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Water is safe, but might taste different after treatment plant problem

Don't be alarmed if your water tastes funny. 

At about 1 p.m. today, a power surge at Medford's Robert A. Duff Water Treatment Plant knocked out the facility's ability to apply ozonation to the drinking water supply, said Laura Hodnett, spokeswoman for the Medford Water Commission. 

The water is still being treated with chlorine and other bacteria-killing chemicals and is safe to drink, but it may have a different taste, she said. 

Slightly more chlorine than normal is being used to treat the water, she said.

"It may not be terribly noticeable ... we don't even know if it will be different," Hodnett said.

She said attempting to turn on the ozonation treatment puts the entire plant at risk of losing power and workers don't plan to attempt turning it back on until late Wednesday morning. 

Electricians familiar with the plant have been working to remedy the situation, she said.

"The most important thing is to have water, and water that is safe to drink," Hodnett said. " We're not going to do anything that could trip it again until late in the morning."

Customers in Medford, White City, Central Point, Eagle Point, Jacksonville, Phoenix and Talent will be affected, according to a press release from the commission.  

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or swheeler@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr