Water Source

The City of Port Orford presently obtains its water from Hubbard Creek, a perennial stream located just east of the City’s boundary. The City has water rights and a dam permit to impound up to 4.45 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water from the creek. We also hold additional water rights from Gold Run Creek and Garrison Lake as backup water sources.

Photo courtesy of Randy Scholten

Water Treatment

The water is piped to town where it is treated by filtration and disinfected before being delivered to City residents. The treatment plant was constructed in 1978, upgraded in 1996 and again in 2001, and provides chemical coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation filtration and disinfection treatment of the water. It has a capacity of treating 0.8 million gallons per day (mgd), which is adequate for the present usage of the City.

However, the system is old, and has a continuing loss of treated water in its distribution system. We are working hard to reduce losses in the distribution system and improve its efficiency. This will involve replacing 90% of the piping and associated equipment.

We are in the process of assessing the most effective and cost-efficient ways to modernize our water infrastructure.

How Safe Is Our Water?

To guarantee water quality, stringent tests are regularly performed on the city’s treated drinking water to ensure compliance with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state drinking water health standards.

Annual “Consumer Confidence Reports” explains the testing the City does to ensure that the drinking water it supplies meets federal regulations.

Download the current Drinking Water Quality Report

Water Rates

Water meters are read and billed every month and customers are billed for both water and sewer on the same bill.

2019 – 2020 Rates:

Base rate for water will be: $30.12 which includes first 2000 gallons
Reserve Base Rate is: $3.00
Consumption rate will be billed at: 
First 0 – 2,000 gallons included in base rate
2,001 – 5,000 gallons billed at $8.10 per thousand gallons
5,001 – 10,000 gallons billed at $10.16 per thousand gallons
10,001 – 20,000 gallons billed at $11.20 per thousand gallons
Anything over 20,000 gallons billed at $12.23 per thousand gallons
Consumption rate for Reserve Water Usage is $1.00 per thousand used 

Base rate for sewer is: $42.60
Reserve Base Rate is: $2.50
Consumption is based on water used and is billed at $7.28 per thousand gallons
Consumption rate for Reserve Water Usage is $.50 per thousand gallons

Hook up fees:

Residential SDC fees for water are $8919.00, sewer SDC fees are $4962.00 and are charged at the same time as water. In addition, there are hook-up fees designed to cover the actual cost of making the connections to the system: $1338.00 for water and $772.00 for sewer. These SDC and hookup fees are based on a ¾ inch water meter size.

Waste Water Treatment

The wastewater system consists of sewage collection pipelines, a treatment plant, and a treated effluent ocean outfall.

The sewage treatment plant is an extended aeration treatment system located in the southwesterly corner of the city. Sewage is collected and transported to the plant through a system of gravity flow and pressure lines. Originally, the treatment plant discharged into Garrison Lake and later to an effluent drainfield located in the dunes lying between the lake and ocean. The drainfield was destroyed by coastal erosion in 1998 and was subsequently replaced by a 2,250-foot ocean outfall located offshore from the outlet to Garrison Lake. The sewage treatment plant was also upgraded along with the construction of the outfall to include ultraviolet disinfection equipment, a new clarifier, and new pumping equipment and control systems.

In addition, the City has continued to make improvements to the collection piping to remove infiltration and inflow of storm water and thus reduce peak flows through the treatment plant.

At present, the wastewater collection and treatment system is adequate to handle the city’s needs, though some of the lift stations require upgrading soon.

Sewer Rates

Sewer usage is charged based on metered water usage. Water meters are read every month and customers are billed for both water and sewer on the same bill.

Click for Water Conservation Tips

Water Conservation Tips

Everyone is encouraged to use water wisely. Water conservation can save on water and sewer fees, and when you use less hot water, your fuel bills are lower as well.

One hint: Shower rather than bathe.

Water Cycle

When sun shines on surface water the water evaporates to form clouds. Rain falling from those clouds travels through what is called the water cycle.

