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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.


1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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September Water Quality Trivia

By Lindsay Wochnick

This summer, the Portland Water Bureau has been supplementing its water supply by blending water from the Columbia South Shore Well Field with water from the Bull Run Watershed.

Which one of the following statements about groundwater is false?

A. Customers may notice white water spots on their dishes or other surfaces when groundwater is added to the distribution system. This is due to the increased mineral content or hardness of groundwater.

B. Depending on their location in the distribution system, some customers receive water piped directly from the well field.

C. Groundwater is run briefly once per year, even if it is not needed to supplement supply. An annual maintenance run is necessary to check equipment and monitor well water quality.

D. Groundwater receives the same treatment as Bull Run water. Chlorine and ammonia are added for disinfection and sodium hydroxide is added to adjust pH.

Answer: B is a false statement. Customers do not receive water directly from the well field. Groundwater only enters the distribution system after it travels to Powell Butte where it is blended with Bull Run water.

Questions or Concerns about Water Quality?
Contact the Portland Water Bureau’s Water Line at 503-823-7525.


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