Canby Utility has tested the water and will continue to test as the summer moves along

Canby Utility began checking the city's drinking water when Salem's water came under threat of contamination from algae. At that point, Canby Utility's partner, Veolia North America, started pulling water samples for toxic tests June 1. Results confirmed that Canby's water has no algae toxins. And the utility plans to continue testing.

As temperatures rise and water levels fall, the heat and lack of rainfall can combine to offer a perfect environment for algae to grow and even multiply on the Molalla River and other surface water resources.

The Canby Utility Board calls it a top priority to monitor water coming into and going out of the water treatment plant to ensure its safe to drink.

"While we have not yet had a toxic algae contamination incident on the Molalla, we are aware of the other incidents where harmful AB has been detected along the Willamette," said Dan Murphy, Canby Utility general manager. "Canby Utility will continue our voluntary testing for algae bloom toxins until the water temperatures drop out of the range that is conducive to bloom. We want our public to rest assured that we are being vigilant to make sure our water continues to be safe to drink."

Through comments on social media where some have complained of an "earthy" taste in Canby Utilities' treated drinking water, Murphy says the samples pulled on June 1 were analyzed for harmless algae compounds causing occasional bad taste and odor.

"The June test results came back negative for taste and odor as well," Murphy said. "We have no evidence to confirm that Canby water is experiencing taste or odor issues at this time."

Sometimes during summer months, the taste and odor compounds do exist, Murphy said, but "all the experts are telling us that this taste and odor problem could very well go away and not be a problem anymore for literally years, if ever."

It depends, he said on summer temperatures, rainfall and cyclical weather conditions.

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