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Cyanobacteria, formerly referred to as blue-green algae, are found naturally in lakes, rivers, ponds and other surface waters. When certain conditions exist, such as warm water containing an abundance of nutrients, they can rapidly form cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs). Some cyanoHABs are capable of producing toxins, called cyanotoxins, which can pose health risks to humans and animals through drinking water and recreational water exposure.
We are required by the Oregon Health Authoirty to monitor for cyanotoxins biweekly from May 1 to October 31 each year. In addition to the required sampling site, we also monitor several sites within the McKenzie Watershed. This comprehensive monitoring allows us to provide information about both recreational exposure in the reservoirs and river as well as potential drinking water exposure at the Hayden Bridge Water Filtration Plant.
The drinking water quality dashboard is updated every two weeks from May through October.
Upriver Detect: Cyanotoxins have been detected in the upper McKenzie River watershed. Cyanotoxins have not been detected at EWEB's water treatment plant intake. EWEB's water remains safe to drink.
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 are proactive in our efforts to maintain safe, clean drinking water for customers. In addition to OHA requirements, we collect samples from several locations within the McKenzie Watershed to provide early warning of when cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms are producing cyanotoxins. This monitoring allows us to share potential recreational exposure to these cyanotoxins in our reservoirs and rivers.
You can see the locations and results of this watershed sampling by clicking the watershed testing results button below. These results represent conditions at specific locations on the day and time of sampling. These results to do represent the entire waterbody and should be used for general purposes only. The data is subject to change as new information is received. The Oregon Health Authority recommends, "Don't go into water that looks foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green, or brownish red. A good rule of thumb for you and your pet is: When in Doubt, Stay Out!"Watershed testing results
HALs are the concentration of a cyanotoxin at which adverse health effects are not expected to occur if consuming water at this level for up to 10 days. HALs are different for recreational water uses and drinking water. The difference between the two reflects the amount of water children and adults incidentally ingest while swimming, water skiing, etc., and the amount of water ingested when drinking from the tap. Since much more water is ingested through drinking water, the health advisory levels for drinking water are much lower than for recreational use advisories. For information about how cyanotoxins can affect your pet click here.
|Health Advisory Levels for treated drinking water1|
|Vulnerable Populations2||0.7||0.3||Not Regulated|
|Health Advisory Levels for recreational water activities1|
1All values expressed in parts per billion (ppb or ug/L)
2Vulnerable populations means infants, children under the age of six, pregnant women, nursing mothers, those with pre-existing liver conditions, and those receiving dialysis treatment.
Check out some answers to the most frequently asked questions about cyanobacterial algal blooms and cyanotoxins.FAQs