EUGENE, Ore. -- With the National Guard and others distributing clean water in Salem, Jeannine Parisi, a spokeswoman for the Eugene Water and Electric Board, said it's not impossible for toxic algae to reach the McKenzie Watershed. She said hotter and drier summers are increasing the likelihood of algae blooms.
“We're a little bit more fortunate here that we have a different watershed here on the McKenzie, and we have more robust treatment facility at Hyden Bridge,” Parisi said. “So the risk is less for us, but it's something we monitor very closely, we monitor all summer long and we're paying serious attention to.”
Parisi said the water crisis in Salem is serving as a reminder for residents they need to be prepared. She recommends keeping your emergency kit stocked with water, up to two weeks worth for each person in your household, about 14 gallons per person. Keep the water in a durable container and have non-scented bleach on hand in case you need to disinfect it.
“That way you'll be prepared and won't have to panic and run and try to look for water in a worse-case situation,” Parisi said. “You want to have supplies on hand.”
Parisi says toxic algae isn't the only thing that could impact our water supply. Chemical spills and even wildfires could impact our drinking water.