Towns and cities throughout Oregon and Washington provide safe, reliable supplies of clean drinking water to their residents, day in and day out. However, small and rural towns provide this amazing service with far fewer resources.
Protecting drinking water at its source is the first line of defense in a multi-barrier approach to ensuring safe drinking water. But small drinking water providers do not have staff dedicated solely to source water protection. Operators are busy treating water to regulatory standards and keeping it flowing in its pipes. There’s no doubt that their job would be a lot easier if they had some help to protect and enhance water quality before it enters their treatment plant.
Fortunately, in the Pacific Northwest we have many groups that can provide the critical services needed to plan and implement source water protection activities.
Working Waters' Director Cathy Kellon was invited to write an article in the Washington Department of Health's newsletter for drinking water operators, "H2Ops."
The March 2018 issue, "Better Safe," focused on source water protection and we were happy to share our thoughts on how partnerships make source water protection possible for utilities of all sizes.
Read the full newsletter here (Kellon's piece is on page 6)
Projects in Oregon and Washington aim to benefit people and salmon and trout.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
On World Water Day, a day dedicated to taking action for water, the Drinking Water Providers Partnership celebrates actions that ripple up and down streams - simply by making connections.
Our survival depends on clean water, a fact that Pacific Northwesterners know very well: over 3.7 million people in Washington and 3.5 million people in Oregon get their drinking water from rivers and streams. When their sources of drinking water are polluted, these communities suffer. So do fish that depend on clean water, such as salmon and steelhead. Yet Oregon and Washington don’t have the billions of dollars needed to repair drinking water infrastructure like filtration systems, pipes, culverts, etc.
Thanks to funding from the Drinking Water Providers Partnership, the Rogue River Watershed Council is about to embark upon a quarter-million-dollar effort to reconnect Little Butte Creek to its floodplain as it flows through the City of Eagle Point. In 2016, the Partnership helped to fund planning and design work to return the creek to its historic meander and reduce erosion. Little Butte Creek jumped its channel during the New Year's Day flood of 1997 and has since been eating away at City-owned property that the community hopes to turn into a park.
"The creek now cuts a tight dog-leg right and is scouring out the bank, adding extra sediment to the creek that neither wild coho salmon juveniles nor Medford water drinkers want to see."
Learn more in this article from the Medford Mail Tribune.