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Willamette Water Monthly Issue 32
March 1, 2017
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My river, your river, our river, Oregon’s river – the Willamette

Safe drinking water is our top priority.  Willamette Water Monthly is excited to feature a four-part series focusing on protecting drinking water from source to tap. 

  • Source: Our drinking water sources are protected by strict federal and state laws and monitored for quality.
  • Filtration, treatment, testing: Filtration and advanced treatment removes impurities and disinfects it to produce extremely high quality water. The water is tested daily. 
  • Storage and water lines: Filtered and treated water is delivered to our homes and businesses through a series of storage tanks and water lines, where it is again tested for quality.
  • Tap: The water, once treated, is conveyed in steel pipes and stored in closed tanks to protect its quality all the way to the tap.

A few amazing facts about the Willamette River 

It lies solely in the State of Oregon

It runs south to north

37,400 cubic feet of water per second moves through its banks

Currently serves as a drinking water source to five cities

A dozen tributary rivers feed the Willamette

Contributes 12-15% of the Columbia River’s flow

The basin contains two-thirds of Oregon's population

Protecting the Willamette River at the Source

Efforts have been underway for decades by water providers, watershed councils, and others to improve and safeguard the health of the Willamette River. A summary of various studies on the health of the Willamette River can be found at ourreliablewater.org.  

 Willamette Water Supply Program staff collaborate with other drinking water providers, such as Eugene Water and Electric Board and the cities of Corvallis and Salem, to identify and implement robust source water protection programs. These programs include:  

  • Restoring streams and wetlands
  • Reducing point source pollution
  • Improving urban and rural run-off management

The end goal of this multi-agency cooperation is to bring together users, municipalities, nonprofits, and watershed councils to find solutions that protect and improve water quality throughout the Willamette basin. 

Protecting the entire Willamette River watershed is an important element of our multi-pronged water quality strategy in that it helps our treatment plants effectively and reliably transform the river water into the safe and healthful water we all expect. 

Upcoming in April – the water treatment process.


Marlys Mock, Media & Community Relations Coordinator, 503-941-4570


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