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Imagine A Day Without Water – 10/21/21

It’s hard to imagine a day without water: from the time we wake up to the time we fall asleep, water plays a key role in almost every aspect of our daily routine. But on October 21, we’re celebrating Imagine a Day Without Water by inviting you to learn more about where your water comes from and what it takes to make sure your drinking water is safe and there when you need it.

Over the last 18 months, we have faced multiple crises and emergencies with the pandemic, wildfires, drought, ice storm, and even a chlorine supply shortage. Throughout these emergencies, our water treatment plant operators and public works professionals have kept clean drinking water flowing to homes, hospitals, fire hydrants, schools, and businesses.

These crises demonstrate the critical role that water and wastewater systems play in our daily lives, protecting public health, safeguarding the environment, fighting fires, making a healthy economy possible, and supporting our quality of life.

Water and wastewater utilities are often called the “invisible utility” because customers see can’t the pipes and other infrastructure that brings water to their tap, or what takes it away: it’s so easy to take it for granted. In fact, many people never think about what goes into providing safe, reliable water and wastewater service to their home or business unless there’s a problem. Fortunately, the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership works hard to ensure our customers have safe, reliable water 24 hours a day, every day. This requires constant care and management of a complex network of water infrastructure and extensive planning to address population growth, new and changing regulations, seismic hazards, climate change, and more.

October 21 is the seventh annual Imagine a Day Without Water, an opportunity to reflect on the value of water and its central role in everything we do. Join us in taking some extra time to think about how you value our region’s water today, and every day.

Be Water-Wise This Summer

The entire state of Oregon is experiencing drought conditions. More than 85% of the state is in a severe drought or worse, including Clackamas County. With river levels being low, it’s more important than ever to be more mindful in how we use our water this summer! Here are some simple water-wise tips to consider.

Over half of all water use inside a home takes place in the bathroom:

  • Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth.
  • Take shorter showers. Each minute you shave off your shower time saves up to 2.5 gallons of water.
  • Install a high efficiency showerhead, and you could save about 1 gallon of water per minute.

In the kitchen:

  • Scrape your plate instead of rinsing it before loading it into the dishwasher.
  • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
  • Install an aerator on your kitchen faucet and save about 1 gallon per minute. An aerator reduces the flow from the faucet, and uses air to maintain good water pressure.
  • If you have a dishwasher, use it only to wash full loads and use the shortest cycle possible. Many dishwashers have a conserver/water-miser cycle.

Water use almost doubles during summer, primarily due to outdoor water use:

  • Adjust and monitor sprinklers to keep water on the areas that need it –not the street or driveway. Or hand water! Watering by hand allows you to really target where and how much you water.
  • Cut the number of days you water your grass by a third, rather than for a short period every day. Watering thoroughly, but infrequently, will help roots go deeper, resulting in more water–efficient, drought–tolerant plants.
  • Try to water your garden or landscape before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. when temperatures are cooler and the air is calmer so that evaporation is kept to a minimum.
  • Do not over-water in anticipation of a shortage. Soil cannot store extra water.

Chlorine Supply Update

Great news: yesterday, our water treatment plant received a shipment of chlorine! Our call for a reduction in water usage is now lifted, but we can all still continue to use water wisely and not waste our precious resource.

Thank you, Lake Oswego and Tigard water customers for doing your part to reduce water usage during our recent regional chlorine shortage. It really did make a difference.

With the record-setting heat and severe drought, being mindful of our water usage, watering smart, and conserving where we can is more important than ever. Every drop counts!

For more helpful tips on water conservation, visit

Chlorine Supply Update

THANK YOU for doing your part by reducing your water usage and being great stewards of our water. We are seeing a reduction in demand, which is not only helping extend our existing chlorine supply, but it is also helping keep more water in the river for fish and recreation. Keep up the great work!

Together, we are also doing our part by reducing water use throughout our cities’ operations and parks. Every drop counts!

The next few days are going to be a scorcher with record-setting hot temperatures. While we can report some great news that the chlorine facility in Longview is now back online, we are still waiting to receive a delivery at our water treatment plant. Our request for voluntary reduction in water usage in LO and Tigard remains in place.

With that in mind, here are some common sense H20 tips and ideas:

💦 Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Don’t forget about your pets!

