Tag Archives: Portland Water Bureau

“Plumbing FAQ – Our two cents on water filtration!”

I often get approached by clients and prospective clients asking about water filtration and/or their desire to have a water filter installed. I usually ask one question that stops most in their tracks. “What are you wanting to filter out of your water?”

Let’s break this down a little: There are an overabundance of devices, fixtures & apparatus that claim to “filter,” alter or condition the native state of your water.  However, there are also many different “medias” (aka filters) that filter a wide range of particulates, chemicals & bacteria etc. (see images below).

There are “whole-house” filters, “point of use” filters and many other types of filters.  All of the aforementioned filters have varying “housing” units to which the filters attach.  Most filters or other media are proprietary to the manufacturer of the filter “housing,” so you must consider the cost & moreover the availability of these filters in the long-run.  I’ve done many service calls to remove & abandon filtration systems due to the fact that replacement filters are discontinued, unavailable or too expensive!

Water Filters 1

Let’s get back to the original question, what do you hope to remove from your water by filtering it in the first place?  I would respectfully point out that most clients don’t have a solid answer.  Start by gaining the knowledge of what your water source contains that is undesirable or that you may be sensitive to, then seek to find the filter that’s right for you.  Do you want “it” removed entirely from all the water entering your home – or perhaps just “one glass at a time” at the sink?

Contact your water service provider for the most recent water quality report or have your water tested by an independent facility.  The latter of the two can carry a cost.  Have you ever heard the saying “everything is enjoyed by comparison?”  It just so happens that most of Portland and the surrounding Tri-County area gets our water source from the Bull Mountain watershed (see link below).

http://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/29784

This is pretty good stuff already compared to some other areas in our great country! Personally, I don’t blink an eye to a tall glass of local bull mountain watershed water for a drink for myself or my family. Please note that this is my opinion only, we would prefer that you educate yourself as to what any water source contains that may adversely affect you.

We don’t have a recommendation for any one filtration system or presume to know what is best for you and yours.  So we do recommend that if you still want a filtration system of any kind – ask yourself first – what is it you’re wanting to accomplish?  Then, are you prepared to invest in maintaining it? Do some digging around and you’ll quickly find many companies claiming to have the very next best thing in the filter department – but you can decide on that for yourself.

You might be inclined to get an all around multi-purpose filter, only to find that levels of what you’re trying to remove are hardly present. If there were only one or two things you want removed or filtered from your water – get filters that do just that!

Let’s not try fixing what isn’t broken.

Ti Sutherland, Master Plumber – Sutherland Plumbing, LLC (CCB#200460)

Water Filters 3

2019 Portland Water Quality Report!

You drink it, bathe in it, wash your clothes with it and cook with it!

Ever wonder about the quality of our local Portland Water Supply?

Well, just click on this link and you can view Portland’s 2019 Water Quality Report:

portlandoregon.gov/water/article/532211

PDX water system

Even if your home or business isn’t in “The City of Portland,” chances are you may be using “Portland’s” water system to clean, cook & bathe. Click on the link above to get important information about the quality of our local water supply!

 

Increased Water Usage Notice – Now What?

See the picture below. If you came home to find a notice like this on your door you’ve got questions and understandably some concerns.

Water Usage Notice

If you receive one of these notices at your home and are not sure why – Call (503) 719-4015 and schedule an appointment with the experts at Sutherland Plumbing, LLC.

Relax, this is routine and quite simply the water company attempting to notify you that compared to your average usage, it’s gone up exponentially. Although there are many reasons that can factor into this, we’ll share with you here the top three reasons that most likely exist (Based on 20+ years of field experience). 

1) Your main underground water service pipe leading from the water meter to the home has sprung a leak and is leaking into the earth. Your options are to repair or replace. There are pros & cons to both options and the solution will vary depending on your budget & expectations. Generally speaking: repairs can end up as expensive temporary band aids while a proper replacement will ensure decades of trouble-free service. Contributing factors include, but are not limited to: the age & material of the existing pipe and the location & depth of the leak. 

2) The irrigation (sprinkler) system is leaking. If connected properly, your sprinkler system “T’s” into or off of your main underground water service pipe. The sprinkler system then runs through an approved back-flow preventer and then goes off to serve the various zones or sprinkler heads. 

3) A malfunctioning or “running” toilet is draining excessive amounts of water down the main sewer drain. Second to this is a faucet that is continuously dripping or leaking. This cause of excessive water usage is the least likely prompting a notice of increased water usage. (Again, this based on our experience.)  It’s our contention that if a faucet was dripping and/or a toilet was running enough to prompt the notice – you’d probably know about it! Generally when a faucet or toilet is broken to that extent, people are aware & set-out to get it fixed before a whole billing cycle comes and goes!

You have options and choices either way. Dozens of times we have visited a homeowner expecting to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars only to find that simply turning off the sprinkler system will stop the leak and buy some time to get control of the situation rather than the situation being in control of you!

If you receive one of these notices at your home and are not sure why, Call (503) 719-4015 and schedule an appointment with the experts at Sutherland Plumbing, LLC.

How to Locate & Read Your Water Meter!

You will gain giant leaps ahead of the average homeowner in preparedness to avoid or deal with plumbing emergencies by simply familiarizing yourself and understanding the information contained in the following link.

Click below to view a publication distributed by the Portland Water Bureau:

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/article/278747

This is a photo of the actual water meter. In most homes the meter is usually located in the ground near the curb. You should see a metal top marked "Water Meter." If in doubt - call a licensed, qualified plumber to come take a look.

This is a photo of the actual water meter. In most homes the meter is usually located in the ground near the curb. You should see a metal top marked “Water Meter.” If in doubt – call a licensed, qualified plumber to come & take a look.

 

This is a close-up photo of the Water Meter Register. If you have any questions about how to read the register – call Sutherland Plumbing at (503) 719-4015.