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Why was Oregon water safe during Toledo water crisis?

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Inside the Oregon Water Treatment Plant Inside the Oregon Water Treatment Plant
OREGON, OH (Toledo News Now) -

While Toledo water was tainted over the weekend, the city of Oregon's stayed clear, even though both get their water from the same area of Lake Erie. So how does that happen?

It takes many steps – at both the Toledo and Oregon treatment plants – to get the Lake Erie water clean and ready to be used in local homes and businesses. The process is similar in Oregon to what is done in Toledo, but there are a few key differences that may be why Oregon water remained clean during the Toledo water crisis.

"It's probably just the detention time through the plant," said Doug Wagner, superintendent of the Oregon Water Treatment Plant. "We're operating at about 50 percent of our maximum capacity, so the water travels through the plant a little bit slower and gives the chemicals a little more time to do what they're supposed to do."

There are also extensive steps involved in testing the water that comes in from Lake Erie. Wagner says he used to test the water at the Oregon plant once every few days, but he's now testing every day.

"A lot of people take water for granted. As long as they can turn on their tap and something drinkable comes out, they're pretty much not worried about it," Wagner said. "But once we have a crisis, then water is in everybody's forefront."

Workers at the Oregon plant understand the importance of fresh drinking water for people, especially after the recent crisis in Toledo.

"We try to exceed standards, if not maintain what the EPA standards set to have clean water and consumable water for everyone," said Tim Eckman, who works in water operation at the plant.

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