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Portland Water Bureau

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Bull Run Treatment Variance: Watershed & Supply Protection, Inspection & Monitoring

By Lindsay Wochnick

Reservoir 2 holds about seven billion gallons.

This past March marks the third anniversary of the Bull Run Treatment Variance (BRTV).

Granted by the Oregon Health Authority in 2012, the Variance allows the Portland Water Bureau to operate the Bull Run supply without treatment for Cryptosporidium, due to the protected nature of the watershed.

Maintaining the BRTV requires intensive monitoring for Cryptosporidium.  In 2014, the Water Bureau collected and tested the following for Cryptosporidium: 

  • 5,200 liters (L) of raw intake water from Headworks
  • 710 L of Bull Run tributary water from the 4 Key Stations
  • 294 wildlife scats from the watershed 

Bull Run Treatment Variance Watershed Report - Water Year 2014The Water Bureau is also required to demonstrate protection of the watershed and water supply. To that end, the bureau:

  • Completed 1,155 checks of 16 watershed entry gates
  • Conducted 363 inspections of the Diversion Pool
  • Verified containment at 16 sanitary facilities
  • Carried out 27 wildlife inspections
  • Inspected 13 miles of public trails
  • Flew 2 aerial inspections for landslides
  • Prepared a 97 page compliance report for OHA, accessible online on the LT2 webpage.

In addition to meeting these ongoing requirements, the Water Bureau met several milestones in 2014 including: 

  • Major Key Station upgrades
  • Two wildlife studies
  • A Bull Run Neighbor Outreach campaign
  • A standard operating procedure for livestock incursions

And finally, the most important statistics for 2014:

  • Complete compliance with Variance conditions
  • Zero detections of Cryptosporidium in the water


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Spam Prevention In the Pacific Northwest, what state is Portland in?