Unfiltered surface water sources, such as the Bull Run Watershed, are required to be treated for Cryptosporidium. Until Dec. 18, 2017, the Portland Water Bureau had been granted a variance to these requirements by the Oregon Health Authority. This variance was revoked due to a series of low-level detections for Cryptosporidium in early 2017. The Portland Water Bureau entered into a Bilateral Compliance Agreement with OHA that sets a timeline for installing a filtration treatment facility to treat for Cryptosporidium by 2027 and interim measures to reduce the risk of Cryptosporidium from the Bull Run Watershed through the following:
- Watershed Protection – The Portland Water Bureau will maintain all existing City of Portland protections on the Bull Run Watershed and conduct field inspections to monitor for sources of Cryptosporidium.
- Monitoring for Cryptosporidium – The Portland Water Bureau will monitor for Cryptosporidium at least two times a week from the Bull Run raw water intake. If Cryptosporidium is detected, monitoring will increase to four times per week as long as detections continue. Results for monitoring are posted on the Cryptosporidium monitoring page.
- Public notification – The Portland Water Bureau will notify the public of all detections through press releases to local media. The Portland Water Bureau will also conduct targeted outreach to medical providers to those most at-risk for Cryptosporidium infection such as people with AIDS, inherited diseases that affect the immune system, and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.
- Coordination with Public Health – The Portland Water Bureau will continue to consult with state and local public health officials in monitoring for potential effects of Cryptosporidium in drinking water.