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The City of Albany gets its water from the South Santiam River a few miles upstream of Lebanon. The water is diverted from the river into an I8-mile man-made canal through Lebanon and across farmland to Albany. It enters Albany east of I-5 and south of Grand Prairie Road. It continues west. Crossing Waverly Drive, Geary Street. Hill Street and Queen Avenue and parallels Vine Street to the Water Treatment Plant at Third Avenue and Vine Street. The Treatment Plant has been in continuous use since it was built in 1912.

The Canal was dug by hand in the 1870s as a transportation route to move goods from the eastern part of the valley to the "Port of Albany" on the Willamette River. Barge traffic stopped when users found the current was too swift for travel upstream.

Water diverted into the Canal is controlled by water rights and permits issued by the State. The City of Albany holds rights and permits for 31.7 million gallons. They are an 1878 right to 13.3 million gallons a day (mgd) and a 1979 permit for 18.4 mgd. Legally, the older a right or permit, the more secure it is. The dates help determine how Oregon water is allocated and protected. If water rationing is necessary due to a drought, for example, those who hold newer rights or permits are cut off first.

Reporting Problems along the Canal

Citizens who see problems regarding the canal banks, blocked flow, or dangerous trees may contact the City at the numbers above. Please indicate you are calling about the Canal, and leave your name, address and telephone number, the location of concern, and a brief description of the problem.

Linn-Benton Alert Emergency Notification System

The Linn-Benton Alert system is a telephone based emergency notification system for residents in both Linn and Benton counties. If you have a "land-line" telephone, you are already in the system and do not have to contact us as it uses the 9-1-1 database for calls.

If you do not have a "land-line" telephone OR you would like to receive additional notifications regarding emergencies (including issues regarding the Santiam-Albany Canal) via text on your cell phone, page, email, or receive a cell phone call, YOU MUST NOTIFY US AND SIGN UP FOR THE SERVICE.

Contact either Cathy 541-258-6940 or Jo Ann 541-259-6126 at the Linn County Sheriff's Office for additional information or if you cannot access the County's website ( to sign up for the service. The link to sign up for the Alert is on the bottom left corner of the front page.