The year 2020 continues to be a very unusual and challenging year for Newport, Oregon, the nation, and the world.
On the local scene, we have dealt with many aspects of COVID-19 since it first appeared on the scene in Oregon at the end of February. We have dealt with COVID in our workforce as well as in the community at large. Oregon State University has completed two studies trying to determine how wide spread COVID was in the City of Newport. While the first study showed an unusually high rate of infection in the community, compared with Corvallis and Bend, the later study showed that the infection rate had dropped from the earlier study. The message remains the same…wash your hands frequently, observe social distancing, and when that cannot be observed or when you are in an indoor public space, wear a mask. We all have a responsibility to limit the potential spread of COVID throughout our families, work places, and community.
The City is still struggling with finding a reason for the sediment issues impacting the microfiltration system at the water plant. Crews have been working with experts from Pall Corporation and HDR Engineering to improve filter function. This effort enabled the City to eliminate water restrictions after the Fourth of July weekend. The installation and operation of two portable sand filters this past week will now allow Public Works crews to take part of this water filtration system out of operation for an extended period.
They will be utilizing a number of experimental processes to eliminate the sediment problem restricting water production. Pall Corporation is now focusing on narrowing down the initial causes of the sediment issues. I appreciate the efforts of the Public Works crews and Water Plant personnel on working through these very challenging issues in a way that has facilitated the production of safe drinking water without requiring restrictions at this time.
I hope everyone enjoys the remaining weeks of summer. Newport is blessed with many outdoor opportunities that allow for social distancing during the COVID emergency. Enjoy the great outdoors and remain safe!