Water Filters - Buyers Beware
Increasingly over the last several years, people have been bombarded with alarming sales pitches touting the benefits of bottled water and home treatment devices, causing people to question the quality of their tap water. The Medford Water Commission has addressed numerous customer inquiries on this topic, both individually and in various publications. However, given recent news about local families being sold unnecessary expensive water treatment devices, we believe that it is important to again address this topic.
Like most large public water supply systems, the water we deliver is of excellent quality, easily exceeding all federal and state health standards, and the vast majority of substances tested for are not found in our water even in minute quantities. In fact, while you will pay far more for bottled water, it is not subject to more stringent regulations, and may in fact be of lesser quality.
Whether to drink bottled water or install home treatment devices is a personal decision. However, before buying such products, we suggest that you become informed about the need and benefits for doing so. If, for example, you are considering a water treatment device due to claims that it eliminates nitrates, asbestos and pesticides, you may be interested in knowing that none of those items are even found in our water. And indeed the presence of chlorine in your water reflects that your water has continued to receive disinfection to your tap, being a positive indicator, rather than cause for concern.
Products claiming to provide superior water may well satisfy an objective you have. For example, you might seek additional treatment if old household plumbing is affecting the quality of your water, or if you desire an additional layer of protection due to a compromised immune system. However, if you just wish to eliminate the taste and odor of chlorine, it will dissipate out naturally if simply stored in a pitcher in your refrigerator. It is important to also be aware that regular maintenance of any treatment device is needed, including filters within refrigerators, as dirty filters, etc. can actually diminish water quality.
While we have willingly shared water quality information for decades, by law we are required to submit the results of our water quality tests to regulatory agencies, and to inform our customers of any issues of concern. In fact, our water quality analyses are likely to be more complete and readily available than those for most bottled waters. Test results can be found both on our Web site and the site for the State of Oregon. Jackson County's Environmental Health Department also provides local oversight. And, of course, customers are always welcome to contact our office with water quality questions: 774-2430.