Grandview illustrate higher water hardness levels, peaking at 197.3 ppm, 11.51 gpg, and 238.8 ppm, 13.96 gpg, respectively. Conversely, the city of Lynnwood reports significantly softer water, with a measurement as low as 12.1 ppm, 0.70 gpg. Nevertheless, there is a notable absence of water hardness data for several locations, including Spokane, Tacoma, Everett, and numerous other cities across the state, as current figures are not available for these areas.

CityHardness ppm (mg/L)Hardness gpgInformation SourceNotes
Seattle22.91.3LinkPulled from 2023 Q2 report, using the B-2 number (total distribution)
Spokanen/an/aLinkDoesn’t list in report, but does provide number to call
Tacoman/an/aLink
Vancouver114.56.7LinkMedian of range
Bellevue24.61.4Link
Kent69.04.0LinkMedian of range
Everettn/an/aLinkSpada Lake
Spokane Valleyn/an/aLinkServiced by Modern Electric Water Co.
Renton44.02.6LinkUsed downtown wells number
Federal Way47.02.7LinkUsed the flow-weighted average, as that’s the blend of water going to customers
Yakima28.01.6Link
Bellingham20.31.2Link
Kirkland26.91.6Link
Auburn117.06.8Link
Kennewick125.07.3LinkMedian of listed range
Pascon/an/aLink
Redmond22.91.3LinkGets water from Seattle
Marysvillen/an/aLink
Sammamishn/an/aLink
Lakewoodn/an/aLink
Richland197.311.5Link
Shoreline22.91.3LinkUses Seattle Water
Olympia51.33.0LinkMedian of listed range
Lacey76.04.4LinkMedian of listed range
Burien22.91.3LinkMajority of residents served by Highline Water (purchases from Seattle)
Bothell22.91.3LinkPurchases 94% of water from from Seattle
Bremertonn/an/aLink
Puyallup89.05.2Link
Edmondsn/an/aLinkSources water from Everett
Lynnwood12.10.7Link
Issaquah69.54.1Link
Longviewn/an/aLink
Lake Stevensn/an/aLinkSources from Snohomish County PUD which purchases from Everett
Wenatchee73.64.3Link
Mount Vernon21.51.3LinkGets water from Skagit Public Utility
University Placen/an/aLinkServiced by Tacoma Public Utilities
Walla Walla29.51.7Link
Pullmann/an/aLink
Des Moinesn/an/aLinkMost recent found was 2015 that was specifically for Des Moines
SeaTac22.91.3LinkPredominantly purchases from Seattle, mixed with well-water. Used Seattle numbers which account for 75% of water supply
Maple Valleyn/an/aLinkCovered by Covington water district
Camasn/an/aLink
Tumwatern/an/aLink
Moses Lake122.07.1LinkHardness for 6 different zones in city listed, took the average of averages)
Mercer Island22.91.3LinkReceives water from Seattle
Oak Harborn/an/aLink
Bainbridge Islandn/an/aLinkNeither Winslow nor Rockaway water facility reports hardness
Kenmoren/an/aLink
Bonney Lake80.54.7LinkMedian of range
Tukwila25.71.5Link
Mountlake Terracen/an/aLinkSpada Lake
Mukilteon/an/aLinkSpada Lake
Battle Groundn/an/aLink
Mill Creekn/an/aLinkSnohomish County, gets water from Everett
Covingtonn/an/aLinkGreen River
Monroen/an/aLinkSpada Lake
Port Angelesn/an/aLink
Arlington61.03.6LinkTook average of listed ranges
Ellensburgn/an/aLink
Centralian/an/aLink
Anacortes30.01.8LinkTook median of listed range
Aberdeenn/an/aLinkWater division website doesn’t appear to have CCR
Washougal30.01.8LinkTook median of listed range
West Richland164.29.6LinkTook median of listed range
Sunnysiden/an/aLink
Lyndenn/an/aLink
Port Orchardn/an/aLink
Ferndalen/an/aLink
East Wenatchee73.64.3Link
Snoqualmien/an/aLink
Woodinville22.91.3LinkPurchases all water from Seattle
Lake Forest Park101.15.9LinkUsed only the 2019 value on the linked page
Cheneyn/an/aLink
Newcastle27.91.6LinkAverage of both listed distribution facilities
Enumclawn/an/aLink
Kelso29.41.7Link
Edgewoodn/an/aLink
Liberty Laken/an/aLink
Ridgefield100.05.8Link
Sedro-Woolley21.51.3LinkGets water from Skagit Public Utility
Gig Harborn/an/aLink
Poulsbo80.04.7Link
Fifen/an/aLinkGets all water from Tacoma
Grandview238.814.0LinkMedian of range
Shelton51.03.0Link
Yelmn/an/aLink
Sumnern/an/aLink
Airway Heightsn/an/aLinkGets water from Spokane
Port Townsendn/an/aLink
Snohomishn/an/aLink90% purchased from City of Everett
DuPontn/an/aLink
College Place77.34.5Link
Burlington21.51.3LinkGets from Skagit Public Utility
Ortingn/an/aLink
Miltonn/an/aLink
Hoquiamn/an/aLinkMost recent report found was 2017
Toppenishn/an/aLink
Othellon/an/aLink
Ephrata7.50.4Link
Stanwood222.013.0Link
Top 100 Washington cities by population and their reported water hardness
ppm = Parts Per Million
mg/L = Milligrams Per Liter
gpg = Grains Per Gallon

Hard water can cause issues such as mineral buildup in plumbing and appliances, reduce the efficacy of soaps and detergents, and affect the taste of the water. A tried and true solution is the use of a water softener. A water softener, like the ones from DROP, could be a worthwhile investment.

These devices work by replacing the calcium and magnesium ions that cause hardness with sodium ions, resulting in softer water. With innovative features, easy installation, and efficient operation, DROP smart water softeners provide a solution to hard water issues, extending the lifespan of appliances, improving water taste, enhancing soap effectiveness, reducing scale build-up, and increasing the overall water efficiency in your home.

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