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News Releases
Additional Cryptosporidium Detected in Bull Run Water - 02/17/17

The Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring of the Bull Run watershed.

While the bureau is no longer serving drinking water from the Bull Run watershed, monitoring for Cryptosporidium has continued. The bureau remains in compliance with the terms of the Cryptosporidium treatment variance issued by the Oregon Health Authority.

On Monday, Feb. 13, anticipating that further Cryptosporidium detections from the Bull Run were possible, the Portland Water Bureau proactively activated the groundwater wells from the Columbia South Shore Well Field.

The most recent results from water that was not served to the public was from two 50-liter (13 gallon) samples that were positive for one Cryptosporidium oocyst each. The positive samples were collected Tuesday, Feb. 14 and Wednesday, Feb. 15. These are the eighth and ninth positive samples out of 32 samples this year.

The bureau is committed to keeping the public informed of the ongoing monitoring for Cryptosporidium from the Bull Run. 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 bureau will continue to notify the Oregon Health Authority of all detections.

The bureau will also coordinate with state and county health officials to determine when to return to the Bull Run as our drinking water source. The bureau will notify the public and the media when it returns to Bull Run water.

Additional information regarding the Portland Water Bureau's treatment variance and answers to frequently asked questions are available at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/treatmentvariance.

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

Traffic Advisory: Water Work Closes One Lane of SE 68th Avenue North of SE Division to Mt. Tabor Park - 02/16/17

PORTLAND, OR- A contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will be disconnecting an old water pipe in SE 68th Avenue the week of Feb. 20, 2017.

The work will begin on Monday (Presidents' Day) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will continue Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. One lane of traffic will remain open. Flaggers will direct traffic.

No water services will be disrupted.

The traveling public is reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly slow or stop. To avoid traffic delays, motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes around the work site.

Water Bureau Finds Additional Cryptosporidium in Bull Run Water: Groundwater activated on Feb. 13. - 02/15/17

Today, the Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring of the Bull Run watershed, including one 50L (13 gallon) sample that was positive for Cryptosporidium, a potentially pathogenic microorganism. The positive sample was collected Monday, Feb. 13 and is the seventh positive sample out of 29 samples this year. The levels detected continue to be low, with one Cryptosporidium oocyst detected in this sample.

With the possibility of further Cryptosporidium detections from the Bull Run, the Portland Water Bureau activated the groundwater wells from the Columbia South Shore Well Field on Monday Feb. 13.

"The health and safety of our customers is our top priority" said Portland Water Bureau Administrator Michael Stuhr. "We will continue to work with our partners at Multnomah County Health Department and Oregon Health Authority while monitoring our drinking water source."

At this time, there is no evidence of an increased public health risk as a result of this most recent detection. The bureau continues to recommend that people with severely weakened immune systems seek specific advice about drinking water from their health care providers. However, there is no need for the general public to take additional precautions.

"All identified cases of cryptosporidiosis, the disease caused by Cryptosporidium, are reported to state and county health officials" said Dr. Jennifer Vines, Deputy Health Officer, Multnomah County. "So far, the county's ongoing disease surveillance has shown no unexplained increase in Cryptosporidium cases."

Symptoms of cryptosporidiosis may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and fever. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. Cryptosporidiosis is not the only illness or condition that can cause these symptoms. These symptoms are common in the general population this time of year -- up to 2 percent of the public can have similar symptoms on any given day (11,000 people in Portland). Health professionals recommend seeking medical advice if these symptoms persist for more than a few days.

The Portland Water Bureau currently does not treat for the parasite Cryptosporidium under a variance issued by the State of Oregon Health Authority in 2012. As required by the conditions of the variance, the bureau had been testing for Cryptosporidium at the source water intake twice a week. Since Jan. 8, after the initial detections, the bureau began monitoring at the source water intake at least four times per week. The bureau will continue to test the Bull Run for Cryptosporidium even while serving groundwater as the drinking water source. The results of this continued monitoring will be used to decide when to return to the Bull Run as our drinking water source.

The Portland Water Bureau is continuing its investigation into the recent detections. While no specific source has been identified, scat from wildlife in the Bull Run that has been washed into the reservoirs are the most likely source of the Cryptosporidium detections. The bureau will continue to notify the public if any additional precautions are necessary. In the meantime, the bureau will continue operating our secondary groundwater source.

