City Increases Water Quality Testing as 2020 Algae Season Progresses

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem continues to monitor water quality conditions in Detroit Reservoir and the North Santiam Watershed. Salem's drinking water remains safe to drink.  As blue-green algae begin to bloom in Detroit Reservoir, City staff have increased water quality testing to ensure the continued safety of our residents and business customers. Water quality test data is now collected five days a week from North Santiam River water as it enters the Geren Island Treatment Facility (Intake). Water quality testing at Aldersgate (after treatment) continues once a week.  This water quality data is available on the City of Salem website.

Algal blooms can produce cyanotoxins that pose health risks at certain levels.  New drinking water rules were developed by the Oregon Health Authority in 2018 to address cyanotoxins. The City has been preparing for high algae levels in the watershed and are ready to respond with additional drinking water treatment, including powdered activated carbon, if needed.   The treatment was successfully used last summer to keep Salem's drinking water safe.

The City's long-term solution for removing cyanotoxins and ensuring safe drinking water is to add ozone as an additional treatment step. Ozone is one of the strongest disinfectants used to treat drinking water. Construction of the new ozone treatment system is underway and scheduled to be completed in spring 2021.

For those of your interested in recreating at Detroit Lake, its open. Before you go, please check in with Oregon State Parks here.

Community members who have questions can contact the City of Salem at
[email protected]  or 503-588-6311.

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