The Medford Water Commission (MWC) directly serves more than 30,000 customers inside the city of Medford, and some outside customers such as residents and businesses in White City. Additionally, MWC supplies water to another 14,000 customers through wholesale sales to the cities of Central Point, Eagle Point, Jacksonville, Phoenix and Talent. MWC also serves two domestic water districts, which contract with MWC for operation and maintenance of their systems in addition to purchasing water from MWC.
Daily water production averages approximately 24 million gallons per day (mgd), ranging from around 17 mgd during winter months to more than 60 mgd on peak summer days.
Our two sources are the Big Butte Springs
, which supplies up to 26.4 mgd year-round, and the Robert A. Duff Water Treatment Plant
on the Rogue River, which can provide up to 45 mgd. The Duff Treatment Plant operates during peak-use summer months to supplement the springs supply.
Water is stored in 16 reservoirs, including the clearwell at the Duff Treatment Plant. All reservoirs are covered. The system’s total storage capacity is 36.2 million gallons. In addition to the Commission’s storage, the other cities served have reservoirs as well, totaling at least 12.5 million gallons.
The elevations of the Big Butte Springs intakes vary from 2,650 to 2,700 feet. Water flows by gravity from the springs to Medford in two transmission lines, each having a capacity of 13.2 mgd for a combined daily capacity of 26.4 million gallons. The first of these two water lines went into service in 1927 and the second in 1951. Both are welded steel pipelines varying in size from 20 inches to 30 inches and averaging 24 inches in size. Both lines are underground throughout their entire 30.5-mile lengths. The energy from approximately 1,100 feet of elevation difference is dissipated in friction loss resulting from moving such a large quantity of water through the pipelines.
The Big Butte Springs transmission lines are located on different routes, and each passes over approximately 75 different mountain summits. Pressure in the lower reaches is automatically controlled to maintain a full pipe by means of special backpressure control valves.
The Rogue River supply transmission mains transport water from the Duff Treatment Plant to the city of Medford.
The Commission operates 12 pump stations,
which pump water from lower elevation areas into higher elevation areas. Three of these stations have the dual capability to reduce pressure to the lowest elevation areas of our distribution system.
The Commission is responsible for the construction and maintenance of more than 476 miles of water mains, not including the Big Butte Springs lines. Water mains include feeder mains, which vary in size from 24 to 48 inches in diameter, and supply water to the service mains, which vary in size from 2 to 24 inches. The service mains carry the water to more than 30,000 MWC customers. The distribution system consists of these water mains and service lines plus valves, fire hydrants
. Pipeline materials consist primarily of ductile iron and cast iron. New pipelines are constructed of ductile iron only.
The Commission installs, operates and maintains more than 11,200 valves in a vast underground grid of water mains and service connections. The valves regulate the flow of water through the mains and allow service crews to shut off water to a specific area and isolate a problem for repair or improvement. As a result we are able to limit the number of homes and businesses adversely impacted by a water main project.