Additional information regarding the Portland Water Bureau's treatment variance and answers to frequently asked questions are available at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/treatmentvariance. Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at (503) 823-7525.
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Portland Water Bureau Announces Activation of Groundwater Supply - 02/13/17

Today, Feb. 13, the Water Bureau will begin delivering 100 percent groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well Field.

The bureau is taking this step out of an abundance of caution in response to recent low level detections of Cryptosporidium in the Bull Run. This action is not required. "The recent detections do not pose an increased health risk. After a series of very low level detections, we are proactively activating our secondary source while we collect more data," said Water Bureau Administrator Michael Stuhr. "The City continues to be in compliance with the treatment variance issued by the Oregon Health Authority."

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply which meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations. It may take up to two weeks, depending on location, for groundwater to make its way through the distribution system to homes and businesses. The well field is used as a secondary source for the Bull Run Watershed, most often in the summer when the region's demand increases.

The bureau will continue to sample the Bull Run for Cryptosporidium and gather information about these detections. With additional information, and in consultation with public health officials, the bureau will decide when to re-activate the Bull Run supply.

Public notification is not required but the Portland Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive water users, as a practice, when it activates groundwater and when it has significant operational changes. The bureau will continue to provide public notice as decisions are made.

Portland is fortunate to have access to the two largest supplies of drinking water in Oregon, which allow the bureau to be prepared to meet the range of conditions that occur in the Portland water system. Customers with questions are encouraged to call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Portland Water Bureau Announces Activation of Groundwater Supply - 02/13/17

Today, Feb. 13, the Water Bureau will begin delivering 100 percent groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well Field.

The bureau is taking this step out of an abundance of caution in response to recent low level detections of Cryptosporidium in the Bull Run. This action is not required. "The recent detections do not pose an increased health risk. After a series of very low level detections, we are proactively activating our secondary source while we collect more data," said Water Bureau Administrator Michael Stuhr. "The City continues to be in compliance with the treatment variance issued by the Oregon Health Authority."

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply which meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations. It may take up to two weeks, depending on location, for groundwater to make its way through the distribution system to homes and businesses. The well field is used as a secondary source for the Bull Run Watershed, most often in the summer when the region's demand increases.

The bureau will continue to sample the Bull Run for Cryptosporidium and gather information about these detections. With additional information, and in consultation with public health officials, the bureau will decide when to re-activate the Bull Run supply.

Public notification is not required but the Portland Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive water users, as a practice, when it activates groundwater and when it has significant operational changes. The bureau will continue to provide public notice as decisions are made.

Portland is fortunate to have access to the two largest supplies of drinking water in Oregon, which allow the bureau to be prepared to meet the range of conditions that occur in the Portland water system. Customers with questions are encouraged to call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Water Bureau Finds Additional Cryptosporidium in Bull Run Water Drinking water monitoring and coordination with health officials continue - 02/10/17

Today, the Portland Water Bureau received results from two additional samples that were positive for Cryptosporidium, a potentially pathogenic microorganism. These detections from samples collected Tuesday, Feb. 7 and Wednesday, Feb. 8, from the Bull Run Watershed, are the fifth and sixth positive samples this year. The levels detected were low, with one Cryptosporidium oocyst detected in one sample and two Cryptosporidium oocysts in the second.

The Portland Water Bureau continues to closely coordinate with public health officials. At this time, there is no evidence of an increased public health risk as a result of these most recent detections. We continue to recommend that people with severely weakened immune systems seek specific advice about drinking water from their health care provider. However, there is still no need for the general public to take additional precautions.

"All identified cases of cryptosporidiosis, the disease caused by Cryptosporidium, are reported to state and county health officials" said Dr. Jennifer Vines, Deputy Health Officer, Multnomah County. "So far, the county's ongoing disease surveillance has shown no unexplained increase in Cryptosporidium cases."

Symptoms of cryptosporidiosis may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and fever. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. Cryptosporidiosis is not the only illness or condition that can cause these symptoms. These symptoms are common in the general population this time of year -- up to 2 percent of the public can have similar symptoms on any given day (11,000 people in Portland). Health professionals recommend that you seek medical advice if you are experiencing these symptoms and they persist for more than a few days.

The Portland Water Bureau currently does not treat for the parasite Cryptosporidium because of a variance issued by the State of Oregon Health Authority (OHA) in 2012.

