Operations at the City of The Dalles Wastewater Treatment Plant are improving but are not yet back in compliance after a recent plant upset that resulted in discharge to the Columbia River of treated wastewater exceeding the plant’s limit for E. coli. Wastewater treatment staff is working hard to restore the biological balance so that the plant can quickly return to normal operations.
On Tuesday May 30, 2018 samples were taken at pre-arranged locations in the Columbia River to determine the effect of the discharge on water quality in the river. Tests on five samples taken between River Mile 186.5 and 189.5 show that E. coli levels at the sample locations were well below bacterial criteria set by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for freshwater recreation.
As a precaution, signs will remain in place at locations of public river access until the discharge from the wastewater treatment plant returns to compliance. Signs are posted on the Oregon shore of the Columbia River, from The Dalles Riverfront Park to West Mayer Park boat launch. The signs say: “Warning – Contaminated Water – No water contact” and give phone numbers to call for information.
For information about Washington shore public river access, contact Klickitat County Emergency Management at (509) 773-4545.
The Department is in communication with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and local health department officials to coordinate response. Questions can be directed to the Public Works Department office at (541) 296-5401.