Water plays a critical role in our daily lives and the quality of life we enjoy. This Drinking Water Week, let's all make a commitment to learn more by getting to know our H2O!
You turn on the tap and clean water flows into your sink. Simple, right? Wait a second — what do you really know about where your water comes from, why it is "fit to drink" or how many people in your community are involved in providing it to you? Here is a snapshot of public drinking water in Oregon:
- Nearly four million people are served daily by more than 3,400 public drinking water systems. Our water systems range in size from drinking fountains at roadside rest areas to large metropolitan areas.
- Oregon Drinking Water Services works with drinking water utilities to ensure that water delivered to consumers meets all federal and state standards. These efforts are vital to Oregon's economy and to the public health of our citizens.
- Public water systems face many challenging tasks, especially in an era of scarce resources. In Oregon and across our nation, drinking water infrastructure is aging and continues to be challenged by new and emerging drinking water contaminants in our industrial society.
How do we get clean, safe water? And who is behind it?
Most of us don't think about or understand how drinking water systems work. It takes natural, human and financial resources, as well as physical, chemical and biological processes, to bring safe water to your home.
- How do we get clean, safe water?: These interactive experiences from the Rural Community Assistance Partnership demonstrate the treatment of drinking water and wastewater using animated diagrams and short videos.
- Water and You: These short videos (under 5 minutes) from American Water use easy-to-understand language to explain how drinking water is treated before it gets to the tap, the value of the water service you receive and an overview of the water cycle.
- The People Behind Your Water: This interactive diagram from the American Water Works Association shows how water moves from its source through a treatment process to our taps. Learn about the individuals who serve in those job positions along the way.
- Virtual Tour of a Drinking Water Plant (Good for kids): An EPA produced video shows "Thirstin" exploring how water is treated and delivered to a home or business as water that is safe to drink. Contains helpful information, tips and games to help the user become more water savvy.
- Water You Waiting For?: This series of short videos (under four minutes) from EPA showcases the water profession for high school and/or vocational technical school students. The series highlights four areas of the water profession - the value of drinking water, daily job responsibilities, career successes, and environmental contribution.
Learn about your water
- Read your water quality report: Your local utility provides this report (called a Consumer Confidence Report or CCR) annually to its customers. Many water utilities have a web page where you can access past and current reports. Check your water utility bill to find your water system's name and contact information. Then, phone them up with questions! The more you know about your water utility, the better position you will be in to contribute positively to the quality of your drinking water.
- View your utility's water quality testing data: Water quality data reported to Oregon Drinking Water Services is searchable on our Drinking Water Data Online site. Look up your water system by using the name look up feature. Once you've found the main page for your water system, you can click on any of the underlined blue topics at the bottom of the page for more information.
- You can find additional drinking water quality information on our Resources for Consumers page.
Where do I fit in this picture?
Believe it or not, every individual contributes to drinking water quality
See the following resources for way to conserve and protect your drinking water.