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  • Stayton was awarded the Best Tasting Surface Water in Oregon for third year in a row at the Oregon Assoc. Water Utilities Annual conference in March 2019.

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.


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 meter and the meter box for all residential and businesses. The customer is responsible for everything on the backside of the water meter.


Business hours for customer help in turning off a meter is Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.  Emergency help to turn off meter outside of business hours call 503-769-3421.  A fee may be charged to after hour calls and for non- emergency call outs. 


How do I shut off my meter? 

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. Some meters have the valve, some don’t. It is up to the customer to install the valve if they do have the valve on the backside side of the meter. The city will provide the valve, on request, at no charge to the customer, but it is up to the customer to install the valve at their expense.  


How do I read my meter?

Inside the meter box is a meter with a row of numbers. A customer is billed for every 1000 gallons used.  Starting on the left side of the numbers, read the first 4 digits, that is the current reading and what we would use for billing. These numbers can help you see if you have a leak from the meter to your home, unfortunately it will not tell you where.

With none of the 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 someplace. Generally a running toilet, a dripping faucet or an irrigation valve are the most common.

Private companies do provide a service to locate your leaks.


How much water do I use?  

On your bill is a chart showing how much water was used this month, along with the previous year.

You should be able to tell if you may have a leak if it continues to be higher than normal on the units used.


What is the pink water in the toilet or pet dish?

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 and 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.


What do I do if I have some dirty water?

We do our best to provide clean drinking water, but every once in a while, dirty water does appear. Dirty water appears after doing some plumbing at your home or work on the city mains and services. It is best to run an outside faucet or a water in the tub for about five minutes until the dirty water goes away. Remove screen from the faucet if the other options are not available.


What do I do if I have air in the water? 

Air in the water does happen from time to time.  Similar to dirty water, use an outside faucet or remove a screen from the faucet, start the water flow out slow and as air is replaced with water increase the flow.


Dirty water may accompany this process, continue flowing until water is clear and no air is in the line.


Water taste is different.    

Each one of us taste water a little different. Well water, springs, and surface water all have their unique taste. Treatment of the water also plays a part in that.  We use slow sand filter 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.

We check our water regularly to make sure it meets the States drinking water standards.

Call Public Works at 503-769-2919 for us to check the water if you have further concerns.


Water Master Plan


In 2006 the Water Master Plan was produced and adapted by the City. It can be found on the Planning and Development page.

Contact Us


Michael Bradley

Water Treatment Plant

Chief Operator



Hours of Operations

Monday - Friday

8 a.m. - 5 p.m.



Public Works Administrative Office

311 N. Third Avenue

Stayton, Oregon 97383


Telephone Number






Quick Links


Oregon Health Authority - Drinking Water Page

High Water Consumption? You May Have A Leak...

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Slow Sand Filtration

Stayton’s water treatment process uses slow sand filtration. Slow sand filtration 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. Stayton’s water treatment plant is located off of First Avenue. Water from the North Santiam River is processed through large sand filters located at the water treatment plant. The slow sand filter water treatment plant was built in the early 1970’s and had some improvements made in 2009. It is staffed with a qualified operator that has been with the city for over 25 years.

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