National Drought Mitigation Center

National Drought Mitigation Center
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Algae bloom affecting water supply of Salem, Oregon
6/7/2018 12:00:00 AM

Relief, Response & Restrictions
Water Supply & Quality
Linn County, OR
Marion County, OR
Salem, OR

Start Date: 5/8/2018 - End Date: 6/6/2018
Oregon’s hot, dry weather in May might have fueled the growth and spread of a toxic algae bloom in Detroit Lake, the source of Salem’s drinking water. The algae bloom was initially reported on May 8 and attained highly toxic levels on May 21. Toxins moved from the reservoir into the North Santiam River and into Salem’s drinking water supply, prompting the issuance of the city’s second do-not-drink alert for vulnerable populations on June 6, due to the high level of cyanotoxins in the water. While algae blooms typically form in Detroit Lake in late spring, rain usually causes them to dissipate. May 2018, however, was the fourth-driest and sixth-hottest on record dating back to 1892. Salem Statesman-Journal (Ore.), June 6, 2018