Clackamas County water coalition to test emergency response
The Clackamas River Water Providers, a coalition of municipal drinking water providers that get their drinking water from the Clackamas River, is arranging for the closure of Riverside County Park from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, to test newly developed spill response strategies on the river.
The coalition is made up of representatives from the Clackamas River Water District, city of Estacada, city of Lake Oswego, city of Tigard, the North Clackamas County Water Commission (city of Gladstone and Oak Lodge Water Services), South Fork Water Board (Oregon City and West Linn) and Sunrise Water Authority (Happy Valley and Damascus). The coalition has been working with local first responders and Water Environment Services to better respond to potential spills of hazardous material on the Clackamas River by developing strategies to protect the drinking water source if a spill does occur. Coalition representatives will work with NRC, a spill response contactor, Clackamas Fire District #1, DEQ and other partners to put boats and booms into the river to respond to a mock spill.
"A hazardous material spill in the Clackamas Industrial Area is an area of particular concern," said Kim Swan, the coalition's water resource manager.
Many of the businesses in the industrial area are less than a quarter-mile away from the Clackamas River. Hundreds of storm drains and four small tributary creeks (Rock, Sieben, Carli and Cow creeks) drain this area and flow into the river just upstream of four drinking water intakes.
"Testing and practicing the response strategies we have developed to see how well they work while identifying areas where we might need to make changes is critical to protecting our drinking water infrastructure," Swan said. "It also gives us an opportunity to build stronger relationships with our local, state and federal first responders to protect our drinking water."
With funding from a state grant, the coalition also has been developing a Hazardous Spill Prevention Program for businesses located within the Clackamas Industrial Area to receive free or discounted spill prevention and response equipment and free technical assistance.