Category Archives: Water Partnership

Imagine a Day Without Water

This year, we have faced an enormous public health crisis from the coronavirus pandemic and an unprecedented disaster with the recent wildfires. Throughout these emergencies, our water treatment plant operators and public works professionals have kept clean drinking water flowing to homes, hospitals, fire hydrants, schools, and businesses.

These crises demonstrate the critical role that water and wastewater systems play in our daily lives, protecting public health, safeguarding the environment, fighting fires, making a healthy economy possible, and supporting our quality of life.

Millions of Americans take water service for granted every day. We turn on the tap, and safe drinking water reliably flows out. We flush the toilet, and don’t have to think twice about where it goes.

Today, we Imagine a Day Without Water. We ask you to consider what your day would be like if you couldn’t turn on the tap and get clean drinking water. Let’s pause and notice the way that water systems impact our lives and communities. We ask you to share why water is important to you, your business, your family and your community, and help us commit to ensuring a sustainable water future for generations to come.

Thank You, Frontline Workers!

🚒👨🏻‍🚒🚜👮🏽‍♀️ Not all heroes wear capes! 2020 has brought numerous challenges, but we are grateful to the City’s frontline workers who serve this community every day. The last few weeks, crews from Fire, Police, Parks, Public Works, and the Water Treatment Plant have worked tirelessly to respond to the wildfires and windstorm. Our hearts go out to those that have been affected by the fires, including members of City staff. Let’s give these incredible individuals the gratitude they deserve! THANK YOU 💙🙏🏽❤️

Thank you, LO Fire. Fire not only kept our community safe, they also worked on the frontlines to protect our state, serving on crews at the Clackamas Wildfires, Hwy 242 Fire and others.

Thank you, LO Police. Police had 18 officers help the City of Molalla evacuate. Police also had two officers covering calls for Molalla Police daily through 9/19 so officers in the community were able to rest.

Thank you, LOCOM. Our 9-1-1 dispatchers absorbed increased call volume from Clackamas County to help with evacuation orders and life and safety calls.

Thank you, Parks team.  Parks crews implemented closures due to fire risk and poor air quality.  In one day, our team closed 15 playgrounds, 27 restrooms, 7 parking lots, 4 dog parks/off-leash areas, 9 athletic fields, 22 natural areas, and the golf course. They are also cleaning up damage in parks caused by the windstorm.

Thank you, Public Works. Public Works responded to Monday’s windstorm by clearing 20 down trees and working with PGE to minimize power outages. By Tuesday, over 50% of our team were in Level 2 or higher evacuation. In the midst of evacuating families, they actively repaired fire trucks and cleared streets for travel.

Thank you, Water Treatment Plant operators. These heroes ensured firefighters had water to fight fires and our communities had clean drinking water. The staff worked 12-hour shifts in order to increase water production to aid neighboring water systems with water supply for fire related demands.

National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. As we have learned with the COVID-19 pandemic and Oregon Wildfires, emergencies can take many forms and often occur unexpectedly. Lake Oswego was recently under a level one “Be Ready” evacuation notice for the Clackamas Wildfires. While our evacuation level may have been lifted, it is an important lesson for us all to be prepared and get our kits together.

Fortunately, pulling together the needed supplies for an emergency kit isn’t difficult or expensive, and you’re probably already more prepared than you think! Having an emergency supply of water is one of the most important things that you can do to prepare for an emergency. People can survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. So, water is a good place to start your preparedness efforts. Here in the PNW, the general rule is one gallon of water per person or pet per day to last you 14 days.

As for the rest of the kit, take stock of what you already have around your home. Pack up your items in an easy-to-carry container and store them in a centralized, accessible location. Finally, add the remaining items to your shopping list and pick up a few things every time to you go to the store.

Learn more about how to store your emergency water supply and other things you can do to get prepared at


Bob Blezinski’s 40 Years of Service!

Bob Blezinski was hired by the City of Lake Oswego on August 18th 1980 as an Operator at the Lake Oswego Water Treatment Plant.  Bob earned his Water Treatment Level 4 Certification from the State of Oregon, and is also a Licensed Electrician and holds an LME.  Participating in several major WTP upgrades during his tenure at the treatment plant, including the complete plant replacement from 2013-2017, Bob has witnessed a generation of change.  Back when Bob started in 1980, the treatment plant produced 10 million gallons per day.  Now, through all those changes and plant replacements, he helps run a complex system that can produce up to 38 million gallons per day.

