Water Systems and Treatment

The Water Department provides water treatment and delivery of clean drinking water to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Fresh water is delivered from the Santiam River via the power canal, into the City’s slow sand filtration system. Once the water is treated, it is then delivered to residential, commercial, and industrial customers through 44 miles of water distribution lines.
  • Best Tasting Surface Water award for the fifth year in a row!

If you have any questions regarding Stayton’s Water Treatment Plant, please contact the Public Works Department at (503) 769-2919.

Frequently Asked Questions

The City of Stayton is responsible for water valves, water meters, and the meter boxes for all residential and businesses. Customers are responsible for everything on the backside of water meters.

Business hours for customer assistance in turning off a meter is Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you experience an issue after-hours, please contact our 24-hour non-emergency line at (503) 982-2340. Please note a fee may be charged to after-hour calls and for non-emergency callouts. 

  • Stayton’s water treatment process uses slow sand filtration which uses naturally occurring biological activity to clean drinking water. Slow sand filters are a reliable system for cleaning drinking water, and have been for centuries.

    Water from the North Santiam River is processed through large sand filters located at the Water Treatment Plant.

  • Inside meter box, just before the meter, is a valve that is used to shut off the water for meter replacement, repairs or nonpayment. It is not to be used by the customer.  The customer will be responsible for any damage done to the shut-off valve .

    On the backside, or the customer side of the meter is a place for a customer shut-off valve. Not all meters have a customer side valve. It is up to the customer to install a valve if they do not have a valve on the backside side of their meter. The city will provide the valve, on request, at no charge to the customer. It is the responsibility of the customer to install the valve at their expense.  

  • Inside the meter box is a meter with a row of numbers. A customer is billed for every 1,000 gallons used. Starting on the left side of the numbers, the first four digits is the current reading the City would use for billing. These numbers can help you determine if you have a leak from the meter to your home.

    With no water fixtures running, the last digits should not change or a red dial should not move. However, if either one of those two things move after a couple of seconds, you may have a leak. Generally a running toilet, a dripping faucet or a leaking irrigation valve are the most common issues.

    Private leak detection companies can locate your leaks. The City does not locate leaks on private water systems. 

  • A chart on your bill shows how much water was used this month, along with the previous year.

    Customers should be able to tell if they may have a leak if the chart consistently shows higher than normal usage compared to previous months or years.

  • The “pink water” is most likely a bacteria known as Serratia marcescens. The bacteria forms a residue on fixtures or other surfaces that are in moist areas such as toilet bowls, shower surfaces, bathtub enclosures, and in pet dishes. The City’s drinking water is chlorinated, and when the chlorine dissipates from the water over time, the moist areas are left open for introduction of the bacteria.

    The Serratia bacterium is not known to cause any type of waterborne disease or illness. However, the presence of the bacteria may be an indicator of the cleanliness of a specific surface or container. Periodic and thorough cleaning of the surfaces where the pink residue occurs, followed by disinfection with chlorine bleach should control the growth of the bacteria. The chlorine bleach should be allowed to stand on the surfaces for 10-20 minutes before a thorough rinse.

  • The City works hard to provide clean drinking water, but every once in a while dirty water does appear. Dirty water can appear after performing plumbing repairs both at your home or on the City mains. It is best to run an outside faucet or run water in a bathtub for about five minutes until the dirty water goes away. Remove the screen from a faucet and allow the water to clear out the debris if the other options are not available.
  • Air can become trapped in the system for a variety of reasons. Similar to dirty water, use an outside faucet or remove a screen from a faucet, start the water flow out slow, and as air is replaced with water increase the flow.

    Dirty water may also be present during this process, so continue flowing until the water is clear and no air is in the line.

  • Each one of us tastes water a little differently. Well water, springs, and surface water all have unique tastes. Treatment of the water also contributes to the taste. Stayton uses slow sand filters to clean the water, chlorine bleach for constant disinfection, and soda ash for lead and copper control.  Using your water very little can cause it to taste different.

    The City checks water throughout town regularly to make sure it meets the State's drinking water standards.

Call Public Works at (503) 769-2919 for additional assistance or questions.