2022 Tacoma Water Highlights

Our mission is to provide clean, reliable water. We focused our strategic plan and annual goals to align with this mission, with the addition of transitioning our building and staff to a hybrid workplace model. 

Development Stats

Development, or new services such as residential, commercial, multifamily, and industrial, in our service area started the year at full speed while single family developments hit the brakes by years end. New records were still set, however, while most categories ended at normal levels. We continued to support developer demands to construct single family home communities, warehouse storage, residential homes, and multifamily apartments. Our statistics below highlight the booming Puget Sound region’s economic development and housing demand: 

  • We created 254 water availability certificates still above the yearly average, which is a good indicator of general construction activity in Pierce County. 
  • New service stubs set a record of 1,094, the highest in over a decade. Despite record demand and supply chain issues impacting our inventory levels, we were able to complete all projects on time and evened out our inventory levels by the end of the summer of 2022. 
  • Water meter sales fell to their lowest levels in over a decade, which in turn impacted fixed fee orders, which were 40 percent off their record 2021 levels. 
  • Created 378 time and material project estimates (90 residential, 171 multifamily, 110 commercial, and 7 other) matching the average output of the past two years. 
  • Reviewed and commented on 1,329 development permits and responded to 209 utility related public disclosure requests matching the trends of steady commercial and multifamily development and the notable decline in single family development for the second half of the year.    
  • Added over 13.2 miles of new distribution mains to the system from 31 private contracts which is 20 percent higher mileage with fewer projects as compared to the previous years. Most projects were residential development although the single-family projects notably slowed in the second half of the year. Commercial, warehouse, and school projects continued at a steady pace.  

Outreach Activities


Conservation makes it possible to plan and provide for residential and commercial development, take only what is needed from reservoirs and wells, and leave water in the river for fish and wildlife. The conservation program offers a variety of resources to customers throughout the year:  

  • 695 custom water savings kits mailed to customers and 62 paperless rebates for smart irrigation controllers  
  • Community engagement with 31 public events, 20 program presentations, and an outreach partnership with TPU Customer Solutions  
  • Released an expanded 16-page children’s activity book to tell the story of Tacoma Water from the mountains to the city and highlight some careers in the water utility 


Water hosts and participates in many community outreach events intended to develop a workforce reflective of the community we serve. By making the community aware of current career opportunities, we seek to generate interest in water utility career paths and create a diverse talent pipeline for the future. Events in 2022 included the Apprenticeship Expo, Women in Trades, and TPU Academy with the Boys and Girls Club. We shared information about the interesting and unique career paths at the water utility. Participants engaged with current employees and received demonstrations and hands-on experiences.  


Emergency Management

Emergency Management launched a new process geared towards improving incident notification and response. This process expands on 2020 emergency operation work to support more efficient future emergency response. 

The 2016 Seismic Vulnerability Assessment identified the Tacoma Water Ground Water Supply system as critical in the event of a significant earthquake that could potentially disrupt supply from the Green River. Planning and Engineering shored up the ground water supply facilities to withstand a serious seismic event. This endeavor involved strengthening the Hood Street Reservoir, chlorination building, and pump station, as well as the South Tacoma Pump Station. All improvements were completed in 2022. 

Other Improvement Projects

  • Electrical Instrumentation & Controls group created safer working conditions by installing lighting under the deck of the bridge near the TPU campus.  
  • Water Quality Engineering monitors the water quality in Eagle Lake Reservoir. In 2022 this data was placed on a dashboard to predict potential water quality challenges that the Green River Filtration Facility might face when the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) completes the downstream fish passage facility project. 
  • The electrical team installed new electric vehicle charging stations at the Water Distribution building dock and added new hybrid vans to its pool. The conversion of a significant portion of our fleet to include EVs helps meet our 2022 Resource Conservation and Climate Plan goal to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. A total of 15 hybrid EV service vans are now in service in the Maintenance and Construction division. 
  • The warehouse team completed the McMillin warehouse project including identifying, sorting, and labeling existing locations and parts in the physical space and creating the digital warehouse in SAP. This improvement allows for a comprehensive view of the inventory of service brass and fittings for crews to complete their work. This became essential for planning work as supply chains slowed and lead times increased. 

Environmental Stewardship

We are committed to stewarding the region’s beautiful natural resources. With help from our valued partners, we take great care to preserve, protect, and restore resources while maintaining the delivery of services.  

Tacoma Water provides clean, reliable water while preserving and enhancing wildlife habitats. There is a direct connection between healthy forests and clean water. In addition, we protect 32 fish and wildlife species by following numerous conservation, monitoring, and research measures in water flow management, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, and forest and land management.  

 Here are some key efforts conducted in 2022 to ensure the health of our watershed.  

  • Salvaged over 2,000 native plants from sites within the watershed for use in current and future restoration projects.  
  • Replaced six failing culverts and crushed 10,000 cubic yards of gravel to help maintain our road network in the Upper Green River Watershed. 
  • Completed repairs to a fish passage project accessing important side channel habitat used by threatened Chinook salmon and Coho salmon for spawning and rearing. 
  • Ongoing work with the Army Corps of Engineers to complete design and construction of the downstream fish passage facility at the Howard Hanson Dam. 
  • Advocated and lobbied to support funding for this project resulting in the Corps getting $220M for the project and reauthorizing it at the total project costs of just under $1B.   
  • Completed and launched a watershed strategic plan to focus efforts for the next 5 years. 

Click here to view Tacoma Water’s 2022 Financial Report.

Click here to view Tacoma Water’s 2022 Financial Highlights.