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Hold off on using the water until bloom lifts

An algae bloom on the Clackamas River is limiting the amount of water the city of Lake Oswego's water treatment plant is able to take in through the river intake screens.

According to city officials, 'This stringy-filamentous algae does not affect the quality of finished water and is completely removed by the water treatment system. However, it does limit the amount of drinking water the water treatment plant is able to produce.'

Until the bloom dies off, the plant may not be able to produce at its rated capacity of 16 million gallons per day. The capacity is currently reduced to 12 MGD and may need to be further reduced if the bloom becomes more severe.

To help reduce the water demand, the city is asking residents and businesses to manage water wisely over the next few days. Some suggestions include:

n Keep drinking water in the refrigerator so you don't have to run the tap until the water gets cold enough to drink.

n Only run full loads in dishwashers or laundry ma-chines.

n Scrape food from plates with a utensil, not running water.

n Do not water lawns. If you have to water your lawn, water during the coolest times of the day. Irrigate after 8 p.m. and be finished by 8 a.m.

n Use a broom - not a water hose - to sweep up debris or clean your driveway, sidewalk, and steps.

n Fill a small pool for your kids to cool off in, rather than leaving the sprinkler on.

n Take a break: Skip washing cars or use a commercial car wash that recycles water.

In order to maintain a reliable drinking water supply, the treatment plant staff will work extended shifts to keep the facility running around the clock. If conditions in the river persist, and the city's water demands are not reduced, additional curtailment measures may be asked.

For questions about the water treatment process or supply, contact Kari Duncan, manager, at 503-635-0393.