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EWEB Water Filtration Plant is Ready for the Rain

September 17, 2020

Hayden Bridge Water Filtration Plant

With rain in the forecast, we wanted to update our customers about the capabilities of our Hayden Bridge Filtration plant when it comes to treating water from the McKenzie River amid the impacts of the Holiday Farm Fire.

Depending on the amount of rain, we can expect higher levels of turbidity (suspended particles including soil) and an increase in organic material coming from the burned and eroded landscape around and above the river.  

The rain forecast for Sept. 17-19 along with the expected turbidity, stormwater runoff and organic carbon impacts, is well within the filtration plant's capability and capacity to handle.  

The organic material is made up of ash and particles from burned vegetation and soil. Some portion of the organic material also dissolves into the river water and is called dissolved organic carbon. Our Hayden Bridge Filtration Plant treats and filters organic material, including dissolved organic carbon, using the powdered active carbon (PAC) and rapid sand filtration systems.  

The PAC system works by adsorbing (attracting like a magnet) these organic material compounds to the carbon molecules. Once adsorbed to the PAC, the compounds are removed by the filtration process. Due to the increased organic material in the river, staff are having to wash and clean the filters more often in order to continue producing high quality drinking water.  

We have two different types of instruments in the watershed and at the Hayden Bridge intake to monitor dissolved carbon levels in real time. This provides an early warning system to allow operators to prepare for and adjust treatment strategies prior to the river water entering the filtration plant.  

In addition to using more PAC and cleaning the filters more often, staff are also adjusting the overall treatment process on an ongoing basis. We continue to monitor both the source water and treated drinking water to ensure its safety. Public health is our top priority as we strive to meet the expectations for reliable service to our community's homes and businesses.

Learn more about drinking water quality.