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Public Works

Water

Water System News

  • "Know H2O" Newsletter - Summer 2019
    Updates from the water division include the detailed 2018 water quality analysis results, conservation tips and source water assessment. Read more…



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. 


Protecting Our WaterHung Nguyen, Cross Connection Specialist
Meet Hung Nguyen. As the city’s Cross Connection Specialist, he spends his time ensuring that water delivered to city customers is safe to drink.

For Hung, this has become part of his life’s work. He’s worked for the City of Tigard for 31 years, and in the water division since 2000. “I come from Vietnam and have experienced firsthand the effects of poor water quality,” he tells me. “Back home the water was not suitable for drinking—from rivers and wells—but we had no choice. “What is most meaningful about my job is protecting people from health hazards. Kids, elders, that is why I do what I do—and why I continue to bug everyone.”

Water systems depend on water pressure to keep water flowing in the intended direction through the pipes. Anything that causes a change in water pressure (like water main breaks, firefighting, etc.) can create a reverse flow, from the customer’s plumbing system back into the public water system. This is called backflow.

“Backflow protection prevents the mixing of irrigation water, for example, with our drinking water,” says Hung. “This is important because that irrigation water may have been exposed to fertilizers and other outdoor chemicals that can be harmful.” Additional cross connections where backflow devices may be installed include fire sprinkler systems, boilers used for heating, and more.

All Tigard Water Service Area customers are required to have their backflow prevention devices tested each year by June 1. Hung receives, tracks and reports on the tests from residential and commercial property owners. All told, about 6,000 residential customers and 500 commercial customers in the Tigard Water Service Area have a backflow prevention device that requires annual testing. Last year, 77% of residential customers completed the required test.

“We cannot survive without water,” Hung reminds us. “There was a time in my life when water was divided up by the teaspoonful.”

“Everyone has the same water source so we need to work together. It is not the city’s water—it’s our water.”

Committed to the protection and conservation of our natural resources
The City of Tigard is dedicated to providing its consumer with the highest quality of water which meets or exceeds the standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Oregon Health Authority.

Tigard works to ensure the quality of drinking water through monitoring, planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the water system. In addition, the City of Tigard provides public education, field assistance and prompt customer service. 

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.

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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