Filtration systems improve taste, clarity of OSU water

Because of the age of many of Oregon State University’s buildings, some have older plumbing, and as a result, produce tap water that has a metallic taste and sometimes, a rusty appearance. While OSU’s water has been tested for harmful contaminants, the taste and appearance can sometimes be off-putting for users, which is why OSU Facilities Services can be called in to install filtration systems that keep the water sparkling, soft and tasty.

Stan Ley, OSU Facilities plumber, is passionate about improving the taste, quality and safety of drinking water on campus.

“Corvallis city water is good water,” Ley said. “It’s as clean as any standard municipality in the US. But as the water goes through older buildings it picks up rust, sediment, you name it.”

While many buildings are rescheduled for re-piping, filters can be a good stop-gap measure to keep water clean and drinkable.


The systems used to filter the water include two filters, a cotton pre-filter that stops particles down to one micron in size, and a solid carbon filter that gets down to a half micron in filtration, often used for scientific or medical purposes to purify water.

“It reduces heavy metals, bad taste, some bacteria,” he said. “It cleans it out much cleaner than it comes out of the pipes.”

The filters, which can be changed out every eight to 12 months, cost $7 for the pre-filter and $23 for the carbon filter.

“That’s very reasonable considering a lot of folks are buying five-gallon water coolers, and then you’ve got a machine you’ve got to rinse,” Ley said.

When water is run through the filters, it’s sweet, Ley said.

“This water is as clean as any bottled water you’d buy anywhere,” he said.

To request a filtration system installation, contact Facilities Services at 541-737-2969.

~ Theresa Hogue

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