LONGVIEW, WA (KPTV) - City officials along the West Coast are asking their communities to voluntarily reduce water usage after an equipment failure at a chlorine manufacturing facility in Longview, WA, caused a critical chlorine supply issue. Late last night, Lake Oswego and Tigard joined the list of cities asking people to conserve water.

Right now, city officials are only asking for voluntary conservation to help avoid the potential for mandatory cutbacks. Lake Oswego and Tigard employees have implemented measures to extend chlorine supply to make sure tap water is still safe to drink.

It's nice outside and you might be tempted to fire up the garden hose and give your car a bath, but did you know you use about three times as much water at home than you would at a car wash?

“On an average, a garden hose will fill a 5-gallon bucket in about a minute and a half or less, so it will run 20-25 gallons, which at home you’re paying for the water, that ups your sewer costs because it’s all tied together,” said Frank Weber, the maintenance manager at Kiss Car Wash in Tigard.

Weber told FOX 12 about 90% of Kiss Car Wash's water is reclaimed.

“We’re using maybe five to seven gallons per car versus the 15 to 20 you would use at home,” he said.

Some other ways to conserve water are to take shorter showers, limit running the dishwasher or washing machine, and postpone new plantings in your garden.

Local city officials say until the chain of supply for sodium hypochlorite has been reestablished, they want you take these voluntary measures. Lake Oswego and Tigard are working directly with other water utilities and state and federal departments to get the chlorine supply they need.

Weber said at Kiss Car Wash, they monitor fresh water usage and keep it at a minimum, while still getting your car squeaky clean.

Meanwhile, local officials are getting daily updates about the chlorine supply and will let customers know if mandatory actions become necessary.

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(2) comments

Just curious

How does the loss of the chlorine plant affect all the water systems?

Delta Bravo

During a drought in Portland several decades ago, the government discouraged washing your car claiming high water usage, just as this article claims. When challenged as to the high usage number, the government admitted their number was derived assuming the hose was left on and running during the entire wash time-no nozzle, no turning off the water. This was labeled a "government car wash" at the time because everything is FREE to the government but no person in his right mind who actually has to pay for something would waste water in that manner. Consequently I am highly skeptical of the government facts in the article and will wash my car as needed.

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