Water Treatment Plant Issues Spur Extended Emergency Declaration

July 23, 2020

Newport, Oregon's city council voted to extend the city’s emergency declaration through Aug. 17

The city council of Newport voted to extend the city’s emergency declaration through Aug. 17, reported the Newport News Times.

Newport first declared a water emergency on Jun. 24, when the city experienced water production issues caused by the plugging of filters at the water treatment plant. The city responded to this by imposing water restrictions on Jun. 26, asking industrial users to halt water use until the city could mitigate the issue. 

Currently, the city is able to produce adequate treated water for commercial and residential users, reported the city council on Jul. 20. It is unclear of what caused the issue, so the emergency declaration was extended as a precaution.

The city has been working with Pall Corporation, the manufacturer of the membrane filters used at the plant, and HDR Engineering to determine the cause of the plugged filters, according to the Newport News Times. 

“We have made progress in addressing filter cleaning in order to provide for a sufficient flow of water to deal with our industrial and residential users,” said City Manager Spencer Nebel to the city council. “We were able to eliminate water restrictions last week. We did, over the weekend, have to resort to some water from Seal Rock in South Beach. We had high usage there. Part of it was a fire that was going on, but we’re kind of analyzing what was going on there that required us to use some additional water from Seal Rock.”

According to Nebel, it took longer than anticipated for the mobile sand filters to be tied into the treatment plant, but they were tied in operationally on Jul. 20 for the first time for providing water. It is thus able to produce water to meet the current needs, reported the Newport News Times.

All members of the city council involved in the Jul. 20 meeting voted in support of a motion to extend the emergency declaration through Aug. 17.

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Cristina Tuser

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