Oak Harbor water supply stable after Anacortes plant gets more chlorine

The city of Anacortes announced Thursday that its customers no longer needed to conserve water.

The city of Anacortes announced Thursday that its water customers no longer needed to conserve water because it had received enough chlorine for its water treatment plant after concern earlier in the week that it was running low on the chemical.

An equipment failure at Westlake Chemical in Longview put a kink in the chlorine supply chain, and Anacortes alerted customers its water treatment plant was running low. Anacortes owns a water right on the Skagit River and uses sodium hypochlorite, which is made using chlorine, to treat drinking water. The city supplies water to Oak Harbor and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, as well as La Conner and the two oil refineries Marathon and Shell.

Oak Harbor was in Stage 1 water restrictions on Monday out of three and signs in the city showed it was in the same stage Thursday morning.

Anacortes Public Works Director Fred Buckenmeyer said Monday the city had 11 days supply of the necessary chemical for normal water usage, but he expected to receive more shipments throughout the week. The city announced Thursday that it had received enough of the chemical to put the water treatment plant at an “above average level” and the wastewater treatment plant was at near full capacity.

The city’s press release said Westlake Chemical also found replacement for its broken equipment and expected it to resume normal operations by June 28.

Customers no longer need to conserve water, but the city still encouraged them to be mindful of their water usage.