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The City of Oregon’s water treatment plant is a regional public water system serving 29,000 people in several northwestern Ohio communities and counties. Their water intake is in the western basin of Lake Erie. The shallow depth of the basin, combined with factors such as runoff, nutrients, winds, currents and invasive mussels can contribute to algae blooms from June to September of each year. Certain types of algae, in turn, release microcystins that are generally harmful upon contact.

For several years, in the late summer and early fall season, the City of Oregon increased its use of powdered activated carbon and chlorine to treat raw water entering the plant. While the treatment was effective in addressing microcystins, the increased chlorine from the treatment process contributed to an increase in trihalomethane compounds (common by-products of disinfection) in the treated water.

After evaluating several alternatives, the city decided to install a water ozonation system and biological filters at the treatment plant. In March 2016, the city received a $15.36 million loan at zero percent interest rate from Ohio EPA’s Drinking Water Assistance Fund (DWAF) to design and construct these plant modifications, including a new intermediate pump station. Construction is currently on schedule and the upgrades are expected to be in operation by June 2017. These upgrades and enhancements will help ensure better quality drinking water to Oregon’s customers.

Since 1999, Ohio EPA’s DWAF has provided low-interest loans to help Ohio communities plan, design and build water infrastructure projects including treatment plant improvements, waterline extensions, meter replacements and storage tank construction and rehabilitation. If you have questions about Ohio EPA’s DWAF, please contact Kevin Spurbeck at or (614) 644-3645.

Upgrades and enhancements at the City of Oregon’s water treatment plant will help ensure better quality drinking water to their customers.