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City of Ashland, Oregon / Public Works / City News

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Water distribution system maintenance - potential for discolored water

The Public Works Departmentís Water Division is conducting routine maintenance of the water distribution system and some of these activities may be visible throughout town. Water quality is of the highest importance to our water division and in order to maintain a high level of water quality, routine flushing of the water distribution system is conducted.  Flushing involves opening the distribution system at various fire hydrants to allow a greater than normal volume of water to flow through the network of underground pipes.  Over time mineral deposits and compounds used in the water treatment process will settle in the distribution system, this is normal and occurs in all water distribution systems.  If left unchecked, these deposits and compounds can and will compromise our water quality.  This time of year, when rainy weather returns and the amount of water entering our reservoir is greater that the volume of water weíre using, we can conduct these flushing activities without compromising the volume of water we have stored in our reservoir.  These flushing activities will ultimately improve our water quality but the flushing itself can cause periods of discolored water.  The discoloration is typically seen in larger volumes with a white background such as toilets and bathtubs.  If you are experiencing discolored water, we recommend not doing laundry, this water can leave staining on your clothing.  The discoloration is harmless, itís just the presence of the mineral deposits and treatment compounds being mixed into the water.  If you are seeing this in your home or business, typically running the water for a couple minutes will clear up the discoloration, if after a couple minutes the discoloration has not dissipated, please contact us at 541 488-5353.

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