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City of Salem Drinking Water Advisory


The City of Salem issued a health advisory to their drinking water customers May 29, 2018, at 5:30 PM due to cyanotoxins found in their treated drinking water. Cyanotoxins are by-products of certain algae species that grow in water. Salem draws water for drinking from the North Santiam River and utilizes slow sand filtration treatment.

The City of Albany has two water treatment plants: the Vine Street plant draws water from the South Santiam River, and the Albany-Millersburg treatment plant draws water from the mainstem Santiam River, just after the North and South forks combine. This intake is 19 miles down-river of Salem’s intake. Because this intake is downstream of Salem’s intake, and because Salem found cyanotoxins at their drinking water treatment plant, the State of Oregon has requested Albany sample for cyanotoxins at the Albany-Millersburg water intake. The City has taken those samples, and is also sampling at the Vine Street plant as an additional precaution.

The treatment methods at both Albany water treatment plants are known to be effective at removing harmful algae (cyanobacteria) and associated cyanotoxins. Given this fact, plus the distance of our water intake from the Salem facility, Albany staff does not expect to find results that would generate a drinking water health advisory. Test results should take approximately one week to receive.

Customers with questions may contact the Albany Public Works Department at 541-917-7600. If you would like to know more about harmful algae blooms and cyanotoxins, visit the Oregon Health Authority website: