Drinking Water In Your Home


Drinking water questions?

Call us at (541) 341-8500 and select option 2, or send us an email.

Chlorine taste and odor

We add chlorine to kill organisms that can make people sick.  Federal law requires a trace of chlorine in the water to ensure its purity as it travels from the filtration plant to your tap. Some customers may notice the taste and odor of chlorine more than others.

It is easy to remove the taste of chlorine in the water that you drink:

  • Set a pitcher of water in the refrigerator for an hour or so.
  • Add a tasty slice of citrus or cucumber to the water.
  • Boil for 5 minutes.

Discolored water

We all expect clean and clear water to flow from our taps, but sometimes you might see something else. After treatment, the water introduced into the system is clean and clear. There are, however, natural dissolved minerals in the water that can settle in the piping system over months or years. When there is higher-than-normal use of cold water - such as filling a swimming pool or using a fire hydrant - that increased flow could stir up the reddish sediment lying on the bottom of the pipes. In some cases, such as when there has been recent maintenance on the water distribution system, the water may appear milky white. This is caused by tiny air bubbles. Although discolored water typically won't make you sick, you might want to flush the pipes in your house before drinking the water or washing.

Here's how to flush your home's pipes:

  • Turn on your outside hose bibs at full force one at a time for a few minutes or until the water runs clear.  Start with the hose bib closest to your water meter.
  • If the water does not clear after a few minutes, wait an hour. Repeat the process until the water runs clear.
  • After the outside hose bibs run clear, run the cold-water faucets at full force throughout the house.
  • Start at the cold-water faucet in the bathtub because that faucet has the highest flow.
  • After the tub faucet and hose bibs run clear, flush all other cold-water faucets in the house.
  • After flushing, remove faucet aerators to clear any particles and then reinstall them.

Please contact EWEB at 541-341-8500 (and select option 2) if you follow these instructions and you still see discolored water flowing from the tap.