Salem lifts drinking water advisory

by University Communications,

The city’s drinking water is now safe for all populations. The university is prepared for the future.

**Update - July 20, 2018**

The City of Salem lifted its drinking water advisory for persons in vulnerable populations and pets on July 3, 2018. Since then, Salem’s drinking water has been safe for all populations, as new testing and treatment procedures are proving successful.

The State of Oregon implemented new rules for testing public drinking water. The city installed new water quality testing tools and is using activated carbon to treat the very low levels of algal toxins that prompted the advisory. The city is posting the results of its tests online.

While city employees believe the addition of carbon has resolved the issue, the university has identified alternatives should algal blooms create future water-quality concerns. Experts suggest it's unlikely that algae will be an issue by the time classes resume. The blooms in Detroit Lake — the source of Salem’s water — that prompted the advisory tend to occur in May and June.

Willamette University’s staff members have been working with on-campus residents and university guests throughout the summer to accommodate anyone impacted by the water advisory. Should additional alerts occur once the academic year begins, the university has entered into a contract to have large water tanks delivered on campus and has plans for food service and water distribution.

Anyone with concerns should read the information provided by the city and state. If you still have concerns about the university’s plan, contact University Services at 503-370-6236.

**Update - July 3, 2018**

The City of Salem lifted its drinking water advisory for persons in vulnerable populations and pets on July 3, 2018. Salem’s drinking water is now safe for all populations.

**Update - June 14, 2018**

The City of Salem has extended its drinking water advisory for at least two more weeks following the tests of water samples on June 12. The water is still safe for most people to drink but not for those in the vulnerable populations listed below.

**Update - June 11, 2018**

Yesterday, the City of Salem extended its drinking water advisory for at least two more weeks.

The water is still safe for most, but members of the following vulnerable populations should not drink the water until the advisory is lifted.

  • Children under the age of six
  • People with compromised immune systems or pre-existing liver conditions
  • People receiving dialysis treatment or other sensitive populations
  • The elderly
  • Pregnant women or nursing mothers
  • Pets

For more information about the advisory including FAQs, water station locations and test results, go to the city’s website.

At Willamette, employees, students and visitors to campus are encouraged to bring bottled water with them and plan ahead for meetings and other campus events. Bon Appetit is aware of the restrictions around food preparation and catering and will continue to work with suppliers and campus groups. Please continue to be flexible and understanding that some catering options will be unavailable. Changes to campus food service may be necessary the longer the advisory remains in effect. Housing and Conferences will work with on-campus residents and reach out to upcoming conference, event and camp visitors.

**Update - June 6, 2018**

Dear Willamette Community,

This morning, the City of Salem issued a new drinking water advisory for children and vulnerable populations.

Children under the age of six, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, people receiving dialysis treatment, people with pre-existing liver conditions, pets, pregnant women or nursing mothers or other sensitive populations should not drink the water. The city noted that healthy adults (i.e. people not on this list) may continue to drink the water unless additional advisories are issued.

Employees, students and visitors to campus are encouraged to bring bottled water with them and plan ahead for meetings and other campus events. Bon Appetit is aware of the restrictions around food preparation and catering and will continue to work with suppliers and campus groups. Please continue to be flexible and understanding that some catering options will be unavailable. Changes to campus food service may be necessary the longer the advisory remains in effect. Housing and Conferences will work with on-campus residents and reach out to upcoming conference, event and camp visitors.

Though intermittently down this morning, we encourage you to visit the city’s website for the latest information.

Sincerely,

Rich Dennis

Associate Director of Campus Safety, Coordinator of Educational and Environmental Safety

**Update - June 2, 2018**

The City of Salem has lifted the water advisory and declared that the City's tap water is once again safe to drink for all residents.

Thank you for your patience this week - and special thanks to Bon Appetit, Campus Safety, Housing and Conferences, Facilities and many others who quickly responded to ensure the safety of our campus community and guests.

Please continue to monitor the City's website for any updates and specific instructions as normal operations resume: https://www.cityofsalem.net/

**May 30, 2018**

Dear Willamette Community,

This afternoon the City of Salem provided an update that the current drinking water advisory remains in effect into the foreseeable future. Governor Brown also issued a declaration to provide additional resources to the Salem area, including establishing water distribution locations.

The groups affected by the advisory remain largely unchanged: children under the age of six, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, people receiving dialysis treatment, people with pre-existing liver conditions, pets, pregnant women or nursing mothers or other sensitive populations should not drink the water. The city noted that healthy adults (i.e. people not on this list) may continue to drink the water unless additional advisories are issued.

Employees, students and visitors to campus are encouraged to bring bottled water with them and plan ahead for meetings and other campus events. Bon Appetit is aware of the restrictions around food preparation and catering and will continue to work with suppliers and campus groups. Please continue to be flexible and understanding that some catering options will be unavailable. Changes to campus food service may be necessary the longer the advisory remains in effect. Housing and Conferences will work with on-campus residents and reach out to upcoming conference, event and camp visitors.

Because of the uncertainty around this issue we encourage you to monitor the local webpages for updates to the advisory and additional information on local resources.

City of Salem: https://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/drinking-water-advisory.aspx

Sincerely,

Ross Stout

Director of Campus Safety

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