City of Grants Pass says it's not affected by chlorine shortage

Grants Pass residents are not being asked to conserve water like many areas of Oregon because the city has a different supplier of chlorine.

Posted: Jun 18, 2021 10:04 AM
Updated: Jun 18, 2021 2:14 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The notification of a chlorine shortage from the Medford Water Commission and Oregon state officials does not extend to Grants Pass, city officials said on Friday — but residents are still asked to conserve water where possible.

The Thursday advisory sprang from a major disruption of the chlorine products used in water treatment, which will impact much of the Pacific Northwest. But the City of Grants Pass says that it has a different primary supplier of chlorine than Westlake Chemical in southwest Washington state where a major electrical failure has caused an extended shutdown.

Grants Pass sources its hypochlorite supplies from Olin Chlor-Alkali in Tracy, California, which has not been impacted by the supply chain boondoggle. Officials said that they have an adequate supply of chemicals on hand, and an order for forthcoming supplies has been confirmed.

“The chlorine supply shortage will not impact Grants Pass customers,” said Public Works director Jason Canady.

Grants Pass says it uses small amounts of liquid hypochlorite to control microbial contaminants in its water following the filtration process. A packaged version of the chemical is also used to maintain chlorine residuals in the distribution system.

Canady said the City of Grants Pass is “ready and willing” to assist other local water utilities with meeting their supply requirements, should they have urgent need.

“Grants Pass and the Medford Water Commission have been in regular communication during this supply shortage and have standing mutual assistance agreements in place should the shortage become prolonged,” said Canady.

Even though Grants Pass is in no danger of running out of chlorine, city officials say that they are following state protocols and requesting that customers reduce water usage where they can.

“Reducing water use will lessen the demand for chlorine in Oregon and across the West, which will reduce strain on the supply chain,” Canady said.

Grants Pass advised the following in order to help conserve:

  • Postponing New Planting: Planting new items in the yard or garden during hot weather is not the best plan for the health of the plant or for water conservation. If possible, wait until the weather cools before planting new items.
  • Reduce Outdoor Watering: Hot weather doesn’t necessarily require increased outdoor watering. Lawns and most plants can withstand a few days of very hot weather without requiring additional water, especially if customers are following green grass gauge recommendations.
  • Don’t Wash the Driveway: Avoid using water to wash driveways and sidewalks. Use a broom.
  • Don’t Wash Vehicles at Home: Use car wash facilities to wash vehicles. Those facilities are designed to conserve and recycle water.

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