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Salem Extends Water Advisory, Despite Clean Tests

File photo. An algae bloom in Detroit Lake has led to low levels of cyanotoxins being found in the Salem's water supply.
Sheila Sund
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tinyurl.com/ybq8vphd
File photo. An algae bloom in Detroit Lake has led to low levels of cyanotoxins being found in the Salem's water supply.

A drinking water advisory in Salem has been extended for another two weeks.

City officials announced that the most recent testing indicates they can lift an advisory for young children and other sensitive populations. But they’re not doing that because toxins from an algae bloom have popped up again and again in the city’s water.

City Manager Steve Powers said it’s left citizens scratching their heads.

“The on-gain off-again nature of the advisory was causing confusion,” Powers said. “Extending the advisory until we can ensure our water customers, our residents, that the water is safe to drink is the best course of action.”

The advisory will remain in effect while officials test whether powdered carbon can eliminate the toxins. That would cost millions of dollars, but it could at last provide some certainty.

Copyright 2018 Northwest News Network

Dirk VanderHart is JPR's Salem correspondent reporting from the Oregon State Capitol. His reporting is funded through a collaboration between public radio stations around the Northwest called the Northwest News Network.