Powder River

North Powder, Oregon

Powder River near North Powder, OR

The Powder River is a tributary of the Snake River, approximately 153 miles (246 km) long, in northeast Oregon in the United States. It drains an area of the Columbia Plateau on the eastern side of the Blue Mountains. It flows almost entirely within Baker County but downstream of the city of North Powder forms part of the border between Baker County and Union County.

There are three man-made reservoirs on the Powder River: Phillips Reservoir (behind Mason Dam), Thief Valley Reservoir, and also the Powder arm of Brownlee Reservoir at the Oregon–Idaho border at the confluence of the Powder and Snake Rivers. In 1988, 11.7 miles (18.8 km) of the Powder River was designated Wild and Scenic. Between the Thief Valley Dam and the Oregon Route 203 bridge, this stretch flows through a rugged canyon with spectacular geologic formations.

WATER QUALITY
  • Passed water quality tests at least 95% of the time
  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on . Snake River Waterkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   
MONITORING FREQUENCY

Powder River is sampled from June 7th to August 30th

SOURCE INFORMATION

There is currently very limited water quality monitoring of Idaho's inland swim sites. The federal Beach Act does not cover freshwater or riverine beaches, and states in the Basin do not monitor Snake River swimming beaches or recreational access sites.

As part of its Water Quality Program, Snake River Waterkeeper monitors water quality at more than 100 sites on the Snake River and its tributaries for temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity/conductivity/total dissolved solids, ammonia, and nitrates. Data are collected at sample sites June-October and assigned safety ratings based on comparison to EPA's Recreational Water Quality Criteria for Human Health:

pH: 5 – 9 µg/L
Salinity/Conductivity/Total Dissolved Solids: 500 mg/L
Nitrates: 10 mg/L

A site is marked Green when single sample results meet all Human Health Criteria.
A site is marked Red when the results are equal to or above Human Health Criteria.
A site is marked Grey when there are no current results or no available information.
Sites found to exceed EPA's Aquatic Health Criteria are noted in site descriptions.

While criteria measured are useful indicators of contamination, there are many other potential sources of pollution that are not reflected in our Swim Guide, including E.coli and other bacteria, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, and pesticides that harm aquatic life.

Download the free app for smartphone and learn about Swim Guide 3.0 at www.theswimguide.org. To learn more about our efforts to protect and restore the Snake River's water quality, visit www.snakeriverwaterkeeper.org.

WATER QUALITY GRAPH

Powder River

North Powder, Oregon

WATER QUALITY
  • Passed water quality tests at least 95% of the time
  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on . Snake River Waterkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   

Powder River near North Powder, OR

The Powder River is a tributary of the Snake River, approximately 153 miles (246 km) long, in northeast Oregon in the United States. It drains an area of the Columbia Plateau on the eastern side of the Blue Mountains. It flows almost entirely within Baker County but downstream of the city of North Powder forms part of the border between Baker County and Union County.

There are three man-made reservoirs on the Powder River: Phillips Reservoir (behind Mason Dam), Thief Valley Reservoir, and also the Powder arm of Brownlee Reservoir at the Oregon–Idaho border at the confluence of the Powder and Snake Rivers. In 1988, 11.7 miles (18.8 km) of the Powder River was designated Wild and Scenic. Between the Thief Valley Dam and the Oregon Route 203 bridge, this stretch flows through a rugged canyon with spectacular geologic formations.

MONITORING FREQUENCY

Powder River is sampled from June 7th to August 30th

SOURCE INFORMATION

There is currently very limited water quality monitoring of Idaho's inland swim sites. The federal Beach Act does not cover freshwater or riverine beaches, and states in the Basin do not monitor Snake River swimming beaches or recreational access sites.

As part of its Water Quality Program, Snake River Waterkeeper monitors water quality at more than 100 sites on the Snake River and its tributaries for temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity/conductivity/total dissolved solids, ammonia, and nitrates. Data are collected at sample sites June-October and assigned safety ratings based on comparison to EPA's Recreational Water Quality Criteria for Human Health:

pH: 5 – 9 µg/L
Salinity/Conductivity/Total Dissolved Solids: 500 mg/L
Nitrates: 10 mg/L

A site is marked Green when single sample results meet all Human Health Criteria.
A site is marked Red when the results are equal to or above Human Health Criteria.
A site is marked Grey when there are no current results or no available information.
Sites found to exceed EPA's Aquatic Health Criteria are noted in site descriptions.

While criteria measured are useful indicators of contamination, there are many other potential sources of pollution that are not reflected in our Swim Guide, including E.coli and other bacteria, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, and pesticides that harm aquatic life.

Download the free app for smartphone and learn about Swim Guide 3.0 at www.theswimguide.org. To learn more about our efforts to protect and restore the Snake River's water quality, visit www.snakeriverwaterkeeper.org.

WATER QUALITY GRAPH



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