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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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Jan. 18, 2019: Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update

The Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. In samples collected between Jan. 13 and Jan. 16, one Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected from a sample collected on Jan. 14. Cryptosporidium was not detected in samples collected on Jan. 13, Jan. 15 or Jan. 16. Prior to these detections, Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on Jan. 8.

The bureau continues to use the Bull Run as its primary source of drinking water. The Portland Water Bureau does not currently treat for Cryptosporidium, but is required to do so under the drinking water regulations. Portland is working to install filtration by September 2027 under a compliance schedule with Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures such as watershed protection and additional monitoring to protect public health. Consultation with public health officials has concluded that at this time, customers do not need to take any additional precautions.

About Cryptosporidium

Exposure to Cryptosporidium can cause cryptosporidiosis, a serious illness. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach pain. People with healthy immune systems recover without medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with severely weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease. Symptoms may be more severe and could lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS; those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system; and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that a small percentage of the population could experience gastro-intestinal illness from Cryptosporidium and advises that customers who are immunocompromised and receive their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed consult with their healthcare professional about the safety of drinking the tap water. The Portland Water Bureau and Burlington, City of Gresham, City of Sandy, City of Tualatin, Green Valley, GNR, Hideaway Hills, Lake Grove, Lorna Portland Water, Lusted, Palatine Hill, Pleasant Home, Raleigh, Rockwood, Skyview Acres, Tualatin Valley, Two Rivers, Valley View and West Slope Water Districts receive all or part of their drinking water supply from the Bull Run. To learn if your drinking water comes from Bull Run, please contact your local drinking water provider.

More Information

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test results indicate a risk to public health and precautions are necessary.

Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Discover Portland's Buried Treasure at Groundwater 101 on Jan. 26th

Join the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for Groundwater 101, a FREE educational workshop that teaches groundwater basics including local geology and hydrology, the role groundwater plays in our drinking water system, and what we can do to protect this important resource that lies beneath the cities of Portland, Gresham, and Fairview.

This interactive workshop is presented with a mix of hands-on and classroom-style teaching and is appropriate for adults and youth aged 17 & up. Light refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is required! 

Pre-register for Groundwater 101 here.

Date: Saturday, January 26th
Time: Saturday, January 26th, 9am–1pm
Location: McKinstry, 16790 NE Mason St, Portland, OR 97230

Jan. 11, 2019: Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update

The Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. In samples collected between Jan. 6 and Jan. 9, three Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected on Jan. 7 and one Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected on Jan. 8. Cryptosporidium was not detected in samples collected on Jan. 6 or Jan. 9. Prior to these detections, Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on Jan. 2.

The bureau continues to use the Bull Run as its primary source of drinking water. The Portland Water Bureau does not currently treat for Cryptosporidium, but is required to do so under the drinking water regulations. Portland is working to install filtration by September 2027 under a compliance schedule with Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures such as watershed protection and additional monitoring to protect public health. Consultation with public health officials has concluded that at this time, customers do not need to take any additional precautions.

About Cryptosporidium

Exposure to Cryptosporidium can cause cryptosporidiosis, a serious illness. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach pain. People with healthy immune systems recover without medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with severely weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease. Symptoms may be more severe and could lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS; those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system; and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that a small percentage of the population could experience gastro-intestinal illness from Cryptosporidium and advises that customers who are immunocompromised and receive their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed consult with their healthcare professional about the safety of drinking the tap water. The Portland Water Bureau and Burlington, City of Gresham, City of Sandy, City of Tualatin, Green Valley, GNR, Hideaway Hills, Lake Grove, Lorna Portland Water, Lusted, Palatine Hill, Pleasant Home, Raleigh, Rockwood, Skyview Acres, Tualatin Valley, Two Rivers, Valley View and West Slope Water Districts receive all or part of their drinking water supply from the Bull Run. To learn if your drinking water comes from Bull Run, please contact your local drinking water provider.

More Information

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the

City’s website at portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test results indicate a risk to public health and precautions are necessary.

Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Jan. 4, 2019: Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update

Crypto updateThe Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. One Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in a sample collected Monday, Dec. 31, two oocysts were detected in a sample collected Wednesday, Jan. 2. Cryptosporidium was not detected in the samples collected on Dec. 30 and Jan 1.  Prior to these detections, Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on Dec. 24.

The bureau continues to use the Bull Run as its primary source of drinking water. The Portland Water Bureau does not currently treat for Cryptosporidium, but is required to do so under the drinking water regulations. Portland is working to install filtration by September 2027 under a compliance schedule with Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures such as watershed protection and additional monitoring to protect public health. Consultation with public health officials has concluded that at this time, customers do not need to take any additional precautions.

Exposure to Cryptosporidium can cause cryptosporidiosis, a serious illness. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach pain. People with healthy immune systems recover without medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with severely weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease. Symptoms may be more severe and could lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS; those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system; and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

About Cryptosporidium

The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that a small percentage of the population could experience gastro-intestinal illness from Cryptosporidium and advises that customers who are immunocompromised and receive their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed consult with their healthcare professional about the safety of drinking the tap water. The Portland Water Bureau and Burlington, City of Gresham, City of Sandy, City of Tualatin, Green Valley, GNR, Hideaway Hills, Lake Grove, Lorna Portland Water, Lusted, Palatine Hill, Pleasant Home, Raleigh, Rockwood, Skyview Acres, Tualatin Valley, Two Rivers, Valley View and West Slope Water Districts receive all or part of their drinking water supply from the Bull Run. To learn if your drinking water comes from Bull Run, please contact your local drinking water provider.