Bob is well known at the WTP for his adventurous travels, just ask him about almost any country on the globe and he has likely visited it.  Please join us in recognizing Bob for 40 years of service and dedication to providing clean drinking water to the communities of Lake Oswego and Tigard.  Thank you, Bob!

Fish On the Run, Irrigation Done!

The City of Lake Oswego and Clackamas River Water Providers are asking our customers to participate in our “Fish On the Run, Irrigation Done” annual summer watering campaign. This helps the Clackamas River by reducing or shutting-off outdoor watering in early September for the fall fish migration.

In addition to providing drinking water to over 300,000 people, the river is home to migrating salmon and steelhead virtually year-round. Most of the year there is plenty of water in the river, however summer is also the time of year when the Clackamas River is flowing at its lowest levels and we get the least amount of rain fall.

Water conservation is especially important starting in late August as fall Chinook and Coho Salmon begin returning to the Clackamas on the way to their spawning grounds. As our summers are getting longer and hotter, making sure there is enough water in the river for the fall fish runs is getting more challenging. Whether you use a hose or have an underground watering system to water your yard and garden, and care about protecting our river water for people, and wildlife here’s your chance to be part of our annual “Fish On the Run, Irrigation Done” campaign.

Visit our campaign resources: and find out what kind of changes you can make to your outdoor water use to ensure that you are using your drinking water in the most efficient ways possible.

Take the pledge: and receive a free yard sign letting neighbors know you are doing your part to keep water in the Clackamas River. The more water we can conserve the easier this journey will be for these threatened and endangered salmon species.

Your Drinking Water: There When You Need It

No matter the weather or the emergency, there are hardworking water professionals braving the elements to maintain all the infrastructure needed to ensure high-quality drinking water is There When You Need It for Lake Oswego and Tigard residents. A lot of work takes place behind the scenes to provide customers with clean, safe and reliable drinking water every day.

During Drinking Water Week (May 3-9), let’s recognize and celebrate the tireless work these unsung heroes do, to ensure we all can enjoy nature’s most precious resource. This video shares the story of these heroes who work day and night to deliver the highest quality drinking water available to your home!

Kari Duncan: A Leader Among Leaders

Earlier this week, our very own Kari Duncan, Lake Oswego Tigard Water Treatment Plant Manager, was awarded the George Warren Fuller Award by the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Waterworks Association (AWWA). This award recognizes distinguished service in the water supply field, diplomatic and constructive leadership, and creativity and innovation.

The AWWA is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, our most important resource.

While Kari was unable to receive the award in a typical ceremony, her colleagues and family organized a surprise physically distanced ceremony. The plaques were hand delivered to the treatment plant, her husband and sons joined in the festivities, and a video conference was held with all the past recipients to congratulate her via great distances.

Part of the inscription on the plaque reads: “Her volunteerism, plus many years of providing service to her community and the next generation of water operators, thus ensuring the world’s most precious commodity of clean drinking water, makes her of receiving this highest honor in the Water Works industry.”

She is a tremendous asset to our city, and we are very fortunate to have her managing Lake Oswego and Tigard’s water supply and treatment! Thank you, Kari!

For more information about the Pacific Northwest Section of AWWA, visit


A Message from WTP Operator Adam Brensen

Lake Oswego Tigard Water Treatment Plant Operator, Adam Brensen, is one of our unsung heroes supporting Lake Oswego and Tigard communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Adam and the team continue to provide you safe drinking water that is available at the turn of a tap 24/7. Our operators work hard to keep the drinking water flowing so you can stay home, stay safe, and stay hydrated.

During this time, Adam and his family are doing their part to help others by making cloth masks for those who need them most.

Remember, we are #LOtogether.

Where does LO’s drinking water come from?

Happy National Drinking Water Week (May 5-11)!

We depend on clean, safe drinking water supply daily, but where does that water come from? Many of us do not know the answer. For Lake Oswego and Tigard residents, it’s the Clackamas River – one of the highest quality water sources in the state.

The Clackamas River provides a drinking water supply to nearly 400,000 people in Clackamas and Washington Counties. The Clackamas River watershed encompasses 940 square miles and begins in the Mount Hood National Forest.

Unlike the City of Portland’s protected Bull Run watershed, the Clackamas is a multi-use watershed with various users and ownership throughout the watershed.

This week, we encourage you to get to know your local water supply source, so together we can protect and preserve it. Protecting our source ensures we have a sustainable supply for the future!

To learn more about Lake Oswego’s water source and state-of-the-art water treatment system, visit

To watch a short film about the river and the story behind it (featuring our very own water conservation specialist, Kevin McCaleb) visit