Drinking water questions?

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

How we prevent lead in our drinking water system

All of us care about our family's health and well-being. Elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, and pregnant women and young children are especially vulnerable.  For decades, we have tested our water for lead. This testing shows that there is no lead in the water that enters the distribution piping. We also adjust the pH of the water to reduce corrosion in our pipe systems and to help prevent lead from leaching out of your old household plumbing fixtures.

Diagram of water service line setup.
How lead could get into your drinking water

Service lines

Although rare, some homes built before 1950 may have been connected to our water system by a lead "gooseneck".  For more than 40 years we have been removing all lead parts from our system.  We have reviewed our documentation and developed a materials evaluation.  There are no known lead service lines in our distribution system.

Household plumbing

The main source of lead in our community's tap water is old household plumbing. Household plumbing is the homeowner's portion of the service line which runs from the meter to your house and the type of internal plumbing and faucets used inside your home.  Lead solder was often used in homes built or plumbed with copper pipes before 1986. Lead is also common in brass faucets and fixtures installed before 2014.  

How to keep lead out of your drinking water

Boiling water will not reduce or remove lead from water.  Here are a few tips to reduce lead exposure from your tap water:

Run your tap.

  • Anytime the water in a particular faucet has not been used for six hours or longer, "flush" your cold-water pipes by running the water until it becomes as cold as it will get.  This could range anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes depending on the amount of household piping that the water must travel through.

Use only cold water to drink, cook and make baby formula.

  • Hot water makes it easier for lead to leach from your pipes into the drinking water.

Your faucet aerator can trap particles that contain lead.

  • Clean your aerator every few months to remove any particles.

Consider buying low-lead fixtures.

  • As of January 4, 2014, all pipes, fittings and fixtures must contain less than 0.25 percent lead.  Learn how to identify lead free products.

Consider using a water filter.

  • Contact National Sanitation Foundation International at 1-800-673-8010 or visit the website for information about certified water filters. Follow all filter maintenance instructions to keep your water safe.

What to do if you are concerned about lead in your drinking water

You can have your tap water tested for the presence of lead. Click here for a list of certified laboratories.

You can find out if you have lead pipes.

You can ask your child's doctor to have a lead blood level test done.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that public health actions be initiated when the level of lead in a child's blood is 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) or more.

Where can you get additional information

You can visit:

US Environmental Protection Agency

Oregon Health Authority