Pollutant in Hermiston runoff could threaten fish

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HERMISTON, Ore. (AP) -- The city of Hermiston is hoping an upgrade to its drinking water removes a persistent pollutant that has appeared in its wastewater runoff.

The East Oregonian reports the pollutant, beta sitosterol, was above acceptable levels as judged by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The pollutant is could pose a threat to fish if discharged in large enough quantites.

Hermiston's current water-treatment system runs off 1980s technology that city officials acknowledge needs to change.

But help is on the way. A planned upgrade to the water system is expected to remove the pollutant.

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Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.info