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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2018 ܂ SILVERTONAPPEAL.COM
PART OF THE USA TODAY NETWORK
41 systems at risk for toxic algae blooms
Advisories are ‘a wake-up call for everyone,’ OHA spokesman says
Connor Radnovich Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
The Oregon Health Authority has identiﬁed 41 water
systems in the state at risk for toxic algae blooms simi-
lar to those responsible for Salem's drinking water ad-
The systems include cities, businesses, schools and
various water districts that draw from surface waters
with a history of algae blooms.
Most draw from the same Oregon river basins: the
Rogue, Umpqua, Clackamas, McKenzie, Santiam and
The state's increased focus on algal toxins comes in
response to the presence of those toxins above EPA
health advisory limits in Salem's drinking water for the
ﬁrst time. The city has declared a pair of drinking wa-
ter advisories in the past two weeks, and the advisory
will continue until at least the end of next week as a
water treatment is tested.
"Water systems want to do the right thing. They
want to protect their customers," said OHA spokesman
Jonathan Modie. "Certainly the situation in Salem is a
wake-up call for everyone."
Salem's do-not-drink advisory is for children under
6 years old and vulnerable adults, including those with
impaired immune systems, people aﬀected by kidney
or liver disease and pregnant or nursing mothers. It is
also recommended that pets do not drink the water.
The most recent testing of water samples collected
through June 13 indicated that toxins were below EPA
advisory levels for vulnerable populations.
About 300 Oregon drinking water systems utilize
surface water, and in the coming days more of them
could be added to this list of 41 as OHA includes addi-
tional variables beyond historic precedent.
See RISK, Page 2A
Blowout Creek at Detroit Lake as seen on June 7.
Water samples are being taken and tested everyday
as a toxic algae bloom is being detected.
ANNA REED/STATESMAN JOURNAL
Another algae alert
Detroit Lake is hit with its third warning of season
set for both
Christena Brooks Special to Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
Those traveling to Detroit Lake should avoid swal-
lowing water while swimming, water skiing or power
boating at the lake, oﬃcials said.
Exposure to the toxic algae can produce symptoms
that range from dizziness and nausea to diﬃculty
breathing. It can be especially dangerous for children
Water from the lake should not be ingested, even
after being ﬁltered.
Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea,
nausea, cramps and fainting should receive medical
attention if they persist or worsen.
Parents searching for sports camps often need
look no farther than their local high school.
Once the domain of teenage athletes hoping to
make the team, summer sports camps are now of-
fered to students as young as 6 years old. Most public
schools host a slate of camps run by their coaches
assisted by varsity and junior varsity athletes.
“The girls on my team love to come help with
camp,” said Tal Wold, the Lady Foxes’ head basket-
ball coach. “They enjoy working with the younger
kids and giving back to the community.”
Every year, his basketball camp serves at least 60
girls, with roughly a dozen of his high school players
volunteering to help. Not only do the older girls pass
on the fundamentals and skills they’ve learned, but
they also serve as role models.
“Some of the younger girls will come to our (high
school) games, and they’ll say, ‘I’m watching this
player; she helped me at camp,” Wold said. “The con-
nection between our current and future players is
Between Silverton High and Kennedy High, in Mt.
Angel, there are ﬁve basketball camps this month
and nine other sports camps.
The Trojans’ camp for boys starts immediately,
June 18-20, with a girl’ camp expected to be sched-
uled in July, said Karl Schmidtman, boys’ head coach.
“At our camp, the younger boys pick up some skills
so that, years down the road, when they come to high
school, they’ll come prepared,” he said. “More impor-
tantly, we want them to come and have a good experi-
For information about Silverton’s camps, log on to
04/2018-summer-camps or call the Athletic Depart-
ment at 503-873-6331, ext. 3824.
For info at Kennedy High, log on to the district cal-
endar at www.masd91.org/home/district-calendar
or call 503-845-6128. For basketball info, call Karl
Schmidtman at 541-760-2766. For football info, call
Joe Panuke at 503-720-7964.