More Information

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the

City’s website at portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test results indicate a risk to public health and precautions are necessary.

Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

#TeamGroundwater: Why Anna Loves Groundwater and Thinks You Should, Too

Woman stands next to industrial door and concrete structure

Anna works well under pressure. Behind her wide smile and easy sense of humor runs a calmness perfectly adapted to the varied tasks she needs to get done during the day.

A three-year veteran of the bureau, Anna works in the Water Bureau’s Resource Protection and Planning group, supporting the work of the education, groundwater, and Bull Run protection programs. From measuring groundwater aquifer water levels to inspecting culverts in the Bull Run Watershed to leading students on tours, no two weeks are the same.

Woman climbing snowy mountain with climbing gearAnna is a trained geologist and environmental scientist and, like many who call the Northwest home, she came to Oregon from someplace else—Rhode Island, to be specific. Anna moved here 22 years ago, drawn to Oregon for its wild forests, rugged mountains, and “geology you can see…unlike the hidden rockfaces and granite formations buried throughout New England.”

Since moving to Oregon, Anna’s passion for the outdoors and earth sciences has taken her on many adventures: from Outdoor School to the NW Service Academy AmeriCorps Program, to the US Geological Survey, to the Oregon Department of State Lands, to Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District, and now to the Water Bureau where she puts her passion to work reviewing and reporting on data collected from some of Portland’s most important resources.

Tours, Culverts, and Monitoring Wells

Woman kneeling near large water pipe in forest with fernsIn the spring, summer, and fall, Anna can be found in the Bull Run Watershed leading public tours that introduce students and community members to the natural beauty surrounding Portland’s primary drinking water supply.

And Anna’s work in the Bull Run doesn’t stop at the tour bus. She’s also responsible for inspecting some of the 2,000 culverts that call Bull Run home. These culverts allow streams and ditch water to flow under Bull Run’s roads. Each year, Anna, with the help of engineering interns, inspects the watershed culverts for signs of failure to ensure they aren’t at risk of sending sediment into Bull Run reservoirs, impacting road access to Headworks and the Dams, or harming downstream fish habitat.

When Anna isn’t leading tours or collecting culvert data, she’s lending her scientific training to the Water Bureau’s groundwater protection program. This work includes regular trips into the field to measure aquifer levels that help the bureau ensure groundwater is sustainably pumped during production runs. With a work life split between such different tasks and physical locations, what is Anna’s driving passion? “Coffee,” she says with a laugh.

Woman stands next to pipe buried in ground on grassy fieldMonitoring Buried Treasure

When Portland is drinking groundwater, Anna is regularly checking aquifer levels in more than 50 groundwater monitoring wells throughout the City’s Columbia South Shore Well Field (CSSWF): Portland’s groundwater supply. The CSSWF is used to augment Bull Run water when needed—during hot summer months or when weather or emergency events prevent the use of Bull Run River water. While the well field is considered a secondary supply, it’s first in Anna’s geology-loving heart. “Groundwater isn’t just a ‘backup source,’” she likes to point out, “It’s a high-quality source and deserves to be respected as such.”

Where can one find this hidden groundwater well field? Tucked away in outer Northeast Portland, the Columbia South Shore Well Field covers 12 square miles. It’s boundary spans from Portland International Airport east to Troutdale, and from the Columbia River south to I-84. Deep underneath this land lie various aquifers—underground water-bearing rock layers—accessed via deep wells drilled between 1980 and 2004.

Unlike the Bull Run Watershed, public tours of the well field are rarely offered. If you tried visiting the groundwater facility, you wouldn’t get far. The large entrance gates are kept locked, safeguarding the pumps and pipes that transport water from the ground to Portlanders’ taps.

So what are you to do if you’re looking to learn more about Portland’s mysterious groundwater supply? “Sign up for Groundwater 101 on January 26,” says Anna.

“Each year bureau staff welcomes the public to learn about the well field with hands on activities and demonstrations. It’s like a groundwater mini-science fair designed for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Groundwater: Building a Resilient Portland

This summer was the second hottest on record in Portland, and this trend is expected to continue due to climate change. In the coming years, groundwater will grow in importance as a source of clean, high-quality drinking water for Portland-area residents during increasingly long, dry summers.

Start getting to know groundwater and the role it plays in Portlanders’ lives.

“Come out in January for Groundwater 101,” Anna says with a smile. “We’ll help you discover groundwater in a whole new light.” Learn more about groundwater, the role it plays in Portland’s water supply, and sign up for Groundwater 101 at https://www. columbiaslough.org/events/event/71.

Geology. Hydrogeology. Hands on activities including water testing and tasting. And an optional tour of the groundwater facility. Groundwater 101 attendees get unprecedented access to Water Bureau staff to learn the ins-and-outs of how water moves through layers of underground rock and how bureau staff care for this important resource.

Interested in meeting the passion behind the person? Anna will be presenting at Groundwater 101 alongside Doug Wise, the bureau’s Groundwater Protection Program Manager and Briggy Thomas, the bureau’s Education Program Manager.

Secure your spot at Groundwater 101 by RSVPing with the Columba Slough Watershed Council: https://www. columbiaslough.org/events/event/71.