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News Releases
Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update: Detections from routine monitoring in the Bull Run. Customers do not need to take any additional precautions at this time. - 11/08/19

Customers do not need to take any additional precautions at this time.

Since 2017, the Portland Water Bureau has detected low levels of Cryptosporidium from routine monitoring. Monitoring results were received from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. In the six 50-liter samples collected between Thursday, October 31 and Wednesday, November 6, one Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in the sample collected on Nov. 1. Cryptosporidium was not detected in the samples collected on Oct. 31, or Nov. 3 through Nov. 6. Prior to these detections, Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on Oct. 30, 2019.

The Bull Run watershed is Portland’s primary source of drinking water. The Portland Water Bureau does not currently treat for Cryptosporidium, but is required to do so under drinking water regulations. Portland is working to install filtration by September 2027 under a compliance schedule with Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures such as watershed protection and additional monitoring to protect public health. Consultation with public health officials has concluded that at this time, customers do not need to take any additional precautions.

Exposure to Cryptosporidium can cause cryptosporidiosis, a serious illness. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach pain. People with healthy immune systems recover without medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with severely weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease. Symptoms may be more severe and could lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS; those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system; and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that a small percentage of the population could experience gastro-intestinal illness from Cryptosporidium and advises that customers who are immunocompromised and receive their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed consult with their healthcare professional about the safety of drinking the tap water. The Portland Water Bureau and Burlington, City of Gresham, City of Sandy, City of Tualatin, Green Valley, GNR, Hideaway Hills, Lake Grove, Lorna Domestic Water, Lusted, Palatine Hill, Pleasant Home, Raleigh, Rockwood, Skyview Acres, Tualatin Valley, Two Rivers, Valley View and West Slope Water Districts receive all or part of their drinking water supply from the Bull Run. To learn if your drinking water comes from Bull Run, please contact your local drinking water provider.

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test 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.

Attached Media Files: Crypto_Press_Release_110819.docx
Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update: Detections from routine monitoring in the Bull Run. Coordination with health officials continues. - 11/01/19

Since 2017, the Portland Water Bureau has detected low levels of Cryptosporidium from routine monitoring. Monitoring results were received from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. One Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in the 50-liters sampled on both Tuesday, Oct. 29 and Wednesday, Oct. 30. Low level Cryptosporidium detections may continue through the rainy season. Prior to these detections, Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on Oct. 22, 2019.

The Bull Run watershed is Portland’s primary source of drinking water. The Portland Water Bureau does not currently treat for Cryptosporidium, but is required to do so under drinking water regulations. Portland is working to install filtration by September 2027 under a compliance schedule with Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures such as watershed protection and additional monitoring to protect public health. Consultation with public health officials has concluded that at this time, customers do not need to take any additional precautions.

Exposure to Cryptosporidium can cause cryptosporidiosis, a serious illness. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach pain. People with healthy immune systems recover without medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with severely weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease. Symptoms may be more severe and could lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS; those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system; and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that a small percentage of the population could experience gastro-intestinal illness from Cryptosporidium and advises that customers who are immunocompromised and receive their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed consult with their healthcare professional about the safety of drinking the tap water. The Portland Water Bureau and Burlington, City of Gresham, City of Sandy, City of Tualatin, Green Valley, GNR, Hideaway Hills, Lake Grove, Lorna Domestic Water, Lusted, Palatine Hill, Pleasant Home, Raleigh, Rockwood, Skyview Acres, Tualatin Valley, Two Rivers, Valley View and West Slope Water Districts receive all or part of their drinking water supply from the Bull Run. To learn if your drinking water comes from Bull Run, please contact your local drinking water provider.

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test 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.

Attached Media Files: Crypto_Press_Release_110119.docx
Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update: Detections from routine monitoring in the Bull Run. Coordination with health officials continues. - 10/25/19

The Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. Two Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in the 50-liters collected on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Prior to this detection, Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on May 12, 2019, when one oocyst was detected from the 50-liters sampled.

The Bull Run watershed is Portland’s primary source of drinking water. The Portland Water Bureau does not currently treat for Cryptosporidium, but is required to do so under drinking water regulations. Portland is working to install filtration by September 2027 under a compliance schedule with Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures such as watershed protection and additional monitoring to protect public health. Consultation with public health officials has concluded that at this time, customers do not need to take any additional precautions.

