The Portland Water Bureau shares our community’s concerns about the recent detections of lead in water in area schools and other facilities. Unfortunately, a private home drinking water treatment company is trying to capitalize on these concerns with inaccurate advertising that may confuse some customers.
The Portland Water Bureau wants to remind our customers that such offers are not associated with the City of Portland, nor does the Portland Water Bureau have any connection with such companies, or any other such home treatment manufacturer.
While some treatment can be an effective method for removing contaminants from water, including lead, it is important for consumers to make informed decisions regarding the water in their homes based upon accurate data and facts
Here are the facts that you need to know:
Our source water meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water standards. The level of lead in drinking water in the mailing was from 2013, and was the regulatory level found in the most at-risk homes tested under worst case scenario. It is not representative of the potential lead in drinking water found in most homes during normal use.
The main source of lead in water in the Portland area is household plumbing. Lead is rarely found in Portland’s source waters, and there are no known lead service lines in the distribution system. Lead solder was commonly used in homes built or plumbed with copper pipes before 1985. Lead can also be found in brass plumbing fixtures and components.
Because lead exposure is localized to the plumbing in high-risk homes and buildings, your home would not necessarily be at risk solely on the basis that your neighbors’ home has a high lead detection.
The only way to know if your home plumbing contains lead solder is to test. Free test kits are available by contacting the LeadLine, 503-988-4000 or leadline.org.
The Portland Water Bureau recently released its annual water quality report online. The federally-required report outlines how Portland is continuing to deliver clean and safe drinking water to nearly a million customers.
The Portland Water Bureau mailed a postcard to inform every customer about the availability of the report online. Customers are able to request a paper copy, either online or by phone or by calling the Portland Water Bureau Water Line at 503-823-7525.
From 2013 to 2016, more than 15,000 lead tests were conducted in Multnomah County. Of those, elevated blood lead levels were found in 188 children. No cases were traced to lead in drinking water from any source.