Home Page About Us Pay Your Bill Customer Service Water Quality Links



Spanish (Espanol)

Este informe contiene informacion muy importante sobre la calidad de su agua potable. Por favor lea este informe o comuniquese con alguien que pueda traducir la informacion.

Is my water safe?

We are pleased to report that our drinking water is safe and meets federal and state requirements. The purity of our water is of the degree that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not require Deschutes Valley Water District to test for every contaminant every year.  A waiver granted by the Oregon Health Division (OHD) in 1996, stipulated the frequency and elements to be tested. Last year, we conducted tests for over 80 contaminants. We only detected 3 of those contaminants, and none of these were at a level higher than the EPA allows.  This report is a snapshot of last year's water quality. Included are details about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to standards set by regulatory agencies. We are committed to providing you with information because informed customers are our best allies.

Do I need to take special precautions?

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Water Drinking Hotline (800-426-4791).

Where does my water come from?

The Opal Springs aquifer supplies the domestic water for Deschutes Valley Water District's approximately 4,100 services. The artesian spring is located 5 miles Southwest of Culver at the bottom of the 850 foot deep Crooked River canyon, less than 150 feet from the river.  The artesian wells are located on the East side of the canyon ranging from 300 to 600 feet South of Opal Springs.

Opal Springs flows approximately 108,000 gallons per minute at 53.8 degrees Fahrenheit with no seasonal variation.  There has been no detectable change in flow, temperature, or pH since the spring was first tested in 1925.  Well # 1 is 750 feet deep and produces 3,750 gallons per minute.  Well #2 is 513 feet deep and produces 5,360 gallons per minute.  Well #3 is 661 feet deep and produces 4,000 gallons per minute.  It has been determined that the wells and Opal Springs are fed from the same aquifer.

Source water assessment and its availability

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791). Currently, there is no filtration or treatment of Opal Springs of any kind (nor is any needed).  Historic and continuing water quality analysis indicates an absence of man-made contaminants in the captured Opal Springs water.  The source is well protected because it is hundreds of feet below the surface and under pressure. It is unlikely that contaminants introduced on the surface would reach the deep aquifer.  The spring and wells have yet to show radiation from the W.W.II nuclear testing placing the age of the water from Opal Springs at 70 years old minimum.  According to “U.S.G.S. Report 97-197”, studies show the age of the water could be one to four thousand years old. An analysis for waterborne particulates shows conclusively that Opal Springs is a ground water source, not influenced by surface water.

Hardness of water is caused by the presence of magnesium and calcium.  Excessive hardness is undesirable because it causes difficulties when doing laundry or washing dishes.  Domestic water should have hardness less than 85 mg/l.  The District's water tests at 42 mg/l and is considered very soft.

The pH of water is measured on a scale of 1 to 14.  A low reading would indicate acidic water (which is corrosive) while a high reading connotes basic water.  Neutral water (neither acidic nor basic) would have a reading of 7. The District's pH tested at 7.67 which means our water is just a little basic.

How can I get involved?

If you have any questions about this report or concerning your utility, please contact General Manager, Edson Pugh, at (541) 475-3849. We want our valued customers to be informed about their water utility.  If you want to learn more, please attend any of our regularly scheduled Board Meetings.  They are held on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 PM at the District office at 881 SW Culver Hwy, Madras, Oregon.

Water Conservation Tips

Did you know that the average U.S. household uses approximately 400 gallons of water per day or 100 gallons per person per day?

Luckily, there are many low-cost and no-cost ways to conserve water.  Small changes can make a big difference – try one today and soon it will become second nature!

500 gallons a month.

up to 750 gallons a month.

1,000 gallons a month.

minutes to replace. To check your toilet for a leak, place a few drops of food coloring in

the tank and wait. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak.


absorb it and during the cooler parts of the day to reduce evaporation.

wisely. Make it a family effort to reduce next month's water bill!

Additional Information for Lead

There is no detectable lead or copper in our water source; however, these metals can enter the drinking water supply through corrosion within the distribution system or household plumbing. If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Deschutes Valley Water District is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at http://www.epa.gov/lead. When the water is tested at the source, neither copper nor lead have been detected.

Water Quality Data Table

The table below lists all of the drinking water contaminants that we detected during the calendar year of this report. The presence of contaminants in the water does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk.  Unless otherwise noted, the data presented in this table is from testing done in the calendar year of the report.  The EPA or the State requires us to monitor for certain contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants do not change frequently.




Your Water




Typical Source



Inorganic Contaminants

Arsenic (ppb)







Erosion of natural deposits.  Runoff from orchards; Runoff from glass and electronics production wastes.

Flouride (ppm)







Erosion of natural deposits.  Water additive which promotes strong teeth; Discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories.




Your Water

Sample Date

# Samples Exceeding AL

Typical Source

Inorganic Contaminants

Copper - action level at consumer taps (ppm)






Erosion of natural deposits.  Runoff from orchards; Runoff from glass and electronics production wastes.

 Important Drinking Water Definitions




MCLG:  Maximum Contaminant Levvel Goal:  The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health.  MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.


MCL:  Maximum Contaminant Level:  The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water.  MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.


TT:  Treatment Technique:  A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.


AL: Action Level:  The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.

Variances and Exemptions

Variances and Exemptions:  State or EPA permission not to meet an MCL or a Treatment Technique under certain conditions.


MRDLG:  Maximum residual disinfection level goal.  The level of a drinking water disinfectant belwo which there is no known or expected risk to health.  MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.


MNR:  Monitored Not Regulated


MPL: State Assigned Maximum Permissible Level

Unit Descriptions




Ppm:  parts per million, or milligrams per liter (mg/L)

Positive samples/month

Positive samples/month:  Number of samples taken monthly that were found to be positive.


NA: not applicable


ND: not detected


NR:  Monitoring not required, but recommended.

Updated: January 11, 2018

A more complete list is available on the Oregon Health Authority website here, which is all public information.  If you have any further questions about our Water Quality Report, call our office at (541) 475-3849 or email us.