Exposure to Cryptosporidium can cause cryptosporidiosis, a serious illness. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach pain. People with healthy immune systems recover without medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with severely weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease. Symptoms may be more severe and could lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS; those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system; and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that a small percentage of the population could experience gastro-intestinal illness from Cryptosporidium and advises that customers who are immunocompromised and receive their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed consult with their healthcare professional about the safety of drinking the tap water. The Portland Water Bureau and Burlington, City of Gresham, City of Sandy, City of Tualatin, Green Valley, GNR, Hideaway Hills, Lake Grove, Lorna Domestic Water, Lusted, Palatine Hill, Pleasant Home, Raleigh, Rockwood, Skyview Acres, Tualatin Valley, Two Rivers, Valley View and West Slope Water Districts receive all or part of their drinking water supply from the Bull Run. To learn if your drinking water comes from Bull Run, please contact your local drinking water provider.

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test 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.

Attached Media Files: Crypto_Press_Release_102519.docx
Expect Lane Closures on Southwest Naito Parkway and Harbor Drive - 10/24/19

In November and December, Portland Water Bureau crews will start digging to allow for an exploratory drill to be placed in a parking lot at 1720 S.W. Naito Parkway between Harrison and Market streets related to the Willamette River Crossing project. Between 2020 and 2022, the bureau will be installing an earthquake-resilient water pipe deep under the Willamette River.  

Beginning in late October and continuing through 2020, this work will have occasional traffic impacts on those traveling along Southwest Naito Parkway and Harbor Drive. Please prepare for the following changes to traffic. Businesses along Naito Parkway will remain open during construction.

  • Southbound Harbor Drive: Beginning in late October through the end of the year, the right-hand lane of southbound Harbor Drive and single lanes on streets that approach Harbor Drive will be closed as crews excavate and build a temporary wall. Closures are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Travelers may experience delays along southbound Harbor Drive as equipment is loaded onto the site.

 

  • S.W. Naito Parkway (both directions): Beginning in October, and continuing through April, crews will work in Southwest Naito to prepare the water system for the new pipe.
    • In October and November, travelers can expect occasional one-day lane closures as crews work to locate underground utilities.
    • Starting in January, construction will temporarily close one lane in each direction to install a new pipe. Travelers should expect delays. Traffic will continue to flow in the remaining lane in each direction.
    • During this time, six maple trees along Naito between Harrison and Market streets that were previously approved for removal as part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Southwest Naito Parkway Improvement Project will be taken out to allow the Water Bureau to bring equipment onto the worksite. After construction on Naito Parkway is completed, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has committed to an extensive replanting plan in accordance with their permit.
    • In the spring of 2020, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will begin the Southwest Naito Parkway Improvement Project, which will have additional traffic and tree removal impacts. These are outlined at: portlandoregon.gov/transportation/swnaito

The traveling public is reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly slow or stop. Please allow extra time when traveling through the area. Follow all signs and flagger directions to ensure everyone's safety. To avoid traffic delays, motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes around the work site.

About the Willamette River Crossing project

Portland’s water mains (pipes) that cross the Willamette River are more than 50 years old and will probably not survive a major earthquake. As part of the Portland Water Bureau’s commitment to preparedness, we are installing an earthquake-resilient water pipe deep under the Willamette River. This new water pipe will help ensure that we can deliver safe and abundant water to the west side, even after an earthquake.

This project is currently in the design and exploration phase. This phase includes locating underground utilities and conducting a geotechnical probe, which will provide important information about soil deep underground and help us confirm the best path across the river.

Attached Media Files: Traffic_Advisory_WRX_102419.docx
EPA invites Portland and Beaverton to apply for $600 million in water loans: Bull Run, Beaverton projects focus on critical reliability upgrades to protect public health - 10/22/19

SEATTLE – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting a total of 39 projects in 19 states to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. Together, the selected borrowers will apply for WIFIA loans totaling approximately $6 billion to help finance over $12 billion in water infrastructure investments and create almost 200,000 jobs.

Major drinking water facilities in Beaverton and Portland are among the eligible projects.

“Through WIFIA, EPA is playing an integral role in President Trump’s efforts to improve and upgrade our nation’s water infrastructure and ensure all Americans have access to clean and safe water,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This announcement highlights billions of dollars in needed water infrastructure investments to upgrade aging infrastructure, reduce exposure to lead and emerging contaminants and improve the lives of millions of Americans across the country – all while creating almost 200,000 jobs.”

“I know first-hand how important it is to find outside capital when a community needs critical infrastructure investments,” said EPA Region 10 Administrator Chris Hladick. “These drinking water projects in Oregon are important public health investments, so we’re pleased that Beaverton and Portland are included in this list of eligible communities.”  

