Albany city officials are asking residents to conserve water in response to a shortage of chlorine, a chemical added in small amounts to disinfect drinking water as well as treated wastewater before it is discharged.
The shortage hit the news late Thursday afternoon, and I asked Kristin Preston, public works operations manager, how it affected the Albany water system. She was supposed to be off work today but got back to me right away.
“There was an equipment failure at a major chlorine manufacturing facility in Longview, Wash., that has created a temporary chlorine supply issue for utilities across the West, including Oregon,” she wrote. “We’ve been tracking this issue because our water treatment facilities and our wastewater facility use chlorine in the form of sodium hypochlorite for disinfection.”
Albany buys its sodium hypochlorite out of California, but Preston said the whole region is being affected.
“Right now, we have our normal supply on hand to continue providing safe, clean water. We are actively monitoring the situation and working with our regional partners. We have also adjusted our processes to conserve our chlorine supply and are preparing for additional conservation and curtailment measures should the need arise.”
Here’s the main point: “Currently, the city is asking the community to voluntarily conserve water. Limiting outdoor irrigation, taking shorter showers, only running full loads of dishes and laundry, and using a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways are all easy ways to reduce water usage.”
For more information and updates, you’ll want to check the city’s website on the chlorine situation here.
In the meantime, turn the sprinklers off. (hh)