Drinking Water

Oregon Health Authority Warns Of Algae During Eclipse

Aug 16, 2017
Sheila Sund / Flickr

 

You might think water filters or boiling methods will keep you safe from blue-green algae. But Rebecca Hillwig with the Oregon Health Authority says that’s not true.

Photo credit: Wikimedia user Jay8g / Wikimedia Commons

 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says lawmakers have reached an impasse over a contentious water rights issue. That means the state may not have a capital construction budget for the first time in memory. 

Northwest communities are getting their drinking water from aging infrastructure that is costly to maintain and prone to breaking down.

Last fall, the Washington Supreme Court made a decision many home builders and landowners call harmful. The ruling, known as the Hirst decision, requires counties to ensure adequate water supply before granting a permit to build.

There’s a lot the Democratic governors of Washington and Oregon don’t want from President-elect Donald Trump. They’re miles apart on health care, immigration and trade. But it turns out each governor does have a wish list for the new administration.

darwin Bell / FLICKR Creative Commons

Oregon has approved new rules for schools aimed at improving health conditions in the state’s aging buildings. The State Board of Education doesn’t have the power to require school districts to test for lead. That’s because it passes rules – not laws. The Board can require districts to provide plans.

Testing for lead in Washington schools is still voluntary seven years after the state passed rules to make it mandatory. That’s because state lawmakers never provided funding to pay for the testing.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Radio

Too many nitrates in drinking water can cause health problems for infants and some adults. Nitrates can come from several sources, including fertilizers and septic systems. One Washington County is stepping up nitrate testing to learn more about contamination in the area.

Obama Administration Finalizes Clean Water Rule

May 27, 2015
U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Obama Administration announced a new clean water rule Wednesday. The Environmental Protection Agency says it will help limit pollution in streams and wetlands.

The rule is meant to clarify uncertainty about who can regulate these smaller waterways and water bodies.

Environmentalists say the new rule will keep drinking water clean. Lauren Goldberg is the staff attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper. She says this new rule will provide critical protection for clean drinking water and fish habitat.

Company Wants To Turn Sewer Water Into Beer

Jan 23, 2015
Raymond Mcfee / Flickr

An Oregon water treatment company wants to turn sewer water into beer. But current state rules wouldn't allow anyone to drink it. 

Clean Water Services runs four wastewater treatment plants in the Portland metro area. Some of its treated water is used for irrigation.

But spokesman Mark Jockers said the market for recycled wastewater doesn't have to end there.

His company has an advanced treatment process that can turn sewage into drinking water. To show off that system, it wants to give some of its highly purified wastewater to home brewers.

Portland Now Generating Hydropower In Its Water Pipes

Jan 21, 2015
Daniel Kulinski / Flickr

A Portland start-up is tapping a new source of renewable power inside the city's water pipes. The new system uses the power of gravity in the city's water pipes.

Lucid Energy has installed four small hydroelectric generators in a pipe that carries drinking water to the city. They will produce enough electricity to power 150 homes.

Company CEO Gregg Semler says this kind of hydropower doesn't disrupt fish or natural stream flows the way dams do. And it supplies a continuous source of renewable energy unlike wind and solar.

OSU Researcher Says Toxic Algae Have A Competitive Edge

Oct 25, 2013
eutrophication&hypoxia/Flickr

A scientist at Oregon State University has proposed that freshwater algae blooms around the world may be growing more toxic. His analysis was published today in the journal Science.

Eliza Adam

On a nursery in Boring, researchers are demonstrating a new high-tech pesticide sprayer for a dozen growers. Oregon State University extension entomologist Robin Rosetta explains how this so-called “smart sprayer” uses a computerized sensor to detect the shape of plants and tell the nozzles on the machine where to spray and where not to spray.

The Oregon Water Resources Commission has approved temporary rules that prioritize drinking water for people and cattle in the Klamath Basin.