Central Oregon Daily▶️ Milky water in La Pine blamed on ‘abundance’ of air

▶️ Milky water in La Pine blamed on ‘abundance’ of air

▶️ Milky water in La Pine blamed on ‘abundance’ of air

Water faucet

The City of La Pine is informing water customers that if their water appears milky lately, it’s due to air in the city’s mainlines.

When I was filling up a glass of water, I noticed it was bubbly, a little cloudy. It didn’t taste off, but it looked a lot different,” La Pine resident Gayle Smith said.

In a release sent out Monday morning, the city said two 16-inch mainlines were tied into the existing water system last week, which resulted in an “abundance” of air in the system.

In addition to the water appearing milky, the city says there have been reports on Facebook that the water tastes different. The city says this is also due to the air in the system.

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Through the construction process, air gets into the line,” La Pine City Manager Geoff Wullschlager said. “Four miles of 16-inch pipe is a lot of ground to cover and offers a lot of opportunities for air to be introduced into the line. What people are experiencing is just oxygenated water. There’s no additional chemicals or any other substances that have been introduced into the system.”

The city says it tests the water twice a month and that there has been no positive tests for bacteria since May 2021. It also says the new lines were tested for bacteria multiple times before being connected and during the construction process.

City utility workers are flushing hydrants at high spots in the system to try pulling air out of the lines faster, the city says. That effort will continue for another couple of days.

The city says instances of air may appear in the water for another 7-10 days.

The public can view the test results for themselves by reaching out to Assistant City Manager Ashley Ivans at aivans@lapineoregon.gov or Wullschlager at gwullschlager@lapineoregon.gov. 

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