What in the world is going on at Detroit?
SUMMER SPORTS CAMPS
For the third time this season a toxic algae health advisory has been issued for Detroit Lake.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
Zach Urness Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
mune systems, people aﬀected by kidney or liver dis-
ease, pregnant or nursing mothers and pets.
This is beginning to feel like a horror movie with a
seemingly endless number of sequels.
Call it: “Return of the toxic algae at Detroit Lake.”
For the third time this season — and the second
time in three days — the Oregon Health Authority is-
sued a health advisory June 15 due to high levels of
cyanotoxins at three diﬀerent locations.
Samples taken June 13 show toxin levels above the
safe recreation threshold at Blowout Arm, Heater
Creek and at Detroit Dam’s log boom, according to
data posted by the City of Salem. Toxin levels also
were elevated in Big Cliﬀ Reservoir.
The high test results continue the roller coaster
ride at a place that’s a popular recreation destination
and the source of Salem’s drinking water.
While toxin levels at Detroit Lake were high, tests
of Salem’s drinking remained below dangerous levels.
Cyanotoxins did show up at elevated levels at Sa-
lem’s drinking water intake, but by the time it came
out of Salem taps, levels were below dangerous levels,
even for vulnerable populations.
Even so, the drinking water advisory in Salem re-
mains in eﬀect for children under 6 years old and vul-
nerable adults, including those with impaired im-
What does this mean for Detroit?
As reported multiple times by the Statesman Jour-
nal, a toxic algae health advisory is nothing new at De-
troit Lake. It occurred in 2015 and 2017.
But this year has been something else entirely.
Here’s a breakdown of the timeline.
See ALERT, Page 2A
Gates ﬁre chief prepares to retire
Carol Swanson Special to Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
Chief Gary Swanson is hurrying to accomplish
some ﬁnal tasks for the Gates Fire Department as he
prepares to retire at the end of June.
He joined as a volunteer in 1983 and began serving
as the ﬁre chief the following year. He was ﬁrst asked
to serve as a volunteer by Bob Netter and Dave White.
“I thought it was a way I could help out and also
serve with some great guys. I ﬁlled out an application,
and the next thing I know 35 years have gone by,” he
Asked how the demands on the de-
partment have changed over the years,
Swanson said, “The regulatory issues
have changed a great deal. We have to
be more knowledgeable in order to
comply with county, state and federal
"Society has changed,” he said. “We
have to have greater awareness con-
cerning issues like substance abuse. Our volunteers
need a higher level of training. The demand on our
Silverton and Kennedy high schools
Trojans: June 18-20, $25, (Grades 3-5, noon-2
p.m.), (Grades 6-8, 2-4 p.m.)
Foxes: June 26-28, $50, 9-11:30 a.m., (Grades 3-8)
Trojans: July, days TBA
Foxes: June 19-21, $50, 9-11:30 a.m., (Grades 3-9)
Foxes (Grades 3-8): June 19-21, $50, 9 a.m. to noon
Foxes (Grade 9): June 25-27, free, 9 a.m. to noon
Foxes, (Grade 9): June 19-21, free, 10 a.m.to noon
Foxes, (Grades 3-8): July 10-12, $50, 9:30 a.m. to
Trojans: Aug. 6-9, $25, (Grades 5-8)
Foxes: July 16-19, $50, 9 a.m. to noon, (Grades 1-8)
Foxes: July 30-Aug. 2, $50, (Grades 3-8, 9-11 a.m.),
(Grades 9-12, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Foxes: Aug. 6-9, ($50, Grades 3-8, 5-7 p.m.), ($25,
Grades 9-12, 7:30-9:30 p.m.)
See RETIRE, Page 3A
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Between Silverton High and Kennedy
High, in Mt. Angel, there are ﬁve
basketball camps this month and nine
other sports camps.