The Path Our Water Takes
Do you know where you get your water from? You may want to ask someone in your family if they know. If you live in south King County in the cities of Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Normandy Park, SeaTac or Tukwila you might purchase your water from us at Highline Water District. But, is that really where your water comes from?
The water that comes out of your faucet every day, travels a much longer journey than you may realize. Most of Highline Water District's water (about 90%) comes from the Cedar River Watershed in the Cascade Mountains. This is a specially protected watershed owned by the City of Seattle, who then sells some of that water to us at Highline Water District. This water is stored in Chester Morse Lake until it is treated to insure its quality at Landsburg Dam and Lake Youngs. Providing a steady supply of high quality drinking water requires a properly designed and well-maintained distribution system. Water flows many miles through huge pipelines carrying the water down to our communities.
Highline Water District also has two wells that provide additional water to our supply. These wells pump water to the surface from an aquifer far below. This water is then cleaned and filtered at our treatment plant and stored for us use when needed.
Highline Water District stores water in our eight reservoirs, water tanks and standpipes until it is needed. These are usually found on hilltops throughout our communities to take advantage of the free forces of gravity. These storage structures provide the necessary pressure to move water through pipelines and water mains (more than 270 miles of pipe just in our district alone). Large amounts of water are also stored to fight fires and for emergency use.
So next time you turn on the faucet to brush your teeth, or get a drink of water, just remember how far that water traveled before reaching you!