As required by the conditions of the variance, the Portland Water Bureau had been testing for Cryptosporidium at the source water intake twice a week. Since Jan. 8, after the initial detections, the Portland Water Bureau began monitoring at the source water intake at least four times per week. This will continue for one year to demonstrate whether the Cryptosporidium concentration in the source water is less than 0.075 oocysts per 1,000 liters.

"The Portland Water Bureau is continuing to work with our partners at Multnomah County Health Department and Oregon Health Authority to ensure that public health is protected," said Water Bureau Administrator Mike Stuhr. "We will continue to closely monitor our drinking water source and communicate any findings with the public."

The Water Bureau is continuing its investigation into the recent detections. While no specific source has been identified, scat from wildlife found in the Bull Run are the most likely source of the Cryptosporidium detections which may have been washed into the reservoirs during the recent winter storms. The Water Bureau will continue to notify the public if any additional precautions are necessary. In the meantime, the Water Bureau is evaluating potential operational changes such as temporarily activating our secondary groundwater source.

Additional information regarding Water Bureau's treatment variance and answers to frequently asked questions are available at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/lt2treatmentvariance. Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at (503) 823-7525.

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Water Bureau Finds Additional Cryptosporidium in Bull Run Water: Increased monitoring efforts of drinking water source to continue - 02/06/17

Today, the Portland Water Bureau received results that Cryptosporidium, a potentially pathogenic microorganism, was detected in a water sample collected Wednesday, February 1, from the Bull Run watershed, which provides drinking water to Portland and neighboring communities. The lab results show that one individual Cryptosporidium oocyst was present in a 50-liter (~13 gallons) sample of water.

At this time, we do not believe there is any increased public health risk as a result of this most recent detection. The general public is not being asked to take any special precautions. We continue to recommend that people with severely weakened immune systems seek specific advice about drinking water from their health care provider.

The Portland Water Bureau currently does not treat for the parasite Cryptosporidium because of a variance issued by the State of Oregon Health Authority (OHA) in 2012. Instead, the Portland Water Bureau is required to conduct routine monitoring for Cryptosporidium and notify the public of any detections.

This detection at the intake is the fourth detection this year. January 2nd was the first detection since the Portland Water Bureau began operation under the variance in April 2012. Prior to that, the last time Cryptosporidium was detected was December 2011, when a single oocyst was also detected.

As required by the conditions of the variance, the Portland Water Bureau had been testing for Cryptosporidium at the source water intake twice a week. Since January 8th, the Portland Water Bureau began monitoring at the source water intake at least four times per week for one year to demonstrate whether the Cryptosporidium concentration in the source water is less than 0.075 oocysts per 1,000 liters.

"The Portland Water Bureau is carefully tracking these results and working closely with our partners at the Multnomah County Health Department and Oregon Health Authority," said Water Bureau Administrator Mike Stuhr. "While the health risk of these results is low, we take seriously our commitment to protecting public health."

The City continues to consult with the Multnomah County Health Department and OHA. Public health officials have determined that no special precautions for Portland's drinking water are currently necessary for the general public.

"Historically, we cannot find any evidence of a cryptosporidiosis outbreak tied to drinking Bull Run water." said Multnomah County Health Officer Paul Lewis. "The county's ongoing disease surveillance has shown no unexplained increase in Cryptosporidium cases."

The Water Bureau is continuing its investigation into the recent detections. Wildlife found in the Bull Run are the most likely source of the Cryptosporidium detections, however no specific source has been identified. The Water Bureau will notify the public if any additional precautions are necessary.

Additional information regarding Water Bureau's treatment variance is available at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/lt2treatmentvariance. Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at (503) 823-7525.

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Large Equipment Deliveries at Washington Park Reservoir Project Site Scheduled for Wednesday, February 1st; Traffic Delays Expected - 01/31/17

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., two large drill rigs and a large tank will be delivered to the reservoir project site at Washington Park. The three deliveries will be spread throughout the day to reduce the length of individual delays.

All deliveries will enter the site by traveling West Burnside Road, to Southwest Tichner Drive, to Southwest Kingston Avenue, to Southwest Sherwood Boulevard.

After being unloaded, the delivery truck trailers will exit the park using Southwest Park Place.

WHAT TRAVELERS CAN EXPECT

* 20- to 25-minute temporary delays as each delivery truck trailer maneuvers through the park.
* Delays and slow moving traffic on West Burnside Street, Southwest Tichner Drive, and Southwest Kingston Avenue.
* Staged flaggers to direct traffic at the following intersections: Southwest Kingston Drive and Southwest Sherwood Boulevard; Southwest Kingston Avenue and Southwest Fairview Boulevard.

