Water Treatment Plant Seeps Toxins; Aftershocks Hit; Air Quality Alert Lifted; Gas Prices Dip

Water Treatment Plant Seeps Toxins

The City of Florence released a statement yesterday afternoon regarding operations at its waste water treatment plant.  According to the release, due to high levels of a filamentous bacteria called S. natans caused some materials in the final stage to bulk together and not settling out in the final stage of treatment.  These materials interfere with the disinfectant process causing higher levels of E. Coli and enterococcus bacteria to be discharged into the Siuslaw River than the city’s permit allows.  The city is conducting water quality samples upstream and down stream of the Siuslaw River and are encouraging people to thoroughly cook any shell fish harvested in the immediate vicinity of the Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The city is reporting that as of 2 pm yesterday conditions at the plant have improved and appear to be back within normal operating parameters.  The city has reported the incident with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Aftershocks Hit

There have been three additional aftershocks from the large 6.2 magnitude quake that shook the ocean floor off the coast yesterday.  According to the United States Geological survey.  The most recent was a 4.0 magnitude quake east of the original quake and occurred last night at 8 p.m.  All were at a similar depth of 6 miles.  Aftershocks are a common occurrence surrounding a larger quake and no watches or warnings were placed as a result of these quakes.

Air Quality Alert Lifted

Light rain and improving weather conditions as well as a slight shift of winds have improved the air quality over Florence.  The Lane regional air protection agency has lifted the air quality alert for Lane County, but wildfires burning across the state may make that change brief.  Two fires near Condon Oregon, the Stubblefield and Seale Fires have grown together according to the State Fire Marshal.  The fire is about 50% contained.  The Lonerock fire is about 60 % contained and the Jennie’s Peak fire is about 40% contained.

Gas Prices Dip

Gas prices have held fairly steady over the past 10 days in Oregon.  The Florence Area has seen a slight decrease.  About two cents a gallon of regular down to $2.94.  AAA Oregon is reporting that prices should see some declines as the summer driving season ends.