💦 Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator for drinking instead of waiting for the water from the tap to get cold. 

💦 If you are watering landscaping, do it early in the morning before 10 a.m. or late at night to reduce evaporation – avoid the hottest times of the day.

💦 Avoid washing your car – it’s an easy way to conserve water and avoid the heat.

💦 Postpone new plantings – they don’t like the extreme heat either!

💦 Check all your indoor faucets, toilets and pipes for leaks – a faucet drip or invisible leak in a toilet can add up to over 100 gallons per week. 

💦 Teach your kids about the importance of using water wisely – it’s a precious resource we all take for granted! Check out this virtual lesson:

💦 Read your 2021 water quality report

💦 Sign up to get your weekly watering number for our region with the Regional Water Providers Consortium:

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!

A Water Partnership Built to Last

Almost 15 years ago, Lake Oswego and Tigard formed a partnership to share drinking water resources and costs. Lake Oswego’s facilities were undersized, aging and seismically vulnerable. Tigard had pursued ownership of its own water source for many years. By sharing the cost of planning, designing and constructing a new water supply system, each city secured its long-term water supply needs at a cost neither could afford alone.

On June 9, 2016, the Lake Oswego Tigard water system became fully operational, and the Clackamas River became both LO and Tigard’s primary source of drinking water. Watch Lake Oswego Mayor Buck and Tigard Mayor Snider reflect on how important this partnership has been – and continues to be – for both communities. 

This truly is a partnership that is built to last and continues to live up to the motto – sharing water, connecting communities.

Know Your Water

Tap water is one of the most important resources in our lives. Did you know, your Lake Oswego and Tigard drinking water is rigorously tested for over 90 contaminants and goes through six stages of treatment before ending at your tap, all for about a penny per gallon?

💦 Clean, safe, high-quality drinking water is delivered to almost 100,000 customers using an advanced treatment system and network of resilient pipes, pump stations and reservoirs.
💧 For this high-quality tap water, delivered straight to your home, you pay about a penny per gallon; compare that to $1.00 for one 16-ounce bottled water that is not required to meet the same rigorous testing standards as tap water.

A lot of work takes place behind the scenes to provide us with clean, safe and reliable drinking water every day.

To learn more about your water system and treatment process, read your latest water quality report:

For Lake Oswego:
For Tigard:

Celebrating a Successful Water Partnership

June 9, 2021 marks five years since the new Lake Oswego Tigard water system started providing high-quality drinking water to almost 100,000 customers throughout Lake Oswego and Tigard!  

Here are six things to know and celebrate about this successful partnership:

  • Water quality has improved with a state-of-the-art treatment system.
  • Through partnering together, both cities saved millions of dollars for customers.
  • The Lake Oswego Tigard Water Project was the largest public works project in our cities’ histories.
  • Our water system meets the most modern seismic standards for long-term resiliency and increases emergency water supply reliability through regional intertie connections.
  • Our Water Treatment Plant eliminates emerging pathogens/viruses, like COVID-19, from the water supply.
  • Our water system provides reliable, consistently high-quality drinking water from the Clackamas River—all for about a penny per gallon.

Let’s celebrate securing our most valuable resource for our cities’ future: investing in public health and preparing our cities for the long-term.

Your Drinking Water: There When You Need It

No matter the weather or the emergency, there are hardworking water professionals braving the elements to maintain all the infrastructure needed to ensure high-quality drinking water is There When You Need It for LakeOswgo and Tigard residents. A lot of work takes place behind the scenes to provide customers with clean, safe and reliable drinking water every day.

During Drinking Water Week, let’s recognize and celebrate the tireless work these Unsung Heroes do, to ensure we all can enjoy nature’s most precious resource. This video shares the story of these heroes who work day and night to deliver the highest quality drinking water available to your home!

A Path to Pure Water

It takes a lot to deliver just about any high-quality product, and our Clackamas River drinking water is no exception. It includes an intricate maze of infrastructure – treatment plants, pipes, pumps, storage basins and treatment supplies – to ensure your drinking water is #ThereWhenYouNeedIt.

It’s #DrinkingWaterWeek – so take a look inside the heart of the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership’s water treatment plant and learn about the path to purifying your drinking water.