Salem Water Treatment Upgrades Working, Long-Term Improvements Coming

Posted on July 7, 2019

Salem’s water is clean and safe to drink thanks to water protection measures put in place at the City’s water treatment facility over the past year. Test data shows that these measures are removing cyanotoxins from the raw, untreated North Santiam river water.

“We’ve made a lot of upgrades to protect Salem’s drinking water and the upgrades are working,” says Peter Fernandez, City of Salem Public Works Director. “Safe drinking water for Salem residents and businesses is our priority. Like every holiday, we’ll be working over the 4th of July weekend to ensure clean drinking water for Salem’s homes and businesses.”

Since last year, the City of Salem has developed multiple ways to protect against cyanotoxins. Examples include vigorous testing to provide early warning and upgrades to treatment procedures. If a drinking water emergency happens, the City will inform the public through its Community Alert System, notice to the media, the City’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and on a webpage dedicated to drinking water information.

Design is also under way for an ozone generation system at the water treatment facility that will protect Salem’s drinking water long-term. Once construction is complete in 2021, the new system will offer additional benefits:

• Protects against bacteria and pathogens, including cyanotoxin, and is able to handle future changes in source water conditions.
• Produces water that is pleasant tasting, year-round.
• Reduces the amount of chlorine needed for disinfection.
• Complements existing Geren Island Water Treatment Facility biological filtration process.

Ozone installations are increasing in Oregon and across the U.S. due to its ability to provide multiple water quality benefits. For more information about the City of Salem’s drinking water and how it keeps Salem’s water clean and safe, please visit

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