Cyanobacterial Harmful Algae Blooms

Drinking water questions?

Call us at (541) 685-7861, or send us an email.

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.

Related Programs

More about safe drinking water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides additional information about drinking water.

Oregon Health Authority
Oregon drinking water services

Oregon drinking water services

Learn more about drinking water from the Oregon Health Authority.