Beginning Thursday, June 11, the Portland Water Bureau will begin using its groundwater wells in the Columbia South Shore Well Field to ensure adequate supplies of water to its customers while work on supply conduits from Bull Run is being completed.
While public notification is not required, the Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive water users, as a practice, when it activates groundwater. One change that customers may notice is a slight increase in hardness. The media and sensitive water users will again be notified when it returns to 100 percent Bull Run water.
The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply that meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations. Portland has access to two excellent water sources that can be used to meet water demands throughout the year.
As part of system improvements, maintenance work is being conducted on the Water Bureau’s three supply conduits. Work to strengthen the interties between the conduits will soon begin on the last and largest conduit. This scheduled maintenance coincides with an increase in water demand. As a result, groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well field will be used to continue supplying clean, safe and constant drinking water to customers.
“In Portland, we’re fortunate to have two high quality sources of water,” said Portland Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff. "As other parts of the nation are struggling to meet their water supply needs, it's comforting that we can turn to our Columbia South Shore Well Field to meet our customers’ needs."
The groundwater system is estimated to contribute approximately 8% of supply for up to four weeks during the scheduled improvement work. While the work is being performed, the bureau will take the opportunity to perform its annual maintenance operation of the groundwater system, replacing the maintenance run scheduled for next month.
Depending on location, it will take between one and eight days for groundwater to move through the distribution system and reach customers. For more information about Portland’s drinking water quality, call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.