Skagit Public Utility District
Since 1936, the Skagit Public Utility District has been committed to providing safe and reliable utility services to meet the current and future needs of Skagit County. They operate the county’s largest water system, providing nine million gallons of piped water to approximately 80,000 people daily. The Skagit PUD maintains over 650 miles of pipelines and has over 31 million gallons of storage volume.
The water originates in the protected Cultus Mountain watershed area east of Clear Lake. Water from this area is piped to Judy Reservoir, which covers 148 surface acres and stores approximately 1.5 billion gallons of water. The water is treated and filtered using modern water treatment technologies to meet Safe Drinking Water Act regulations.
The cities of Mount Vernon, Burlington, and Sedro-Woolley receive most of the water. Due to public demand, the PUD also provides water services to unincorporated and remote county areas. The PUD’s service area includes part of Fidalgo Island at the county’s west end and extends east to Marblemount. The PUD’s service area starts in Alger/Lake Samish and extends south to Conway.
The Skagit River and its tributaries have some of the healthiest salmon runs in the Northwest and form the only stream system in Washington to support all five Pacific Northwest salmon species, bull trout, and steelhead.
Resource conservation and stewardship are increasing concerns of the PUD. Skagit PUD participates in local watershed management and planning efforts to protect in-stream flows necessary to maintain salmon spawning and rearing habitat while ensuring adequate water to meet our customers’ current and future demands.
Did you know that collecting rainwater is an easy way to conserve water — and save money on your water bill? During the drier season, when water consumption often doubles, collecting rainwater reduces the strain on the water supply and keeps more water available for fish and wildlife. Skagit PUD sells rain barrels for $60/each that come fully assembled and ready for installation. These are recycled 55-gallon, food-grade plastic barrels. More information about purchasing rain barrels HERE.
Many people take for granted the simple act of turning on a faucet and getting a cold glass of water. Through guided tours, visitors to Skagit PUD’s Water Treatment Plant and Judy Reservoir learn about its water sources, plus the disinfection processes drinking water must go through before distribution.
The tour encourages an appreciation for our precious resources and inspires the adoption of conservation measures to protect our waters. Group tours are available upon request and staff availability. The PUD annually leads about 20-25 school groups, community, and elected official tours.
The PUD also offers a “virtual tour” using Google Earth. The presentation includes videos and historical photos of Judy Reservoir being built in 1947. Take a tour here.
Got an event that needs water? Skagit PUD’s ThirstBuster is a mobile water station designed to meet personal hydration needs. It was recently at the Skagit Farm to Pint FEST. Multiple onboard fountains and water bottle fill spigots provide easy access to clean, cool, fresh potable water.
We recently spoke with Kevin Tate, community relations manager at Skagit PUD, to ask what the team’s favorite Skagit-grown crop was. Here’s what he said: “I did a quick employee survey last week, and strawberries edged out Skagit PUD water by one vote as the favorite. One employee commented: ‘I love strawberry shortcake at Sakuma’s stand; it’s the official start of summer.’ However, it was noted that Skagit PUD water is central to almost all the items produced or processed in the valley.” Thank you Kevin. That’s definitely something we can agree with!
Whether utilizing cutting-edge technologies, practicing resource management, or encouraging conservation stewardship, Skagit PUD is committed to meeting its customers’ needs. We’re grateful for the support of our friends at Skagit PUD and are proud to feature them as this week’s #GSVMemberMonday feature.