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We monitor the McKenzie Watershed for blue-green algae blooms throughout the spring and summer to make sure your drinking water is safe. When we spot an algae bloom in Cougar Reservoir or Blue River Reservoir, we immediately begin sampling for cyanotoxins.
Blue-green algae are found naturally in lakes and reservoirs. Some species of algae create toxins (cyanotoxins). For many years, we have been monitoring Blue River Reservoir and Cougar Reservoir for algae blooms and toxins.
Both reservoirs flow into the upper McKenzie River. In addition to sampling for toxins at and below the reservoirs, we also test for toxins in the lower McKenzie at Hayden Bridge, where our treatment plant water intake is located.
If toxins are detected at the intake, we modify our treatment process to include adding powdered activated carbon to the pre-filtration process and adjust disinfection strategies to prevent potential toxins from entering the finished water. We also increase our monitoring and sampling protocols, which includes testing treated drinking water.
EWEB's drinking water meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements and health guidelines. This is the normal status for EWEB's drinking water throughout the year.
The Oregon Health Authority requires us to collect samples from the McKenzie River at the water intake every two weeks per its cyanotoxin monitoring rules for public water systems. Monitoring frequency and location requirements change depending on whether cyanotoxins are detected above health-based levels, and if detected in the treated water. EWEB is in compliance with these new rules and you can see the results of this required sampling by clicking the recent testing results button.
We are proactive in our efforts to maintain safe, clean drinking water for customers, and we go above and beyond what is required by OHA for cyanotoxin monitoring. In addition to OHA requirements, we collect samples from Blue River and Cougar Reservoirs, as well as the outfalls immediately downstream, every two weeks to provide early warning of when harmful algal blooms are producing cyanotoxins in these reservoirs. The frequency of sample collection intensifies as cyanotoxin levels increase in the reservoirs. It is important to EWEB to share all the information we have about the levels of cyanotoxins we are finding. You can see the results of this additional sampling by clicking the recent testing results button.Recent testing results
Check out some answers to the most frequently asked quesitons about algae blooms and cyanotoxins.FAQs