Portland Water Bureau
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News Releases
Portland Water Bureau Returns to 100 Percent Bull Run Water - 10/17/18

The Portland Water Bureau returned to 100 percent Bull Run water today, Oct. 17. On June 19, the Portland Water Bureau began blending a portion of water from wells at the Columbia South Shore Well Field to augment supply from the Bull Run. Between an anticipated return of fall weather and lower seasonal demand, Bull Run reservoirs have adequate supply to meet Portland’s drinking water needs. Both the Bull Run and Columbia South Shore Well Field are high quality water sources that meet or surpass all federal and state drinking water regulations.

Through careful planning and investment, Portland has developed two excellent water sources that ensured the City could meet all of its customers’ needs through this warm and dry summer. Together, the Bull Run watershed and the Columbia South Shore Well Field constitute a resilient drinking water supply.

It will take one to eight days, depending on location, for 100 percent Bull Run water to move through the distribution system and reach customers.

While public notification is not required, the Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive users when it activates and discontinues use of groundwater.

To learn more about the Columbia South Shore Well Field, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/water/groundwater. Customers with water quality questions are encouraged to contact the Water Line at 503?823?7525.

Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update: Detections from routine monitoring in the Bull Run. Coordination with health officials continues. - 10/16/18

The Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. One Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in a 10-liter sample collected on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. Prior to this detection, Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on April 10, 2018, when one oocyst was detected in a 50-liter sample.

The bureau is currently serving a blend of Bull Run and groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well Field as its source of drinking water. The Portland Water Bureau does not currently treat the Bull Run for Cryptosporidium, but is required to do so under the drinking water regulations. Portland is working to install filtration by 2027 under a compliance schedule with the Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, the Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures such as watershed protection and additional monitoring to protect public health. Consultation with public health officials has concluded that at this time, customers do not need to take any additional precautions.

Exposure to Cryptosporidium can cause cryptosporidiosis, a serious illness. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach pain. People with healthy immune systems recover without medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with severely weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease. Symptoms may be more severe and could lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS; those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system; and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that a small percentage of the population could experience gastro-intestinal illness from Cryptosporidium and advises that customers who are immunocompromised and receive their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed consult with their healthcare professional about the safety of drinking the tap water. The Portland Water Bureau and Burlington, City of Gresham, City of Sandy, City of Tualatin, Green Valley, GNR, Hideaway Hills, Lake Grove, Lorna Portland Water, Lusted, Palatine Hill, Pleasant Home, Raleigh, Rockwood, Skyview Acres, Tualatin Valley, Two Rivers, Valley View and West Slope Water Districts receive all or part of their drinking water supply from the Bull Run. To learn if your drinking water comes from Bull Run, please contact your local drinking water provider.

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test results indicate a risk to public health and precautions are necessary.

Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Attached Media Files: Crypto_Press_Release_101618.docx
Bull Run Drinking Water Supply Not Treated for Cryptosporidium - 09/24/18

While small amounts of Cryptosporidium were detected coming from the Bull Run source starting in 2017, Cryptosporidium has not been detected in Portland’s drinking water since April 10, 2018. Over the next nine years, the Portland Water Bureau will be installing a new treatment plant to remove Cryptosporidium from Bull Run drinking water.

Until the filtration plant is online, the Portland Water Bureau is also committed to continued monitoring of the Bull Run and a range of actions to maintain public health protections. This includes informing the public of the potential risks of Cryptosporidium in drinking water and Portland’s plan for filtration by sharing the following information with the public on a quarterly basis.

The Portland Water Bureau does not currently treat for Cryptosporidium but is required to do so under the drinking water regulations. Portland is working to install filtration by 2027 under a compliance schedule with the Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures such as watershed protection and additional monitoring to protect public health. Consultation with public health officials has concluded that at this time, customers do not need to take any additional precautions.

Exposure to Cryptosporidium can cause cryptosporidiosis, a serious illness. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and stomach pain. People with healthy immune systems recover without medical treatment. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with severely weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease. Symptoms may be more severe and could lead to serious life-threatening illness. Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS, those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system, and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that a small percentage of the population could experience gastrointestinal illness from Cryptosporidium and advises that customers who are immunocompromised and receive their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed consult with their health care professional about the safety of drinking the tap water. The Portland Water Bureau and Burlington, City of Gresham, City of Sandy, City of Tualatin, Green Valley, GNR, Hideaway Hills, Lake Grove, Lorna Portland Water, Lusted, Palatine Hill, Pleasant Home, Raleigh, Rockwood, Skyview Acres, Tualatin Valley, Two Rivers, Valley View and West Slope Water Districts receive all or part of their drinking water supply from the Bull Run. To learn if your drinking water comes from Bull Run, please contact your local water provider.

Under the direction of Commissioner Amanda Fritz, the Portland Water Bureau plans to seek public feedback on the type of filtration and other details of the project prior to moving forward with a future filtration plant. Opportunities to provide input will be announced in the next few weeks.

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test results indicate a risk to public health and if precautions are necessary.

Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.