Drinking Water

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

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.