City Action

Grants Pass Water is in Compliance With All Current Drinking Water Rules

The Grants Pass Public Works Department wants to assure its users that it is in compliance with all federal, state and local regulations in regards to drinking water quality. We encourage our consumers to visit the State of Oregon Drinking Water website and review our data through the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS). The SDWIS System will show consumers what Grants Pass has tested for in the past, what the results were for specific chemicals, and any violations we have received.

As an example, the following link will take you to the page for Single Analyte Results. By selecting "Chromium (1020)" from the drop down box you will see all of the total chromium results for the city since August of 1986. We are pleased to say that at the level that we have historically been required to test for total chromium present in a sample is at levels far less than what is allowed by current regulations.

Water Supply Testing

With support of the City Council, water division staff initiated a testing regimen in accordance with EPA recommendations to determine if chromium-6 was present in the water supply. Initial samples were taken on February 1, 2011, and results were received a week later showing that there were trace amounts of chromium-6 in both the Rogue River and the Grants Pass drinking water. Results ranged between 0.075 and 0.230 micrograms per liter (µg/L) or parts per billion (ppb). A press release was issued by Public Works Administration to inform our customers of the results. Additional tests have shown that the levels of chromium-6 range between 0.075 and 1.1 ppb.

The City is currently required to test annually for total chromium. Water distributed to our customers may not exceed 100 µg/L or ppb. Samples were taken on January 26, 2011 and tested for low levels of total chromium with result reported between 0.193 and 0.841 µg/L or ppb.

The data is summarized in a table on the data page, and will be updated as new test data is received.

Monthly Sampling

Based on positive test data obtained in this initial round of testing, the city has elected to institute a monthly sampling protocol for both total chromium and chromium-6 in for the next 12-month period. This is to allow Public Works staff to get a better sense of the extent of chromium levels in both the source and treated water. During this period staff will also examine how seasonal variations affect chromium-6 concentrations, whether it is converting from chromium-3 to chromium-6 in the distribution system and will also explore treatment options should it become necessary to remove chromium-6 from the water if the levels found in the city's water are determined to pose a hazard by the EPA and the scientific community.