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We monitor the McKenzie Watershed for cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) throughout the spring and summer to make sure your drinking water is safe. When we spot a bloom in Cougar Reservoir or Blue River Reservoir, we immediately begin sampling for cyanotoxins.
Cyanobacteria are found naturally in lakes and reservoirs. Some species of cyanobacteria create toxins (cyanotoxins). For many years, we have been monitoring Blue River Reservoir and Cougar Reservoir for cyanoHABs 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 River at Hayden Bridge, where our treatment plant water intake is located.
If toxins are detected we increase our monitoring and sampling protocols, which includes testing treated drinking water. Treatment plant staff can then monitor the situation and react with appropriate treatment changes to mitigate the impact of cyantoxins on our 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 from May through October 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 monitor for cyanotoxins at 10 locations in the upper and lower McKenzie River Valley.View Map
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 cyanobacterial 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 questions about cyanobacterial algal blooms and cyanotoxins.FAQs