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  • Winterize and be prepared

Public Works

Water

Winterize Your Home Today

Tis the season for cooler temperatures. Here are a few quick and easy things that you can do now to winterize your home:

  • Insulate hot and cold pipes that are located in unheated areas in your home such as the garage, crawl space, or attic.
  • Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms to allow pipes behind walls and under floors to get additional heat from inside your house.
  • Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets and turn them off if they have their own shutoff valve. This type of shut off valve is typically located in the basement or crawl space. If your home does have an outdoor faucet shut off valve, be sure to empty the water lines to your faucets by turning on each outdoor faucet after you've closed the shut off valve. If your home does not have a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then you'll need to insulate each spigot with a foam cap or wrap it with another insulating material such as newspaper.
  • Turn off and drain automatic sprinkler systems and backflow assembly devices. Wrap backflow devices with insulating material.
  • Cover foundation vents with foam blocks, thickly folded newspaper, or cardboard.
  • When temperatures dip below freezing, temporarily turn on your faucet located furthest from your water meter so that it has a slow and steady drip - this will keep water moving and make it less likely to freeze in your pipes.
  • Know where your emergency water shut off valve is located and how to turn it off. If a pipe bursts inside your home, this valve will turn the water off. Be sure to share this information with other members of your household. (Most shut-off valves are located in the crawl space, basement, garage, or outside the house near the foundation.)

Think you have a frozen pipe?

  • How to tell if you do: Turn on faucets located throughout your home; if some of them work and others do not, it is likely that you have a frozen pipe. If there is no water to your home, it is likely that the issue may be at the street and you should notify the City of Tigard.
  • Thawing frozen pipes: To thaw plumbing lines safely, use a hair dryer on a low setting. NEVER thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame. Remember to leave a little water on once the pipe has thawed so that it doesn’t refreeze.
  • Repairing broken water pipe(s): If your burst pipe is located in or around your home, then it is your responsibility to repair the pipe. If the break is at the street, contact the City of Tigard to repair it.

Turning off Water at the Meter
If you are unable to find a shut-off valve in your basement or garage, you can turn water off at the meter. Find out where your water meter and shut-off valve are located before there’s an emergency. Water meters, owned and maintained by the City of Tigard, are located in a small meter box in the ground near the street or edge of your property. The water meter and shut-off valve are both located inside the meter box.

To shut off your water with the shut-off valve in the meter box, use an adjustable wrench to turn the valve CLOCKWISE. For detailed instructions, including a video, visit www.tigard-or.gov/watermeter.

WHO WE SERVE - TIGARD WATER SERVICE AREA

Tigard residents and business are served by one of two area water providers. The City of Tigard provides water to over 60,000 individuals in the Tigard Water Service Area. This area includes the City of King City, City of Durham, two-thirds of the City of Tigard, and the unincorporated area of Bull Mountain. The Tualatin Valley Water District provides water to the remaining portions of Tigard.

Tigard Water Service Area Map 

Tigard's Water Sources

Tigard’s main source of drinking water comes from the Clackamas River, one of the highest quality sources in the state. The Clackamas River begins in Mount Hood National Forest, drawing from a watershed area of 940 square miles. Water is withdrawn from the Clackamas River, pumped through a pipeline buried beneath the Willamette River, and treated at the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Treatment Plant in West Linn. The water goes through a robust treatment process that includes filtration to remove dirt and organisms, ozone to remove substances that affect how the water tastes and smells, and disinfection to kill organisms and protect the water as it goes through the distribution system.

The Lake-Oswego Water Treatment Plant expansion and the infrastructure that connects the plant to the City of Tigard were completed in 2016. These investments in the water supply system have paid big dividends for TWSA customers – customers have a new, resilient source of supply with excellent water quality.

During periods of high water demand, Tigard supplements its supply with water from two city-owned aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) wells, and a native groundwater well. The ASR wells are filled with water from Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Treatment Plant in the winter when people aren’t using as much water, then used as an additional source in the summer when demand increases.

Learn more about the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Supply system.
River Intake Pump Station

Water Quality

Tigard is proud of the high quality, reliable water we deliver to customers. Tigard’s water is tested for over 200 contaminants every year, including testing throughout the distribution system. Water distributed to Tigard Water Service Area customers meets or exceeds all water quality standards.

To protect public health, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Oregon Health Authority oversee all drinking water systems, including the City of Tigard. Regulations provide rigorous requirements for testing frequencies, locations and methods, as well as establishing maximum levels for over 120 contaminants that could be present in drinking water. Water quality standards are outlined in the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act and on the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division website.

Each year, the City of Tigard publishes a Water Quality Report (or Consumer Confidence Report), detailing the outstanding quality of Tigard’s drinking water. The Water Quality Report notes levels of all substances detected in Tigard’s water. Learn more by reading the 2017 Water Quality Report.
Water Quality Report

Problems with Water Pressure

Why is my pressure low?

Occasionally you may see a decrease or increase in the water pressure. These are many possible causes of this problem, including air in the water lines, faulty plumbing fixtures, or a defective pressure regulating valve (many houses do not have a pressure reducing valve).

