Water Quality

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Committed to Quality

Rockwood Water is proud to provide its customers with high quality water and is committed to meeting or exceeding all state and federal drinking water standards.

If you have questions or concerns about your water quality, please call the District office at (503) 665-4179 or email customerservice@rwpud.org.

Your Water Source

Your water is usually water from the Bull Run Watershed, purchased from the City of Portland. At times, usually in the summer, we augment that supply with groundwater from the District’s wells.

The City of Portland also draws water from the Columbia Southshore Wellfield to augment the Bull Run supply during emergency situations or to meet high water demands during the summer months.

The City of Portland treats the water with chlorine for disinfection. Ammonia is added to the water to ensure that disinfection remains adequate throughout the distribution system.

Sodium hydroxide is also added to adjust the pH of the water to reduce corrosion of plumbing systems. The District adds chlorine and ammonia to the ground water prior to blending it with Bull Run Water to maintain consistent chlorine residuals.

Fall Color Season in the Bull Run Watershed

As a result of the recent heavy storms in the Bull Run Watershed, customers may notice their water has taken on a subtle tea color. This is a normal change that can occur in fall and winter due to organic materials that have washed into the Bull Run storage reservoirs. Heavy rains early in the fall and winter are responsible for carrying materials into reservoirs and streams before the water is treated.

Our drinking water is treated but not filtered, which is why you may see color at your tap water or staining the filters in your business or home.

What causes “fall color?”

The color is produced by tannins found in the organic materials, like the color you might see in a cup of tea. Tannins do not produce any negative health effects nor do they change the quality of Rockwood’s water. The length of the fall color season depends on the strength and duration of the rains and the amount of organic material that is carried into the system.

As always, Rockwood Water monitors the water entering our distribution system to continue to meet all state and federal drinking water standards. Customers will be notified of any changes to water quality safety if they occur.

For additional information, please visit the City of Portland’s website at: https://www.portland.gov/water/news/2020/12/28/fall-color-season-bull-run-watershed

Monitoring Your Water

Your drinking water is monitored for approximately 200 regulated and nonregulated contaminants to ensure that it complies with all applicable drinking water regulations. Samples are collected from the Bull Run watershed, Columbia Southshore Wellfield, District wells, distribution system and customer taps.

The table below shows a comparison of typical groundwater and Bull Run water quality. The actual water quality experienced by users during groundwater operations may differ from what is shown below based on changes in the wells used during the course of the operation, location of the customer within Rockwood’s distribution system, water demand, and other operational conditions.

City of Portland Water Quality Detail Table