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Taps run dry in Mapleton

Karen Richards
The lack of water caused the Mapleton School District to temporarily close. File photo.

People in the western Lane County community of Mapleton will have to do without tap water for the next couple of days.

A filter that treats the town’s drinking water failed, and the Mapleton Water District said it doesn’t have a way to bypass the broken filter to supply even non-potable water.

District chair Millie Rochon said donated bottled water is arriving by the truckload and will be distributed to local residents.

“I’ve even requested paper plates and plasticware because people won’t be able to do their dishes,” she said.

Rochon said a new filter should be installed on Thursday. But until then, "it’s truly a miserable situation. And as a community, this is going to be a burden.”

The lack of water caused the Mapleton School District to suspend all classes and sports practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. A decision about Thursday has not yet been announced. [UPDATE: The Mapleton School District now says that all classes and sports practices are canceled on Thursday, Nov. 18.]

Even after service is restored, people in Mapleton should boil their drinking water for about a week. A new, permanent water filtration plant is scheduled to be online by next July.

Rochon said bottled water will be available at the Mapleton Lions Club, located at 88158 Riverview Ave. Customers who can’t pick up water should call 541-268-4348.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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