June 27, 2017
At the Portland Water Bureau, we’re committed to providing clean, safe, and reliable water at a fair price.
In 2012, Portland became the only water utility in the country to receive a variance to federal treatment requirements. The variance was a “one strike and you’re out” agreement.
This past winter, following heavy rains, the bureau detected trace amounts of Cryptosporidium in our Bull Run Watershed. The City has been – and remains in – compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. We continue to test our water for parasites (and haven’t had any detections since March), and Bull Run water is safe to drink.
However, because of the detections this past winter, the Oregon Health Authority revoked our variance. This means we are now required to treat our water for Cryptosporidium.
Today, Water Bureau staff presented treatment options to City Council. Council is weighing whether to construct an ultraviolet treatment plant or a filtration plant. Water bureau staff outlined the pros and cons of each.
As Council weighs the options, we continue to work closely with our regulators, our partners at Multnomah County Public Health, our citizen-led oversight bodies the Portland Utility Board and the Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon, and the public.
The Portland Utility Board will hold its regular meeting on July 11. And on August 2, Council will decide on a path forward.
Thanks to all our partners who joined us at Council today. And special thanks to Director Stuhr and his team at the Portland Water Bureau for their excellent presentation.
You can check out the presentation here.