News Flash


Posted on: June 30, 2022

Medford Water Commission: Water Quality & Treatment

Medford Water Commission

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Duff Water Treatment Plant Ozone Project 



Q: Why does my water have a musty taste and/or odor?

A:  When ambient outdoor temperatures increase, the water temperatures also increase in the distribution system, and the warmer water may release taste and odors that can seem unpleasant.  


Q: What can I do to improve the taste and/or odor of my water?

A:  Keeping a container of water in your refrigerator will help with this issue; colder water will taste better. You can also run your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes (until you feel the temperature

      drop) to flush water that has been sitting in pipes and bring in fresh water. Conservation tip: collect the flushed water in a bucket or other container to use for plants or other needs.


Q: Is the water safe to drink?

A:  Yes. Every month, Medford Water staff members collect and analyze hundreds of water samples from throughout the system. We test even more frequently and extensively than the Environmental Protection Agency mandates. Staff at the Robert A. Duff Water Treatment Plant (Duff WTP) also monitor the system 24 hours a day using real-time water quality monitoring technology. This taste and odor issue is related to warmer temperatures in our Rogue River source; please continue reading to learn more on this topic. 


Q: Where does our water come from?

A:  During the winter months, our drinking water comes from Big Butte Springs, a ground water source that provides water of exceptional quality. During the peak-use summer months, water from the Rogue River is used to supplement the springs supply. The river water is also of high quality, but additional treatment performed at the Duff WTP is required. 


      Treatment of this surface water source consists of coagulation, settling, and filtration, followed by disinfection. The addition of ozone in 2002 provided a dramatic reduction in musty taste and odors occasionally found in the river water, and also provides additional disinfection benefits. Ozone is added only for aesthetic qualities; the overall water quality is excellent and safe to drink. Scroll to the bottom of this document for an overview of the treatment process.


Q: If ozone treatment removes musty tastes and odors occasionally found in the river source water, why am I experiencing this issue?

A:  Medford Water is working to increase the resiliency and capacity of our system, so that we may serve the over 140,000 residents of the Rogue Valley for the next 100 years. Part of this work is to expand the capacity of the Duff WTP to treat more water as demand increases with our growing population. The multi-faceted Duff WTP Expansion Project also includes filter treatment optimization, and replacement of the current ozone treatment system, which was installed in 2002.


      Replacement of the ozone equipment has been impacted by some unforeseen supply chain issues, which has held up the project; during this time, the ozonation system is offline. When the ozone system is back online, customers should see a great improvement in taste and odor.


Q: Who can I call if I have any questions about water quality?

A:  For information about water quality, call 541-774-2430. Questions also can be emailed to The EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline is 1-800-426-4791.


More questions? Contact our Customer Service Team at (541) 774-2430.


 An overview of the treatment process at the Robert A. Duff Water Treatment Plant for the Rogue River source water:

Water Treatment Process

Click HERE for the official notice.

For more information visit the Medford Water Commission's website at


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