Aquifer Protection

Renton's water quality is up to its' residents.

Water is one of the planet's most valuable resources. It is needed for drinking, cooking, bathing, and survival. Yet it is taken for granted. Each day dangerous chemicals that could potentially get into the water supply and affect our water quality are dumped onto the ground.

Clean Water Tomorrow Takes Actions Today

The City has already taken steps to keep our water supply clean. The small portion of earth we can control seriously affects us, our children, our neighbors, and our city for years to come. No one expects us to change old habits overnight. But each step forward brings us closer to a solution.

Protecting the Aquifer

We drink what we pour out. The most obvious pollutants come from fuel tank spills, street run-off, septic tanks, and storm sewers. But we present one of the greatest dangers to the aquifer. How often have we used pesticides to maintain the beauty of our northwest lawns? Or dumped unwanted chemicals into the ground? How about chemicals used to unclog a stubborn drain that are then flushed into a septic tank? These are everyday examples of how we, as residents, control the purity of our water.

Steps to Keep Aquifer Clean

  • Start using natural pesticides.
  • Dispose of unwanted chemicals properly.
  • Avoid products marked "danger," "flammable," or "corrosive," which usually indicate hazardous material, and substitute natural cleansers, such as vinegar and baking soda.

Underground Water Source

Approximately 87 percent of Renton's water is supplied by the Cedar Valley Aquifer, with the rest coming from Springbrook Springs - a source located in south Renton. As Renton's primary water source, the Cedar Valley Aquifer has been designated a "sole source" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This means that no federal financial assistance can be given to a project which might contaminate the aquifer and create a public health hazard.

The aquifer is an underground layer of sand and gravel running 3 1/2 miles long, and furnishing Renton residents with an average of 7.3 million gallons of water each day. At some points, the groundwater contained in our aquifer is only 23 feet below ground, making it very sensitive to pollutants.

Fed by rain and snow falling on the aquifer and higher adjacent ground, the aquifer is also replenished by groundwater flow from the Cedar Valley. It is highly permeable, and contaminants reaching these recharge areas could potentially find their way into our drinking water.

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