“This is exciting news and we are grateful for the invitation from EPA to apply for WIFIA program funding,” said Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle. “We are committed to ensuring a safe and reliable water supply for our growing community. This is a positive next step in our efforts toward critical water infrastructure improvements that will enhance resiliency for our customers and the greater region. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in the application process, and want to extend a thank you to our congressional delegation for their support, in particular Senator Jeff Merkley for his leadership on WIFIA.”

Portland Water Bureau Director Michael Stuhr says he is thankful for the opportunity. “The Bull Run Treatment Projects will ensure that our water system, which serves nearly one million people, will be safe and abundant for generations to come. The EPA’s invitation to apply for this funding is a testament to the merits of this project and their confidence in the Portland Water Bureau. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in the application process, and want to extend a thank you to our congressional delegation for their support, in particular Senator Jeff Merkley for his leadership on WIFIA.”

EPA’s WIFIA loans will allow communities across the country to implement projects to address national water priorities – including providing for clean and safe drinking water by reducing exposure to lead and emerging contaminants, addressing aging water infrastructure and developing water recycling and reuse projects. EPA received 51 letters of interest from both public and private entities in response to the 2019 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

After a robust, statutorily required review process, the WIFIA Selection Committee included the drinking water projects in Portland and Beaverton in the pool of eligible applicants:

  • City of Portland Bull Run Treatment Program -- $554 million

The City of Portland will complete three projects to improve public health and water quality and increase drinking water system resiliency and reliability for  nearly 1 million people: (1) the Corrosion Control Project will further adjust the chemistry of Portland’s water, reducing potential levels of lead at the tap; (2) the Filtration Project will construct a new filtration water treatment plant to remove the microorganism Cryptosporidium and other potential contaminants; and (3) the Pipeline Project will construct raw and finished water pipelines to connect the filtration water treatment plant to existing conduits. The purpose of the projects is to comply with two federal regulations, the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule and the Lead and Copper Rule.

  • City of Beaverton Water Supply Improvement Program -- $58 million

The Water Supply Improvement Program will include a series of projects that will enhance the reliability and resiliency of the water system to meet the needs of a growing urban area. The program includes major new transmission mains, new or improved connections to neighboring purveyors, additional seismically resilient storage, expansion to a new service area, a system-wide Advance Metering Infrastructure system, and a new stormwater reuse system.

To learn more about the 39 projects invited to apply, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-selected-projects.  

Background

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. WIFIA's aim is to accelerate investment in the nation's water infrastructure by providing long-term and low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. EPA's WIFIA program plays an important part in President Trump's infrastructure plan, which calls for expanding project eligibility. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs.

For more information about the WIFIA program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.

Contact:               Bill Dunbar/EPA/206-553-1019

                                Jaymee Cuti/PWB/503-823-8064

                                Diana Ballash/Beaverton/503-526-3737

Attached Media Files: WIFIA_Oregon_10-21-19.docx
Portland Water Bureau Emergency Manager Jamaal Folsom drops, covers and holds on for the Great ShakeOut.
Portland Water Bureau Emergency Manager Jamaal Folsom drops, covers and holds on for the Great ShakeOut.
ShakeOut: Practice then Prepare and START WITH WATER! (Photo) - 10/16/19

At the Portland Water Bureau, we prepare our water system for a disaster like an earthquake as part of our daily work. At 10:17 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 17, we will also prepare our workforce.

We are joining other government agencies, nonprofits, and businesses across the country by participating in the Great Shakeout. That means at 10:17 a.m., we will join thousands of Oregonians to “drop, cover and hold on” as part of Oregon’s largest earthquake drill.

We are holding a media availability from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Portland Water Bureau’s Interstate Facility, 664 N. Tillamook St. (at Interstate Avenue), to share with your audience how to prepare an earthquake kit by starting with water. It is recommended that each person store 14 gallons of water per person and more if you have pets. We’ll demonstrate different types of water storage containers for a variety of households.

Earthquakes are an inevitable part of our future. How we prepare will determine how we weather the challenges in the days and weeks following a major earthquake. Storing water can also help with less serious events, like the inconvenience of a water main break. As a water provider, we have an obligation to prepare. What is your household’s role in preparing for an emergency?

The Portland Water Bureau has a series of preparedness videos that can be viewed at portlandoregon.gov/water/preparedness.

The Regional Water Providers Consortium, of which Portland Water Bureau is a member, has valuable information about building your emergency kit, including the vital advice: START WITH WATER!

Audio and video files available by request.