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Jun-14-2019 19:41printcomments

Salem's Blue-Green Algae Fears Put to Rest by City

After last summer's outbreak of blue-green algae, Salemites are worried.

Geren Island water treatment
City of Salem Public Works operates and maintains the Geren Island water treatment facility on the North Santiam River. For the most up-to-date water quality information, go to

(SALEM, Ore.) - "Earlier this afternoon, some social media sites were falsely stating the City of Salem has drinking water test results it is not releasing that shows cyanotoxins in the drinking water and that the water is unsafe.

"This is false," said a news release from the City of Salem.

"Small amounts of cyanotoxins (at levels below OHA health advisories) have been detected at the entry point into the Geren Island Water Treatment Plant. The treatment systems are working and the water leaving the water treatment facility is clean and safe to drink."

Cyanotoxins are toxins produced by bacteria called cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae). Cyanobacteria are found almost everywhere, but particularly in lakes and in the ocean where, under high concentration of phosphorus conditions, they reproduce exponentially to form blooms.

The North Santiam River watershed provides Salem’s drinking water. A watershed is the area of land within which all the rainfall and snowmelt reach a common body of water​—a stream, river, lake, wetland, or aquifer.

The City of Salem is testing seven days a week and will continue to post results as quickly as possible (within 24-hours) on their webpage.

For more about treatment in place to protect drinking water go to:


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