Beginning on Wednesday of this week, the Water Division of the Ashland Public Works
Department will begin utilizing the TAP (Talent, Ashland, Phoenix) water intertie system. This
system connects these three communities with the Medford water system and provides a backup
system for situations where Ashland’s primary water supply may be compromised, unavailable or in short supply.
Due to the Almeda fire access to the TAP system was temporarily compromised and not available to the City as an emergency source. Water Distribution staff have worked directly with Talent, Phoenix and the Medford Water Commission to ensure moving forward with use of the TAP system for additional Ashland supply at this time would not negatively impact Talent or Phoenix as they begin the rebuilding process. With full access to the TAP system restored Ashland will begin using the TAP source.
As the City is currently experiencing a water shortage and in curtailment stage one (1) Public Works expects to use the TAP source until such time as there is adequate rainfall to replenish Reeder Reservoir. At full capacity the TAP system can supply an additional 2.13 million gallons of water per day to Ashland.
Reeder Reservoir is currently at 38.0% of capacity and drawing down each day. Use of the TAP system will significantly reduce the drawdown moving forward until such time as fall rainfall begins to refill Reeder Reservoir. Stage one (1) water curtailment will stay in effect even with access to the TAP system in order to protect the remaining storage capacity within Reeder Reservoir. For more information about how you can reduce water use refer to ashland.or.us/weather.
Ashland’s primary water supply is the Ashland watershed, water from this area feeds into Reeder
Reservoir, that water is then piped to the Ashland Water Treatment Plant. Ashland has
additional water available from the TID (Talent Irrigation District) canal that runs along the
southern hills of town. That water can be pumped to the treatment plant, this pumping occurs
when available water in the Ashland watershed will not meet Ashland’s demand. In 2020, and
other drought years in the past, both water supply sources have been used to ensure adequate supply to the community.
It’s unlikely that water users in Ashland will notice any differences in their water. If anything out
of the ordinary is noticed please call (541) 488-5587. When the TAP system is in use, the water
flow in some of the mainlines will change direction, this change in direction can cause the
deposits that have settled in the pipe to be stirred up for a short time. It is possible, however
unlikely, that water customers could experience some short duration events of discolored water.
If this does occur, typically running your faucet for a few minutes should be enough to clear up
the discoloration. If it doesn’t clear up, please call and let us know. This discoloration is
harmless and is caused by the presence of naturally occurring mineral deposits in the water.