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Water bureau OK’s fire retardant drops in Portland’s Bull Run watershed

The Portland Water Bureau has approved fire retardant drops in the Bull Run watershed, a decision that allows firefighters to dump toxic chemicals in the city’s pristine source of drinking water.

The city agency did not publicly announce the decision, confirming it Wednesday only after repeated inquiries from The Oregonian/OregonLive.

“The Portland Water Bureau has […]

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Portlanders will pay more for their water after the City Council on Wednesday chose the most expensive option for a new treatment plant needed to meet state and federal rules.

Homeowners are expected to pay an average of $10.38 more per month over the next 16 years for the filtration treatment plant approved unanimously by […]

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UV, not filtration, should be used to protect Portland’s water (Guest opinion)

BY ERNEST ALAN MEYER

At Portland City Council, plans are being debated for treating water from the Bull Run watershed to prevent potentially human-infective cryptosporidium (crypto) oocysts from entering the Portland water supply. My research into treating water for crypto as a microbiology professor at Oregon Health & Science University may provide some insight that decision-makers can take into consideration.

Only two of the 15 known cryptosporidium species (there may be more) infect humans. These two specials can infect […]

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Portland Utility Board: Water Treatment Decision Needs More Time

Portland’s Utility Board has officially requested the City Council ask for more time to research whether ratepayers are better served by a water filtration plant or an ultraviolet light facility to treat its drinking water.

In a letter addressed to Mayor Ted Wheeler, city commissioners and Water Bureau Commissioner-in-Charge Nick Fish, the board urged council members to advocate for an extension before deciding on treatment technology. They added that without complete information at this time, PUB unanimously […]

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Protect our water: Oregonian Editorial

From its forested reservoir 25 miles east of Portland, the Bull Run system flows more than 200 million gallons of water daily into the city with minimal treatment and no filtration. It’s long been the only system in the nation that could make such a claim, a fact that’s been a point of […]

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Portland Water Bureau will once again serve Bull Run water

Jessica Floum | The Oregonian/OregonLive By Jessica Floum | The Oregonian/OregonLive

on March 14, 2017 at 12:23 PM

Portland water customers will once again drink and bathe in the city’s famed Bull Run water starting Wednesday after detections of parasites have gone down.

The Portland Water Bureau said Tuesday it will switch back to delivering customers water from the near-pristine Bull Run Watershed on Wednesday after serving only groundwater for about a month.

The office switched to serving 100 percent […]

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Portland switching water source after potentially deadly parasite found

Created on Monday, 13 February 2017 | Written by Jim Redden | Print Beginning Monday, 100 percent of the city’s water will be coming from the Columbia South Shore Well Field. It is normally used as a second source of water in the summer months after the Bull Run reservoir is drawn down to reduce turbidity. PORTLAND TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO – Portland has switched its water source from the Bull Run reservoir to groundwater wells along the Columbia River. PORTLAND […]

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Portland finds parasite in drinking water, raising possible need for treatment plant

By Jessica Floum

February 06, 2017

Portland’s water bureau detected a trace amount of cryptosporidium parasite in a test of drinking water from the Bull Run watershed again Monday.

After four straight years not finding any cryptosporidium during weekly water samplings, the city has now detected the parasite four times this year, raising the specter that the city might have to build an expensive treatment plant.

This week’s finding does not raise immediate alarms for human health, officials said. The […]

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Why Portland’s Water Hasn’t Gotten The Lead Out

by Tony Schick OPB/EarthFix |

April 9, 2016 In the mornings, Jeff Mastrandea waits a good 30 seconds after turning on his faucet. He also makes sure to drink from a filter. He does this because his water is sometimes laced with unsafe levels of lead. He wants to let any water with the toxic metal drain out before he takes a drink.

When the famously pure water from Portland’s Bull Run Watershed sits overnight in the copper plumbing of […]

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Lead in the water: Why Portland’s on wrong end of national list

By Brad Schmidt | The Oregonian/OregonLive

April 09, 2016 Among America’s 75 biggest water providers, only one has recently exceeded federal standards for elevated lead levels in the drinking water of high-risk homes.

And when Portland isn’t surpassing that benchmark, it hovers just below – with current testing showing the greatest lead levels among all large cities.

The Rose City’s poor position nationally is coming into sharp focus in the fallout over toxic lead levels exposed in Flint, Michigan. A […]

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