Salem’s Drinking Water Remains Safe Following Weekend Gas Spill on North Santiam

The City of Salem opened its drinking water intake at the Geren Island Water Treatment Facility on Wednesday morning. The latest water quality sampling results confirm no detection of gasoline in the North Santiam River below Detroit Dam. The City of Salem will continue to coordinate with the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Environmental Quality, and the Oregon Health Authority to monitor water quality and provide updates. ​

December 18, 2017

Around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 16, the City of Salem switched to backup groundwater and reservoirs for drinking water following a large gasoline spill into the North Santiam River on December 15 at around 11 p.m. Water in Salem remains safe to drink, thanks to these backup systems. The spill occurred several miles upstream from the City’s water intake at the Geren Island Water Treatment Facility on the North Santiam River.

The intake gates at Geren Island remain closed today as staff continue to coordinate with the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Health Authority, and other agencies to assess continued potential safety concerns. 

The backup water sources were built to satisfy the City’s water needs during these kinds of situations and are meeting demand. The City can tap into additional water stored within other aquifer storage reservoirs if the need arises. Backup water sources will continue to be used until all safety concerns are lifted. 

Additional information about the City of Salem’s Drinking Water Supply can be found on the City website at the following location:   https://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/salem-water-source.aspx. ​

The City will continue to post updated information as it becomes available.  ​​

Contact us

Heather DimkeManagement Analyst IIPublic Works Department
555 Liberty ST SE,
Room 325
Salem, OR 97301