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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Water Quality Update

May 23, 2017

This morning, Commissioner Fish shared the following message with his Council colleagues:

Dear Colleagues,

I write to update you on an important water quality issue.

Last Friday, the Water Bureau received a letter from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) revoking the City’s variance to treat for cryptosporidium in the Bull Run Watershed, effective September 22, 2017.

In 2012, Portland became the only water utility in the country to receive a 10-year variance to the required treatment under LT2 (Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule). The variance is structured like a last-chance agreement, and is subject to stringent testing requirements. The OHA action follows this past winter’s positive tests for cryptosporidium.

I want to be clear that the Portland Water Bureau has been, and remains, in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and that Bull Run water is safe to drink.

In response to OHA’s action, I have directed the bureau to brief the Council on treatment options at a work session on June 27.

We are coordinating all media requests concerning this issue. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or Mike if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you.

Nick Fish

Encl: OHA Order dated May 19, 2017

Portland Water Bureau FAQ



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Katherine Cook in KGW News


City of Portland Agrees to Treat Bull Run Water

Pat Dooris in KGW News


Portland Will Need to Treat Water from Bull Run

Amy Frazier in KOIN 6 News


Nick on KPAM Radio (segment begins at 27:40)

First Edition with Tim Hohl and Terry Travis, KPAM Radio


Treatment Plant May be Required at Bull Run Reservoir

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Oregon Rules Portland Must Build Costly Water Treatment Facility

Ryan Haas in OPB


Portland Loses Its Water Treatment Exemption

OPB's Think Out Loud


A Tiny Parasite Is Probably Going to Cost Water Customers Tens of Millions

Dirk VanderHart in the Portland Mercury


Hall Monitor: Hall Pass Revoked

Dirk VanderHart in the Portland Mercury


Parasite Levels in Portland's Drinking Water Surpass State Limits, Will Cost City at Least $90M

Jessica Floum in The Oregonian