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Regional chlorine shortage: How we're responding

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Portland's water remains available and safe to drink during this regional supply shortage.

Portlanders may use water to stay hydrated and keep cool during the extreme heat.
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Update:  The Portland Water Bureau has resumed normal operations as the chlorine shortage resolves. 

After a shortage threatened reliable shipments of chlorine to the West Coast and other parts of the country, the Portland Water Bureau has resumed normal operations. 

Two main factors triggered the resolution to the shortage. Westlake, the chlorine production facility in Longview, Wash., successfully repaired its transformer on June 23 and has ramped up operations to deliver chlorine to its customers, which includes the Portland Water Bureau. Also, Portland has received several chlorine deliveries and does not anticipate interruption to upcoming deliveries. 

Please note that water providers throughout the region have different chlorine supply situations. Please check with your water provider about your local situation if you live outside our service area. Find your water service provider.


What happened

Portland Water Bureau was notified Friday, June 11, that the chlorine manufacturer Westlake (Longview, WA) was down due to an unexpected failure of a critical piece of electrical equipment. This has caused a disruption to the available supply of chlorine, a key chemical in our water treatment process. We also learned on Tuesday, June 15 that supply chain interruptions are more extensive than previously known and may affect much of the West Coast.  

Read the press release. 

ASL interpretation of press release about the regional chlorine shortage.

At this time, we have adequate chlorine supply and operational flexibility to continue normal operations. We are constantly monitoring the situation and evaluating our supplies and procedures in anticipation of any continued disruption.

This is an evolving situation and updates will be posted here.

What we're doing

We are drawing on our strong partnerships with local, state and regional partners to efficiently and thoughtfully respond to this evolving incident. We have active partnerships with public health experts, regional water providers and emergency managers across the state. Together, we prepare for a variety of circumstances, including treatment chemical shortages.   

We can quickly activate mutual aid agreements between partner utility providers, such as the Oregon Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (ORWARN), if needed. We share updated information among utilities and potentially leverage resources and direct them where they are needed the most.

We carefully invest in water system requirements that have prepared us for situations like these. Portland is fortunate to have two high-quality drinking water sources that are available to use in potential emergencies. Investment in our groundwater source, the Columbia South Shore Well Field, allows us to operate our water system in a way that will allow us to keep meeting Portlanders’ drinking water needs.  

We will incorporate lessons learned from this shortage event into the design of our Bull Run filtration facility to mitigate similar risks. 

We are committed to transparency. We will keep you informed as we learn more and determine next steps.

What you can do

We encourage everyone to sign up for Public Alerts at PublicAlerts.org to stay informed about this and other events that affect our community.

Learn more about the rigorous process we undertake to treat and monitor our water to ensure its quality and safety: www.portland.gov/water/water-quality 

As the situation unfolds, continue to visit this page for updates.


The City of Portland ensures meaningful access to city programs, services, and activities to comply with Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II laws, and reasonably provides: translation, interpretation, modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, auxiliary aids and services. Please reply to this email or  call 503-865-6688 or the Oregon Relay Service: 711 with requests or visit Portland Water Bureau’s Disability and Language Access page for more information.

Traducción e Interpretación  |  Biên Dịch và Thông Dịch  |  अनुवादन तथा व्याख्या

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Translation and Interpretation:  503-865-6688