Pressure is lower than normal throughout my home

If pressure is low throughout the house, air might be caught in the lines. This can happen if there has been construction at your house or in the area. Signs of air pockets include water "spitting" out of the faucet, cloudy or milky looking water, and possibly water that appears rusty. If you experience any of these things turn at least two faucets on full blast for 5-10 minutes; it's helpful if the faucets are located at different ends of the house. This should pull the air pocket through the water lines.

Another common pressure problem can be attributed to a bad pressure regulator. If the pressure seems unusually low throughout the house or if your pipes tend to rattle when certain fixtures are used, you may need to repair or replace your regulator valve.

Pressure is lower at one fixture or area of the house

Low pressure in one area can be because of a faulty plumbing fixture. For instance, if the kitchen sink works fine but the clothes washer takes a long time to fill, the problem is probably in the line to the washer or the washer itself. The same can be said of individual problems with showers, toilets, sinks, etc. If this sounds like the problem you are having, you'll want to contact a plumber or make the repair yourself.

One common problem is low flows in sinks due to clogged faucet aerators. We get a lot of phone calls from residents reporting small white or gray particles plugging their faucet aerators and strainers. This problem is not unique to Tigard’s water – it is the results of the dip tube in many home water heaters installed between 1993 and 1997. Faucet aerators can be cleaned to keep the water flowing. For a permanent fix, you’ll want to contact a plumber. 

RESPONSES TO OTHER QUESTIONS

How can I shut my water off?
In the case of an emergency, it is important to know the location of the water shut-off valve for your home. If you are unable to locate or operate the shut-off valve in your home, another alternative is to shut off the water main valve at the street. View detailed instructions:

Does Tigard’s water contain fluoride?
No. Tigard Water Service Area residents do not receive a fluoridated supply of tap water.

Should I be worried about lead in my drinking water?
Tigard’s water is treated to reduce lead release in the distribution system. Lead in drinking water does not usually come from the water source – it is released into the water from piping systems and household plumbing. Sampling in 2017 showed Tigard’s lead levels were well within regulatory limits, with 98% of testing locations having no detectable lead concentration. For more information, download our Lead Fact Sheet.

What can I do about chlorine odors?
The odor is just chlorine doing its job to keep our water safe. The simplest way to get rid of the odor is to pour a pitcher of water and let it sit in the refrigerator. Overnight, the chlorine will have dissipated and the odor will be gone.

Why does the taste and smell of my water sometimes differ?
Water naturally varies in taste and odor at different times of the year. Taste and odor problems can come from new or old pipelines, plumbing fixtures, or changes in water quality. Customers may notice changes predominately during weather changes. These changes are closely monitored to ensure that they do not affect the safety of the water.

Why is my water brown?
Tigard regularly flushes the water distribution pipes to remove sediments and keep the system clean. Residents in an area being flushed may temporarily receive discolored water. The water is safe to drink, but unpleasant for consumption and use. If you find discolored water, run the cold taps for five to ten minutes, or until the water runs clear. More information and a video showing how flushing works are available on the City’s hydrant flushing page.

Is Tigard’s water hard or soft?
Our water is very soft for most of the year. During the summer, some customers receive a blend of groundwater from our aquifer storage and recovery wells. The water from these wells is moderately hard.

How can I get my water tested?
If you are concerned about the quality of water in your home, you may want to have your water tested. For a fee, private laboratories will test your tap water. Not all labs are certified to test for all contaminants.

Is bottled water safer than tap water?
The safety of bottled water depends on its source and the treatment it has undergone. Using bottled water is a personal preference. If you are using bottled water for health reasons, we suggest that you thoroughly research the product that you are selecting to assure that is offers the level of protection that you are seeking.

I received an offer for waterline insurance – did it come from the City?
Water lines between the meter and the home are the responsibility of the home owner and there are companies that offer insurance to cover repair or replacement of those lines. The City of Tigard does not endorse or have any partnership with any organization offering this service. You are not obligated to purchase this insurance.

Meet City Employee Sam Morrison

  • Sam MorrisonHow long have you worked for the City of Tigard? I started my career in water works in 1978 with the Tigard Water District before it merged with the City of Tigard, so in total… 40 going on 41 years!
  • What do you enjoy most about your job? In my early years, I enjoyed the construction work. I could go home at night and say, “I did that.” Now I really enjoy helping our customers with water issues. Nothing like a big thank you for your help.  
  • What is something unique about working in water? You would think that after 40 years of service working in water that I would know it all. Totally not the case. Our water system is in a constant state of change and you must learn and adapt. I am always learning.  
  • What is one thing you wish people knew about your job? I encourage customers to always call the city first with any water related issues. We might not be able to help, but a first look from us is free and we can help troubleshoot. 

Utility Billing Questions

503-718-2460 | Pay My Bill

Water Rates and Information
Calculator Tool and Water Rate Information

Public Works Service Request

Notice a public works problem? Please let us know! Submit a Public Works Service Request

  • Water leak
  • Water pressure issue
  • Water meter turn off/on in conjunction with customer repairs
  • Water quality issue such as color/odor/taste

Emergencies
Typical public works emergencies include water main breaks or major water leaks.

Water Emergency Contact
Public Works Department
Mon–Thurs: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
503-718-2591

After-hours Answering Service
503-639-1554

Leak in your waterline? Learn how to shut off your water at the meter.


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Learn More About Conservation

Cross Connection/Backflow
Hung Nguyen
503-718-2603 | hung@tigard-or.govCross Connection and Backflow 

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