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Better Together: Partnering With Customers and Community

Delivering on SPU’s commitment to provide clean, safe, and reliable drinking water to 1.5 million people every day could not happen without the dedication and expertise of our staff. We’re fortunate and proud to have some of the best and brightest subject-matter experts in the utility industry, and it shows in the quality of the services that we provide.

Delivering on SPU’s commitment to provide clean, safe, and reliable drinking water to 1.5 million people every day could not happen without the dedication and expertise of our staff. We’re fortunate and proud to have some of the best and brightest subject-matter experts in the utility industry, and it shows in the quality of the services that we provide.

Along with staff, it also takes strong partnerships with the community and our customers to ensure we live up to the SPU mission “… to equitably manage water and waste resources for today and future generations.”

One of the essential partnerships that SPU has is with our wholesale water customers. SPU has more than 20 wholesale customers, which represent cities and water districts and provide Seattle Water to about 800,000 people outside of the City of Seattle limits.

Our wholesale customers are key partners for SPU, and together, we are responsible for delivering great drinking water, some of the best in the nation, to the Puget Sound region.

To maintain the level of excellence and service that our communities expect, it’s important that SPU continuously foster close relationships with our wholesale customers. Staff in the Water Line of Business, including Wholesale Water Contracts Manager Kelly O’Rourke, work closely and meet with the group once a month.

For the February business meeting, wholesale customers were invited to tour SPU’s’ Operations Control Center (OCC) and Water Quality Lab in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood.

Inside the OCC, the group saw a glimpse of the Control Center where skilled operators work 24/7 to move and control the flow of water around the region. After visiting the OCC, the group shuttled one block north on Airport Way South where Drinking Water Quality Division staff led them on a tour of the Water Quality Lab. The Lab is where SPU staff work seven days a week testing tens of thousands of water samples each year to ensure we meet all regulatory and safety requirements for drinking water.

Our wholesale customers represent one of many partnerships SPU holds locally, regionally, and nationally. These partnerships are extremely important as we cannot do what we do alone. They help us be more collaborative and responsive to community needs while working more effectively to achieve our mission:

A man looks into a microscope in a laboratory surrounded by five other people.
Winsome Robinson Williams, Drinking Water Quality division director, speaks with a group of wholesale customers in the Water Quality Lab.
A group of about 20 people pose in a large office space in front of a wall of video monitors.
Wholesale customers pose for a group photo, along with SPU’s SCADA Operations Technician Manager Bob Keenan (far left), in the Control Center.
A man speaks to a group of people in a large operations center filled with desks and computers.
SPU Utilities Operations Manager Tom Walker talks with wholesale customers about the vital operations that take place in the Control Center.   
In a large conference room, about 20 people sit at tables arranged in a square with large video monitors on the right.
SPU’s GM Andrew Lee holds a roundtable discussion with wholesale customers in the Department Operations Center (DOC).

Seattle Public Utilities fosters healthy people, environment, and economy by partnering with our community to equitably manage water and waste resources for today and future generations.