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MailTribune.com
  • Medford water travels from Big Butte Springs down to Rogue River

  • Where does our water in Medford come from and where does it go after it goes down the drain?
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  • Where does our water in Medford come from and where does it go after it goes down the drain?
    — Laurie H., Medford
    Great question, Laurie. It's always a good idea to have an understanding of where your water comes from and what happens to it when you're done with it.
    To start off, the Medford Water Commission, the city's water provider, sources its water from Big Butte Springs, which are located about 30 miles northeast of Medford near the base of Mount McLoughlin. The springs are fed by snowmelt off the mountain and provide 26.4 million gallons of water per day. The water requires only minimal disinfection to meet water quality standards.
    As for where it goes, that would be Medford's Regional Water Reclamation Facility, located at 1100 Kirtland Road, Central Point.
    The city's website — www.ci.medford.or.us — offers a brochure that runs through the entire wastewater treatment process.
    After going through various filters and disinfection steps, the treated water goes to the Rogue River, while all of the gunk and disgusting bits make their way to the landfill.
    An interesting fact about that gunk: Methane produced during the process helps to fuel the engine that runs the operation, and the remaining sludge helps the decomposition of landfill garbage.
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com.
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