The Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring for Cryptosporidium. Between March 12 and March 17, one sample out of five was positive for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. The detection was from a sample collected Sunday, March 12, from the Bull Run Watershed intake, and is the 14th positive sample this year. One Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in this 50-liter sample.
The Portland Water Bureau monitors for Cryptosporidium under conditions of a variance for the treatment of Cryptosporidium issued by its regulators at the Oregon Health Authority. After the first detections of Cryptosporidium in early January 2017, the Portland Water Bureau increased monitoring at the drinking water intake. These results are part of that effort.
The Portland Water Bureau continues to coordinate with public health officials and the Oregon Health Authority. At this time, the bureau and our public health partners at Multnomah County, continue to believe the health risk to the public from Bull Run water is low.
The bureau continues to recommend that people with severely weakened immune systems seek specific advice from their health care providers about drinking water. There is no need for the general public to take additional precautions.
While it is possible that low-level detections of Cryptosporidium from the Bull Run will continue, current evidence from public health data, monitoring results, and watershed investigations, as well as extensive consultation with public health officials, have provided confidence in the Portland Water Bureau’s decision to continue serving Bull Run water.
The bureau will continue to sample the Bull Run for Cryptosporidium and gather information about these detections.
The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. The media will also be notified of any further low-level detections on a weekly basis, if they occur. The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further testing 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.