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.

Oversight Committee Meeting – 4/5/21

The next Oversight Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 5, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held virtually using Webex to accommodate COVID-19 safety protocols.

Click here to see the meeting agenda and materials.

This meeting is open to the public. To sign up to attend virtually, please contact Susie Anderson on 503-534-5741 by 12 p.m., Monday, April 5th for a Webex meeting link.

Fix A Leak Week

It’s #FixALeakWeek! Did you know, household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide? That’s the annual household water use of nearly 11 million homes. This week, along with EPA Water Sense and the Regional Water Providers Consortium, we are challenging you to take 10 minutes to look for household leaks that can be easy to fix.

Follow along with the #FixALeak checklist:

Thank you, Tigard

The recent snow and ice storm resulted in extensive power outages throughout Lake Oswego and our metro region. The City of Lake Oswego lost power at all main facilities, including the LO-Tigard river intake pump station and the water treatment plant that provides water to 100,000 customers in Lake Oswego and Tigard.

While Partnership staff worked tirelessly to secure generators and restore temporary power, LO turned to their partner for help. In a precautionary effort, the Partnership activated our emergency water intertie at our Waluga Reservoir site. For the first time since the intertie was installed, the flow of water was reversed, with Tigard supplying water to Lake Oswego’s reservoirs. This ensured the Lake Oswego community would not go without drinking water and our emergency responders had ample storage for responding to fires.

While challenges needed to be overcome, this was a great testament to the incredible partnership with Tigard and Lake Oswego. Thank you, Tigard. This truly is a partnership that is built to last and continues to live up to our motto – sharing water, connecting communities.

Flush Your Water Pipes

Has your building been partially or fully closed for months during the pandemic? Flush Your Water Pipes!

Many offices, schools, and other buildings have been partially or fully closed due to the pandemic. Water sitting in pipes for long periods of time can create water quality challenges and potential health risks that should be addressed prior to returning to more normal operations. Fresh water should be drawn into building water systems and stagnant water flushed out before they are reopened.

As a water provider, we control microorganisms – including Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ Disease – as part of our routine treatment operations. Once water enters a home or building, the resident or building manager is responsible for maintaining water quality in their home or building plumbing system.

How to flush your system

Flushing your water pipes is an easy way to help maintain quality by removing the older water out of the pipes and bringing fresh water in. Follow the simple steps outlined in the graphic below!

The American Water Works Association has also developed flushing instructions.

Where to find safe building reopening resources 

Building managers can find guidance on reopening buildings, information about potential hazards, and best practices for flushing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

If you have questions or concerns about reopening your building or your water quality, we are here to help. Please email us or call 503-635-0394.