The primary focus of the Water Program is on drinking water and to make sure that the citizens of rural
Snohomish County have access to safe and reliable water. Through the review of proposed well locations, well
construction inspection, and water quality testing, the Drinking Water Program works with citizens and
industry alike to achieve this goal. In coordination with Snohomish County Planning and Development Services
the Drinking Water Program ensures that an adequate and potable source of water is available to proposed
residences prior to construction.
The water that you drink should be free of any bacteria or chemical contaminants. Your water should be
clear, free of odor and particulates and have no taste. However, you can’t necessarily see or taste
contaminants, so we recommend routine testing of your water.
Snohomish Health District can assist you with the following tests:
In order to test for contaminants, you need to first obtain the proper testing bottle
from the Health District. Samples can not be collected in any other container.
The timing of the collection is important, too. If you take the
water sample before 8:00 am you must return it by 9:00 am the same day. If you take your
water sample after 8:00 am you must return if by 9:00 am the next day. Friday samples
must be in by 9:00 am.
Interpreting the Results
Proper well construction and continued maintenance are keys to the safety of your water supply.
If you know what type of well you have and you want to learn more about the structure of the well,
see the Dug Wells and Drilled Wells in the Well Resources section below. If you don’t
know what kind of well you have, see the Well Logs in the Well Resources section below. The
Well Logs allows you to look up your own well log and find out what kind of well you have, how deep your
well is, and who drilled or dug the well.
Well drillers must have a valid Water Well Construction and Operator's License from the Department
of Ecology in order to operate in Snohomish County. See the Well Construction and Licensing
System in the Resources section below to search for drillers.
The Washington State Department of Ecology has closed the Carpenter-Fisher subbasin in north
Snohomish County to new groundwater withdrawals. See the Carpenter-Fisher link in the Resources
section below for more information on Ecologys website.
Private Wells Process and Procedure
List of Snohomish Health District Process and Procedures regarding Public and Private Wells:
Arsenic is a mineral commonly found in the environment. Arsenic is naturally occurring and can be found
in soils, bedrock and groundwater.
Studies show that concentrations of arsenic in groundwater can change over time. When it
occurs in groundwater wells, arsenic can pose a public health concern. Some people who
drink water containing arsenic in excess of the MCL over many years could experience skin
damage or problems with their circulatory system and may have an increased risk of cancer.
Given the health concerns associated with arsenic, the widespread presence of
arsenic in wells throughout Snohomish County, and the variability in the levels
of arsenic over time, it is recommended that periodic water testing be conducted
to insure that established safe drinking water levels for arsenic are not
Water quality testing for arsenic is available through the SHD. Contact our office for
current fees. For Comprehensive arsenic information see the Arsenic in Drinking Water
in the Arsenic Resources section below.
List of Arsenic Resources:
Rules and Regulations
The following documents contain all guidelines used to regulate private well and small water
system quality in Snohomish County.
If you have any questions regarding the content or application of information in these documents, please contact our office.
The Snohomish Health District will investigate a complaint or problem with a private well or small
public water system.
How To Report a problem with a private well or small
public water system
Environmental Health Division,
3020 Rucker Avenue, Suite 104
Everett, WA 98201-3900
OR email the completed form to: email@example.com
The complaint will remain anonymous. The person filing the complaint will receive a reply regarding the situation
after the initial investigation is complete. If you would like to contact Snohomish County
Health District, please call 425.339.5250.
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Closed noon – 1:00 pm)
List of Water Resources: