Regional Chlorine Shortage : Please Reduce Water Usage

A critical chlorine supply issue has recently created a shortage for west coast and Oregon utilities. Our water treatment method uses chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) in very small amounts to ensure our water is safe to drink. The chlorine shortage in our area is caused by an equipment failure at a chlorine manufacturing facility on the West Coast. 

To get the chlorine supply we need, the cities of Lake Oswego and Tigard are working directly with other water utilities, the Oregon Governor’s Office, Oregon Emergency Management, Oregon Health Authority, Department of Environmental Quality, and the Oregon Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network and federal authorities.

Our Lake Oswego-Tigard tap water remains safe to drink.

Staff have implemented measures to extend chlorine supply, while also ensuring that the water remains safe to drink.

Please Reduce Water Usage

We ask for the cooperation of customers to voluntarily reduce their indoor and outdoor water usage. These actions will help extend our existing supply of chlorine, reduce the strain on the supply chain, preserve water for domestic use, and ensure water reserves continue to meet emergency response needs. Conserving voluntarily now, will help minimize potential mandatory conservation.

What can you do to help?

You can help extend the current chlorine supply by using water wisely. How to limit your water usage:

  • Reduce all non-essential water use – except as necessary for public health and safety
  • Limit watering lawns, using irrigation, washing cars and filling swimming pools
  • Postpone new plantings
  • Eliminate known leaks inside and outside
  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Limit running the dishwasher or washing machine – if you have to run it, ensure it is full
  • If you wash dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running

These voluntary usage reductions will remain in place until the chain of supply for sodium hypochlorite has been reestablished.

For more conservation tips, visit or

For the full press release, click here.

What are the two cities doing? 

Together, the cities of Lake Oswego and Tigard area also doing our part by reducing water use throughout our cities’ operations and parks. Every drop counts!

City actions to reduce chlorine demand at the water treatment plant include:

  • Water: Utilizing Tigard’s Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells to limit the demand on the water treatment plant.
  • Sewer: Minimizing sewer line cleaning, except for emergencies.
  • Stormwater: Minimizing catch basin cleaning, except for emergencies. 
  • Parks: Limiting irrigation use – both by limiting the times we water and the overall amount that we water. 
  • Fleet: Limiting vehicle washing to commercial car washes where they recycle water.
  • Communications: Coordination with regional partners on messaging to reduce water use.

Thank you, and keep up the good work in reducing water usage, LO and Tigard!