Salem Drinking Water Advisory

posted by Brad Ford -

water faucet

The City of Salem is advising vulnerable people to not drink tap water due to blue-green algae in Detroit Lake.

The warning applies to City of Salem, City of Turner, Suburban East Salem Water District, and Orchard Heights Water Association.

Low levels of cylindrospermopsin and microcystin (cyanotoxins) have been found in treated drinking water. These toxins are created by algal blooms in the source of City of Salem drinking water, Detroit Reservoir. 

To ensure the greatest quality of drinking water, City of Salem voluntarily samples for such toxins during algal events. Samples were collected on May 23, 2018 and May 25, 2018. Results confirmed the presence of cyanotoxins in the drinking water at levels above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Cyanotoxins National Drinking Water Health Advisories. 

Levels of toxins have been detected in the City of Salem water system that supplies water to City of Salem, City of Turner, Suburban East Salem Water District, and Orchard Heights Water Association.

Children under the age of six, people with compromised immune systems, people receiving dialysis treatment, people with pre-existing liver conditions, pets, pregnant women or nursing mothers, or other sensitive populations should follow this advisory. At this time, people not on this list may continue to drink the water unless additional messaging is received. Please visit cityofsalem.net for the most up to date information. 

City of Salem is continuing to adjust treatment operations to reduce concentrations of cyanotoxins as quickly as possible. 

Bottled water should be used for drinking, making infant formula, making ice and preparing food and beverages. 

Do Not Boil the tap water. Boiling the water will not destroy cyanotoxins and may increase the toxin levels. 

Most water filters and purifiers will not remove this toxin from drinking water. See manufacturer's recommendation for water filtration capabilities. 

Everyone may use tap water for showering, bathing, washing hands, washing dishes, flushing toilets, cleaning and doing laundry. However, infants and young children under the age of six should be supervised while bathing and during other tap water-related activities to prevent accidental ingestion of water. 

Drinking water containing cyanotoxins at levels exceeding the national drinking water Health Advisories can put you at risk of various adverse health effects including upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea as well as liver and kidney damage. Seek medical attention if you or family members are experiencing illness. 

Animals may be vulnerable to adverse health effects of cyanotoxins at the detected levels indicated above; consider providing animals alternative sources of water. Contact a veterinarian if animals show signs of illness. 

If you, your family members or your animals have experienced adverse cyanotoxin-related health effects, please contact your health care provider. 

City of Salem is working closely with local and state public health and emergency response agencies to address the situation and to quickly reduce Cyanotoxin levels in tap water. 

City of Salem will post an updated advisory when: the Cyanotoxin levels are less than or equal to the national drinking water Health Advisories, this Do Not Drink Advisory is lifted and/or if there are any changes to the conditions of this Do Not Drink Advisory. 

Updates will be provided Thursday, May 31, 2018 via the City of Salem web page, CityofSalem.net; City of Salem Alert System; local media; City of Salem social media. 

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