Outside Hoses and Faucets

Hoses and outside faucets are often left running. Common garden hoses (2″ or 5/8″ inch diameter at full flow) can use up to 630 – 1,020 gallons per hour; larger hoses use more. The amount of your water bill, may increase substantially due to extended outside water usage or water loss.

And, it’s important to prevent someone from using your water without your permission. When leaving your home for an extended period, turn off your outside faucet from the inside valve to protect against water loss.

In The Garden

Use plants, both native and from around the world, that do not need extra summer watering. Leave established plants that are often adapted to low water conditions.

Mulch beds to keep in moisture and help prevent weeds. Add compost to your soil to improve its water holding capacity.

Porous paving materials such as brick or gravel help keep water in the garden.

Use drip irrigation to apply water slowly, reducing run-off and promote deep rooting. Automatic timing devices allow efficient watering.

Water in the cool parts of the day to cut down on evaporation. Don’t overwater — water only when the soil is dry.

Water trees and shrubs which have deep root systems longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants which require smaller amounts of water or more often.

Raise your lawnmower cutting height. Longer grass blades shade each other and cut down on evaporation.

Click to learn about Water Leaks – How to Find and Fix Them

Water Leaks – How to Find Them and How to Fix Them

Unseen or unfixed, they can drip hundreds and thousands of gallons of water down the drain. A little detective work twice a year can catch these water thieves and put them out of circulation.

Read Your Meter:

Your water meter is located outside near your property line, in a concrete box with a cover. Lift up the cover – you may need to clean out dirt inside the box. Be sure that none of the water fixtures in your home are in use and look at the meter. If the dial is moving at all, water is running in your home. If that’s the case, turn off your toilets one at a time and check the meter after each turn-off. If a toilet is leaking, this process will allow you to pinpoint the source. If the dial continues to move even after all the toilets are off, you should double check your faucets and hose bibs. Take a reading before retiring at night. Do not use any water during the night. Read your meter again in the morning. If the readings match, there is no leak.

Water Bill

Always review your water bill carefully. Large amounts of usage may indicate a leak. If excess usage is extreme, the city will contact you to check for a leak…though we seriously suggest residents pay attention to their bills. If one looks unreasonable, call us. We’re hapy to check things out at no charge.


Worn washers in household faucets and showerheads should be checked periodically. Faucet leaks are usually caused by worn washers or “O” rings, for washerless faucets.

Repairing faucet leaks is easy. All you have to do is turn off the water supply line to that faucet, replace the washer and turn on the line again. Any good do-it-yourself book will offer advice on this simple task. If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, have the work done by someone who knows how to do the job.

Pinhole Leaks in Copper Pipes

Historically, copper has been one of the more commonly installed piping materials for water service in homes, however, pinhole leaks in copper can occur anywhere.

Manufacturing, type of piping (thickness), installation, bacteria, temperature, electrical currents, interior surface condition of pipes, velocity of water, changes in water direction (elbows, tees), the water supply system, and corrosiveness of the water…all can help create pinholes. The city is adding corrosion control at the water treatment plant to prevent interaction of the interior surface of the pipes with our water.


The biggest single cause of high water bills is a leaking toilet: Research shows that a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day, which could translate into $75.48 per billing cycle on your water and wastewater bill.

Here’s how to see if yours is leaking:

1. Put a dye tablet or several drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Wait 15 minutes (do not flush the toilet during this time). If colored water appears in the toilet bowl, there is a leak from the tank into the bowl.

 Check the flush valve ball. It may be worn and need replacement.

 If the flush valve ball isn’t worn, check to see if it fits into the flush valve
snugly. The valve may need cleaning. Then, if the ball still won’t seat
properly, straighten the guidewire and make sure it’s not catching on

2. Sprinkle a small amount of talcum powder on top of the water in the tank. If this powder moves toward the overflow tube you probably have an overflow leak.

• Gently bend the float arm down to shut off the valve before water spills
into the tube, or replace the float valve.

 If your toilet won’t shut off, or whistles or whines after adjusting the
float ball, you may need a new ballcock assembly.

Emergency Water Leak