The District tries to replace as much outdated pipe as possible to prevent water lines from breaking, however waterlines can break due to unforeseen circumstances.
If a break occurs and a customer runs out of water, or their water pressure is reduced, the customer will be notified by our Phone Tree system to boil their water. This is a requirement from the State of Oregon in case any bacteria enters the line from dirt or rain water. We are not trying to alarm homeowners with these notices, however we do want our customers to be safe. Boil water notices can effect small or large areas of the community.
Rest assured that our crew will work to repair the breaks even on weekends or nights, regardless of weather conditions. We follow the best practices set by the Oregon Health Department. After the repair of the water line is made, we flush the line, make sure the chlorine residuals are at the appropriate levels, and take water samples to be tested for bacteria in a laboratory.
Once we receive notice that the test results are good, we will contact the customers via our Phone Tree system. After repairs are made, you may notice that your water looks cloudy. This is simply due to air bubbles and does not effect the quality of your water. You can run water through your faucets to help get the air out of the lines. Please note that we get our water from a different water source than Portland. Portland Water Bureau gets their water from Bull Run, and Corbett Water District gets water from Gordon Creek. Therefore, if a boil water notice is in effect in Portland, it does not effect our District.
The following information is provided to answer questions from the public about how they should respond to public Boil Water advisories issued under USEPA/DHS advisory rules.
Public Water systems are required to issue boil Water Notices under the following circumstances:
Failure of a system to meet microbial standards.
Failure of a system to meet treatment or turbidity standards.
Failure of a system to adequately disinfect the water.
Failure of a system to maintain positive pressure in distribution.
In some cases the hazards will be more acute than others, but not generically different. The presence of organisms is conclusive evidence of potential harm, lack of disinfectant implies that viable organisms may reach customers, and high turbidity interferes with disinfection which can lead to viable organisms surviving and reaching the customer. When Boil Notices are in place, customers need to know what uses they can safely continue, and what uses require boiling of the water before use. Since any of the above scenarios result in inadequately treated water reaching households, our advice about safe uses should be consistent. Water used for activities that require boiling should be brought to a rolling boil for 1 minute.
Activities that do require boiled water
Washing Food served without cooking/baking or Adding water to food without cooking/baking
Cleaning food contact surfaces
Taking water with medications
Activities that do not require boiled water
*Dish washing or rinsing
General cleaning, mopping
Pet watering / Pet bathing
Plant water / Irrigation
*Cleaned dishes and utensils should be rinsed in water that contains 1 tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of water (100-200 ppm chlorine) and allowed to air dry before use.
*Home treatment devices that do not boil or chemically disinfect the water with acceptable disinfectants are not considered reliable alternatives to boiling the water.