AVOID DELAYS

To avoid delays, plan ahead and detour around the crane's route. Enter the park using:

* West Burnside Road to Southwest Skyline Boulevard to Southwest Fairview Boulevard
* Southwest Canyon Road to Southwest Knights Boulevard
* Southwest Fairview Boulevard to Southwest Knights Boulevard
* Southwest Canyon Road to Southwest Knights Boulevard


Exit the park using:

* Southwest Fairview Boulevard to Southwest Skyline Boulevard to West Burnside Road
* Southwest Knights Boulevard to Southwest Fairview Boulevard
* Southwest Knights Boulevard to Southwest Canyon Road

SAFETY IS PRIORITY

Safety is our number one priority when moving any type of heavy equipment into or out of the project worksite.

Park users and travelers are encouraged to move safely around the park. Please watch for detours and signage and follow direction from flaggers. The public is encouraged not follow construction vehicles or buses as they may enter restricted zones. All construction-related traffic impacts are subject to change.

PROJECT DETAILS

The Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project entails constructing a new 12.4-million gallon, seismically reinforced below ground reservoir in the same footprint of existing Reservoir 3 (upper) with a reflecting pool/water feature on top. Existing Reservoir 4 (lower) will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland wildlife habitat area, bioswale, and reflecting pool will be constructed in the basin.

For additional project information and updates, contact the project hotline at 503-823-7030, e-mail Sam@jla.us.com or visit www.portlandoregon.gov/water/wpreservoirs.

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Attached Media Files: TRAFFIC_ADVISORY_01312017.pdf
Water Bureau Finds Additional Cryptosporidium in Bull Run Water: City to continue increased monitoring efforts of drinking water source - 01/30/17

Today, the Portland Water Bureau received results that Cryptosporidium, a potentially pathogenic microorganism, was detected in a water sample collected Wednesday, January 25, from the Bull Run watershed, which provides drinking water to Portland and neighboring communities. The lab results show that one individual Cryptosporidium oocyst was present in a 50-liter (~13 gallons) sample of water.

At this time, we do not believe there is any increased public health risk as a result of the current detection. The general public is not being asked to take any special precautions. We continue to recommend that people with severely weakened immune systems seek specific advice about drinking water from their health care provider.

The Portland Water Bureau currently does not treat for the parasite Cryptosporidium because of a variance issued by the State of Oregon Health Authority (OHA) in 2012. Instead, the Portland Water Bureau is required to conduct routine monitoring for Cryptosporidium and notify the public of any detections.

This detection at the intake is the third detection this month. January 2nd was the first detection since the Portland Water Bureau began operation under the variance in April 2012. Prior to that, the last time Cryptosporidium was detected was December, 2011, when a single oocyst was also detected.

As required by the conditions of the variance, the Portland Water Bureau had been testing for Cryptosporidium at the source water intake twice a week. Since January 8th, the Portland Water Bureau began monitoring at the source water intake at least four times per week for one year to demonstrate whether the Cryptosporidium concentration in the source water is less than 0.075 oocysts per 1,000 liters.

"While these detections do not indicate an increased public health-risk, we are taking them very seriously." said Water Bureau Administrator Mike Stuhr. "Public safety is the Water Bureau's top priority. We will continue increased monitoring at the drinking water source, and continue close coordination with health officials at all levels to continue to protect public health."

The City continues to consult with the Multnomah County Health Department and OHA. Public health officials have determined that no special precautions for Portland's drinking water are currently necessary, aside from the increased monitoring and testing efforts currently underway. Portland-area health departments will also increase public health monitoring for indications of an increase in Cryptosporidium related illness that could be related to drinking water.

"Historically, we cannot find any evidence of a cryptosporidiosis outbreak tied to drinking Bull Run water." said Multnomah County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. The county's ongoing disease surveillance has shown no unexplained increase in Cryptosporidium cases.

The Water Bureau is continuing a thorough investigation. Wildlife found in the Bull Run are the most likely source of the Cryptosporidium detections, however no specific source has been identified. The Water Bureau will notify the public if any additional precautions are necessary.

Additional information regarding Water Bureau's treatment variance is available at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/lt2treatmentvariance. Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at (503) 823-7525.

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