City of Salem Lifts Drinking Water Advisory, Water Safe For All

view of bubbles sumberged in water

​The City of Salem has lifted the drinking water advisory. This means the drinking water is safe for all populations. Salem's drinking water system has tested below EPA Health Advisory levels for 12 consecutive days. There is no need to flush water systems in your homes or businesses. If you choose to, you may find the Oregon Health Authority website helpful.  The water advisory was in effect for City of Salem, Turner, Orchard Heights Water Association, and Suburban East Salem Water District.

"The health and safety of our residents and drinking water customers remains our highest concern," said Salem City Manager Steve Powers.  

Several developments have given the City the confidence to lift the advisory today: 

  • On July 1, the State of Oregon implemented new rules for testing cyanotoxins in drinking water for 100 of Oregon's public drinking water providers.
  • The City has installed an in-house ELISA water testing system that allows the City to receive same-day water sample test results. The newly installed ELISA system is the water testing tool required by the new state rules.
  • The City is making progress in a new pre-treatment system at the Geren Island Water Treatment Facility. The system uses powdered activated carbon to remove cyanotoxins in drinking water and is being scaled up now. Before the City made the decision to treat all of Salem's drinking water with powdered activated carbon, they conducted a small pilot test and a 10 million gallon-per-day demonstration test.

To meet State rules, Salem will test water quality in two primary locations, the water intake at the Geren Island Water Treatment facility, and the point where treated water enters the distribution system, also known as Aldersgate. Thanks to the new in-house testing system, the City is now able to provide same day test results. Sampling will occur in the morning and results will be available in the late afternoon. Daily sampling will continue through Sunday, July 8. Assuming results through Sunday confirm the water is safe for all to drink, the City will test on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Mid-July. Water test results will continue to be published on their website.

Water distribution sites will operate through 7 p.m. tonight. Residents with questions regarding City water can contact Salem Public Works at 503-588-6311. Restaurants and other licensed facilities with technical questions may contact Marion County Environmental Health at 503-588-5346 during regular business hours. Additional information will continue to be distributed through the City's social media accounts and website.