SUB sign with MO in background

Water Quality FAQ

Is my tap water safe to drink?

Yes! Springfield Utility Board's (SUB’s) Water Division routinely samples and analyzes water quality from the source, through our treatment process, and throughout our distribution system to ensure a water service that meets or exceeds all drinking water standards established by state and federal regulations.

My family has been sick. How can I be sure my water is not the cause?

With increased public awareness on issues related to health and infectious diseases, the SUB Water Division is occasionally asked whether SUB’s tap water could be the cause of illness. This is highly unlikely, since SUB provides water that is treated to high-quality standards, maintains adequate chlorine residual throughout the distribution system, and uses utmost care in maintaining its distribution system.

How can I get my water tested?

Private laboratories can test your tap water for a fee. Not all labs are accredited to test for all contaminants. For information about accredited labs, call the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program at (503) 693-4122.

Is it safe to drink water from a garden hose?

Substances used in vinyl garden hoses to keep them flexible can get into the water as it passes through the hose. These substances are not good for you or your pets. There are hoses made with “food-grade” plastics that will not contaminate the water, although microbial contaminants may accumulate after a hose sits unused.

Is bottled water better than my tap water?

SUB’s water meets very stringent state and federal water quality standards. Not only do we test for chemicals that the federal and state government require – we test for much more. Standards for bottled water are far less stringent than the standards we meet. In studies done by independent organizations, some bottled water was not all that it had claimed to be. In fact, much of it comes from municipal water systems. Bottled water also creates a tremendous amount of plastic that must be dealt with. Then there is the issue of price. Bottled water can cost over 3000 times more than SUB’s tap water. We have them beat on quality, safety, and price!

What is the difference between hard and soft water?

Put quite simply, hard water has more minerals in it than soft water. Rainwater is naturally soft – it contains only small amounts of minerals. But as the water passes through rocks, such as chalk and limestone, minerals in the rocks are dissolved in the water, giving it its hard nature. Calcium carbonate is the mineral most commonly associated with water hardness. This is the same mineral found in many calcium supplements sold by your local drug or health food store. Hard water reduces the “sudsing” ability of soap and may cause spots on your dishes and glasses after washing and air-drying. Soft water is water that is low in calcium carbonate.

Calcium carbonate is an essential nutrient that is used by your body to fortify bones and teeth. It also helps your muscles to function properly. Water hardness is measured in milligrams per Liter or grains per gallon. The hardness of the SUB’s tap water is typically around 20 to 100 milligrams per Liter or 1 to 6 grains per gallon.