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Drinking Water Quality

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Managing Quality from Source to Tap

Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility takes its water quality and safety very seriously. On average, over 3,000 water samples are collected and tested annually to ensure Anchorage’s water is clean and safe. The Utility safeguards its glacial water supplies with close coordination of multiple agencies. Before water reaches your tap, AWWU carefully filters and treats every gallon – almost 8 billion of them every year.

Mountain Water Sources

Fed by the snowfields and glaciers of the Chugach Mountain wilderness, Eklutna Lake provides almost 90 percent of the Municipality of Anchorage’s water. Other water sources include the Ship Creek watershed and ten high production groundwater wells. Surface water is collected and treated at two treatment plants, and is supplemented with treated groundwater supplies during peak demand periods. Storage water reservoirs and nearly a thousand miles of pipe provide water to AWWU customers on demand on a daily basis.

Crypto & Giardia

Waterborne Parasites, Giardia and Cryptosporidium, can exist in surface water and can cause intestinal illnesses when the cysts are ingested by humans, and can cause diarrhea, cramps, fever and other gastro-intestinal ailments. Not all species of these organisms are infectious. Beginning in 1989 with establishment of the Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR), and continuing with additional regulation, these pathogens have been subject to increased sampling and reporting.

In Anchorage, the potential occurrence and exposure to these pathogens is limited due to the protected nature of our surface waters, the lack of turbidity in the water provided to customers, and the Utility’s use of conventional filtration and disinfection. AWWU has never detected a viable indication of either of these pathogens in its treated drinking water.

Water Quality Reports

AWWU's water quality reports contains federal and state regulated drinking water test results and other information on Anchorage and Girdwood's drinking water sources. Call AWWU's Treatment Division for published copies at (907) 786-5613.