Medford Water Commission tests water, finds no evidence of ‘mystery thing’

MEDFORD, Ore.– A mysterious “thing” believed to have come from a Medford woman’s faucet still remains unidentified. On Tuesday, the Medford Water Commission tested the woman’s water system to see what it could find. Everything came back normal.

Since the original story ran, plenty of people had ideas on what this “thing” might be. An alien. A fungus. A creature of science fiction. Plenty of ideas have been thrown into the pot. But after the Medford Water Commission ran its tests, it believes whatever it is, it’s unlikely it came from the water system.

A post on Facebook this week drew numerous questions and ideas about what exactly this thing is. A Medford woman claims the mysterious looking thing came from her bathtub faucet – drawing concern from the MWC. It’s sampled the surrounding neighborhood as a precaution.

“We have a number of hydrants and sample stations where we can pull water quality from and there’s really nothing unusual or out of the ordinary that we’ve been able to see,” said Ben Klayman, director of water quality for the MWC.

The commission says it runs about 1,000 analyses a month throughout the system. As a precaution, it tested the woman’s home on Table Rock Road Tuesday. It found no signs of any irregularities and the chlorine levels in the water met standards.

“Right at our system average,” said Klayman. “Which implies to us that what was found can’t grow or really have come from the water system itself.”

Before the commission’s bi-weekly meeting on Wednesday, Klayman said the woman’s meter also had a functional screen for filtration. This leads the MWC to believe the thing came from something else. While he didn’t want to speculate where it might have come from, Klayman says past experiences show where things can grow.

“Standing moisture is always where fungus and mold can grow,” he said. “So from past experiences sometimes things can grow from the faucet or in the tub itself.”

The “thing” was taken to the Oregon State University Research and Extension Center in Central Point. The scientists there couldn’t identify it but ruled it out as being some type of creature. They believe it might be a mushroom or a type of seed pod but didn’t have a mycologist on staff to properly identify it.

But while the commission hasn’t seen the thing itself, it’s not concerned at all about the water’s safety.

“It’s very unlikely that this did come from the water system and our water quality is a top priority and appears to be normal right now,” said Klayman.

The commission says it should receive the specimen on Wednesday. Klayman says they’re waiting to receive it and then decide if they may test it.

While no one has been able to identify it, the OSU Research and Extension Center said it could be sent to OSU in Corvallis where it can be dissected and studied further.

The woman who discovered the item declined interview requests Tuesday and is no longer responding to NBC5’s interview requests.

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