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Yes. There is enough chlorine supply in Oregon to last the next few weeks. For more information about your specific community's water supply, please contact your local water utility.
Chlorine is required to disinfect drinking water and treat wastewater for public health and safety. Chlorination is a critical part of the water treatment process that disinfects and kills bacteria, viruses and other microbes.
While there are no impacts to the water quality now, people can help extend the current chlorine supply by using water wisely. Use water only for drinking, cooking and bathing. Limit outdoor use such as watering lawns, washing cars or filling pools.
The state is working to get an accurate inventory of the current chlorine supply on hand and working with local entities to share the supply until Westlake’s chlorine production resumes.
No. Some utilities in Oregon produce chlorine locally for their treatment processes. Others who rely on the chlorine supply from Westlake will be supplemented by areas that have extra chlorine supply.
The chlorine shortage is not unique to the Pacific Northwest. Only a few manufacturers in the U.S. supply the bulk of the nation’s chlorine and several others have been experiencing difficulty meeting demand in the last year. Fortunately, Oregon has enough supply in the state to last a few weeks.
The electrical failure at Westlake follows a fire that destroyed BioLab in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in August 2020, rendering that plant inoperable. That facility was responsible for a significant portion of chlorine tablets produced for the U.S. market. In addition, national production and shipping have also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a nationwide chlorine shortage.
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