Water emergency strains Newport ahead of July 4th weekend

Oregon Coast

City leaders say water is still safe to drink but production volume has been affected

NEWPORT, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Coast is always a popular destination for the Fourth of July weekend but this year on top of difficulties caused by the ongoing pandemic, the city of Newport will be dealing with a water emergency.

City leaders told KOIN 6 News on Thursday the water is safe but some of the filters at the city’s treatment plant have been repeatedly clogging and limiting production.

While engineers were working to find the cause, major fish processing company Pacific Seafoods has temporarily halted production at the city’s request. City leaders said the company uses more than half of the city’s water produced at this time of year.

Workers at Pacific Seafood in Newport, Oregon, July 2, 2020. (KOIN)

Some temporary water restrictions have been put into place on things like lawn watering and power washing. Some residents also want the city to ban tourists over the weekend but city leaders said the business is needed for local economy.

“There are people who, because of COVID and water issues, want to limit tourists here but it’s impossible for our police to set up barricades and keep out those not from here checking licenses,” said Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer.

Newport has already cut some police positions due to budget issues. The city is bringing in portable filtering units this weekend and assure people the water is safe to drink. Leaders said they’re optimistic about fixing the problem by next week.

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