LAKEVIEW, Ore. – Members of a small Southern Oregon community are raising concerns about their town’s water quality.
The Town of Lakeview said that their community has had water issues for decades.
It said that it’s due to its extremely outdated pipe system.
The town said that some members of the community don’t want to bathe in the water because of how discolored it is.
Lakeview said that the discoloration is due to iron and manganese levels in the water, but according to federal regulations, the water is still safe to drink.
According to the town’s 2022 “Drinking Water Report,” the lead levels in the water fall under the federal limit, but the Environmental Protection Agency states that no level of lead is safe.
“Aesthetically it needs work, it does, I’m not saying it doesn’t,” Lakeview Water Treatment Director Sean Petitmermet said. “But when you come in and look at the results from the labs, from OHA, what’s required, how it’s required, we’re falling under those guidelines which we should be.”
Town Manager Michele Parry said that Lakeview is not the only rural city with this problem.
She referenced Burns and John Day as having similar issues.
The town received a $15 million state grant in 2021 that is going toward infrastructure improvements.
As part of its strategic plan, Lakeview is currently engineering a new filtration system to filter out the iron and manganese.
It hopes to begin construction at the end of 2024 or early 2025.
Lakeview is asking for more state dollars for the next step, addressing the delivery system.
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