Below is a collection of some of the questions about water quality that are most commonly asked by our customers. We hope that you will find what you need in this section. If you don’t please give us a call at 503-761-0220 and we will be happy to provide you with the information that you are seeking.
Is my water safe to drink? Do I need to install a home filtration system?
Your drinking water meets all state and federal drinking water standards. The Consumer Confidence Report summarizes the results of all water quality testing each year and is provided to every account holder to assure that customers have access to information about the quality of their drinking water.
Some homeowners choose to install home filtration systems for aesthetic reasons, but they are not necessary to improve water safety. Bottled water and tap water are regulated by different agencies and are required to meet different standards. According to a 2009 report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), FDA Safety and consumer protections for bottled water are often less stringent than EPA protections for tap water. The GAO report can be accessed by clicking here.
How hard is the water?
Our water comes from multiple sources and is blended in differing proportions depending on such factors as time of year and your location within the system. In general, most water in our system will have a pH factor of around 7.5-8.5. Water in the Damascus area is likely to be harder during those periods of peak demand when the wells are in operation.
Why does my water look foggy or cloudy?
Cloudy water is usually caused by tiny air bubbles escaping from the water after it has been under pressure in your water pipes, much like carbon dioxide in a bottle of soda. Turning on the tap releases the pressure, permitting the bubbles to appear, just as removing the cap from a soda bottle causes it to fizz. The intensity of the cloudiness relates to water temperature and more so to temperature changes. This cloudiness occurs more often in winter when the drinking water is cold and the home, along with its plumbing is heated. If you allow a glass of water to stand for a few moments, the air bubbles will rise to the surface. This phenomenon is called entrained air and does not affect the quality of your water.
Is the water fluoridated?
Sunrise Water does not add fluoride to the water. Due to the nature of our system, with multiple points where water enters our system from a variety of sources and the many options for moving water through the system it would be extremely difficult and costly to do so. Fluoridating the water has not been contemplated for Sunrise in the past and is not a topic of discussion at this point.
Why is my water leaving a pink film on surfaces?
Sunrise Water does operate one well in the Damascus area that produces water with high levels of naturally occurring fluoride. When high system demands require activation of this well the water produced is diluted with water from other sources until it can be delivered with fluoride levels well within public health standards.
Pink stains appearing on bathroom fixtures, counter surfaces and pet dishes are usually caused by the Serratia marcescens bacteria.
This bacterium is airborne and seeks moist environments in which to proliferate. This bacterium can come from any number of naturally occurring sources. Removal of the chlorine from your tap water by an activated carbon filter can aggravate the proliferation of the pinkish (and sometimes dark gray) film left by the bacterium on household surfaces.
The best solution is to prevent the formation of the bacterial film by consistent cleaning. Chlorine based compounds work best. Avoid scratching the fixtures with abrasives, which will make them even more susceptible to bacteria. Periodically stirring 3-5 tablespoons of Chlorine bleach into the toilet tank and flushing it into the bowl will help minimize growth. Keeping showers, tubs and sinks dry by wiping them down after use will minimize the opportunity for the bacterium to flourish.
Why does my water smell and taste musty in the fall?
Why am I finding white flakes in my water or faucet screens?
As the level of the Clackamas River falls during the summer, the water becomes progressively warmer and certain species of algae grow more plentiful. The algae is responsible for the musty taste and smell of the water. The water still meets all drinking water standards and is safe to drink. We reduce the severity of the issue by adding powdered activated carbon to the water treatment process. Lower water temperatures after the fall rains begin eliminate the issue.
If your water heater is around 17-20 years old, your water heater may have a dip tube made from defective plastic. Over time the plastic breaks down into tiny grains or flakes that float on the surface of the water inside the hot water heater. When you use hot water, the flakes are drawn into the plumbing system along with the water.