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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6, 2018 ܂ SILVERTONAPPEAL.COM
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Old Mill Park overlook to be updated
Silverton prepares to seek bids from prospective contractors for project
Christena Brooks Special to Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
The City of Silverton will soon be seeking bids from
contractors to build and landscape a part of Old Mill
Park that’s been closed for seven years.
On the top of the east bank of Silver Creek behind
the library, this piece of municipal property has his-
torical signiﬁcance as the location of the former pow-
erhouse of the locally famous Fischer Flouring Mill. In
the late 1800s and early 1900s, a wooden ﬂume divert-
ed water from Silver Creek to turbines that powered
what became a large and successful grain-milling
Now it’s hard to picture the four-story building that
once towered over the creek and was part of a com-
pound that dominated the action on Water Street,
turning farmers’ grain into ﬂour, cereal and feed at a
furious pace until succumbing to the Great Depression
A small 3-by-6-foot section of a river rock and con-
crete wall behind the library is thought to be the last
piece of the powerhouse’s foundation. Seven years
ago, the wall of concrete there began crumbling into
the creek, forcing the city to close the area.
“The wall probably started weakening in the 1996
ﬂood, so by 2012, it was really eroding,” said Sue De-
Vore, Silverton’s engineering technician. “The city had
to take it down.”
“It was a safety issue,” added Public Works Director
Since then, Silverton Public Works and Silverton
Rotary Club, which created Old Mill Park in 1981, have
talked on-and-oﬀ about how to re-do the overlook.
The project was handed over to DeVore in 2015, and
she spent the next few years working on it between her
A blueprint of the Old Mill Park construction plans.
See PARK, Page 2A
PHOTO COURTESY OF SILVERTON PUBLIC WORKS
Stayton lifts its
Zach Urness Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
There is nothing particularly surprising about a
toxic algae bloom in Detroit Lake this time of year.
The reservoir east of Salem — and Salem’s drink-
ing water source — is annually aﬄicted by algae
blooms in May and June, which often produce toxins.
But this year’s bloom was diﬀerent, with a size and
potency that sent toxins all the way into the capitol
city's drinking water supply.
It's the ﬁrst time toxins born in Detroit Lake have
reached Salem's faucets at levels high enough to
cause problems with drinking water, city oﬃcials
The result was been widespread concern: Oﬃcials
encouraged parents to avoid giving tap water to chil-
dren under 6 years old, and people in compromised
health to avoid drinking tap water as well. Salem lift-
ed the water advisory Saturday after tests showed
toxin levels in the drinking water went down.
And it begs the question: was this a one-time
event, or evidence of a larger trend?
"I think it's fair to say that factors associated with
global warming — hotter and drier conditions and a
rapid snowmelt — could deﬁnitely increase condi-
tions that cause algae blooms," said Rebecca Hillwig,
natural resource specialist with the Oregon Health
Authority. "There's a lot of factors to consider, but it's
fair to say that we have the potential for more of these
type of issues in the future."
Anatomy of an algae bloom
Algae blooms in Detroit Lake have resulted in low levels of toxins in the drinking water in Salem.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
Few communities along
Santiam hurt by algae
Bill Poehler Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK – OREGON
The city of Stayton has lifted its drinking water ad-
visory after the latest tests show it is safe.
The city had a drinking water advisory in place for
two days despite negative tests for toxins in its water
The city issued its water advisory after receiving
notice of the City of Salem’s impending advisory on
May 29, but tests of its water drawn May 23 and May
29 — it received the results days later — never showed
elevated levels of toxins.
Stayton’s intake along the North Santiam River is
approximately two miles downstream from where the
City of Salem draws its water.
“We have a good system in place,” Stayton city
manager Keith Campbell said. “The thought process
is our data says everything is okay, but what do you do
in terms of public safety?
“With new updated data, we can say we’re still
Campbell said the city drew water Friday to send
oﬀ for testing and should receive results in two to
The water intake for Salem is Geren Island — which
is in the river at Stayton.
Algae blooms in Detroit Lake have resulted in low
levels of toxins in the drinking water in Salem. Sa-
lem’s advisory was lifted Saturday.
Of the cities in the Santiam Canyon, only Turner
also had a no-drink order for tap water for children
under 6 years old, pregnant women, women who are
nursing and people with compromised health.
Other cities have diﬀerent water ﬁltration methods
or don’t pull their water right out of the river. Here’s
how the cities in the Santiam Canyon are impacted:
The ﬁrst evidence of an algae bloom at Detroit
Lake occurred May 8, said Lacey Goeres-Priest, Sa-
lem's water quality supervisor.
The city regularly tests for toxins at Detroit and
See TAINTED, Page 2A
The city gets its water from the same supply as Sa-
lem and issued the no-drink order after being advised
by the city of Salem of its problem with the water.
“All of the water that comes into Salem, basically
we tap into those lines as they come down the can-
yon,” Turner city administrator David Sawyer said.
alert is lifted
The city has not found any toxins in its water.
The water for Aumsville comes from ﬁve ground-
water wells located in the city.
The city’s latest tests showed no toxins in the wa-
ter, but the town was waiting on more recent tests to
come back from a lab in Michigan.
Greg Benthin, the Public Works Superintendent for
the City of Gates, said the city installed a membrane
ﬁltration system in 2009 and it has been eﬀective in
ﬁltering out harmful particulates.
“We’ve been sampling for about three years now
and it’s never made it through the ﬁlters yet,” Benthin
said. “I feel pretty conﬁdent there’s not going to be an
issue. It’s a completely diﬀerent technology than the
See ADVISORY, Page 2A
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Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
Salem’s drinking water advisory has been lifted.
Results of drinking water samples collected both
May 30 and 31 showed toxin levels are below health
advisory levels, the city said in a news release.
The city posted a summary of test results just over
an hour after issuing the release.
Salem issued an advisory late May 29 stating the
water was unsafe for children under 6 years old and
other sensitive people due to contamination with
toxins from algae. The advisory also applied to the
city of Turner, the Suburban East Salem Water Dis-
trict and the Orchard Heights Water Association.
On May 31, Gov. Kate Brown directed the Oregon
Military Department to provide to residents at sever-
al locations, following a severe shortage and reports
of price gouging.
All customers can now drink tap water, the city
City workers are continuing to collect water qual-
ity samples to ensure the water remains safe, oﬃcials
Daily sampling will continue through Thursday.
Results and algae conditions at the reservoir will de-
termine further testing frequency.
See WATER, Page 3A