There is no evidence of abnormal salinity in Brookings water, City Manager Gary Milliman said today.
“We sent a water sample from our Chetco River intake to a certified laboratory in Grants Pass last week and received results of the analysis late Friday,” Milliman said.
The sample showed a salinity level of 4.57 ppm (parts per million) which the lab staff described as “low”, Milliman said.
The City does not regularly test for salinity and has no historic data. There is no state or federal standard for salinity.
According to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) webpage (http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/unregulated/sodium.cfm) people on a low sodium diet should avoid consuming water that exceeds 20 ppm salinity.
“We are a long way from hitting that level of salinity in the City water,” Milliman said.
“Anyone on a low sodium diet who is concerned about the effects of salinity in their drinking water should consult with their physician or pharmacist,” Milliman said. “I don’t think there is an issue with the low level in Brookings city water.”
The City took precautionary measures last week after reports of saltwater intrusion into the Harbor Water District intake, which is downstream from the City intake. Tests of the City’s water indicated a slight rise in conductivity, which prompted further testing. The City also discontinued pumping from its water intake during high tide periods and asked the public to conserve water.
The salinity test results indicate that the City intake is not affected by salt water intrusion.
“The period of extraordinary high tides has passed and we are returning to our normal operations schedule. We are not experiencing a water shortage, but water flows in the river remain low, so we continue to encourage conservation,” Milliman said.