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News Release
Results Are In: Portland Water Bureau continues to deliver clean and safe drinking water - 06/07/21

Information about the Portland Water Bureau’s 2021 Drinking Water Quality Report is now landing in mailboxes, making it easy for you to get updates on projects that invest in our infrastructure and learn about your water. Inside, you will find what’s in your water and how people at the Portland Water Bureau work every day to keep your water safe and protected.

The Portland Water Bureau continues to deliver clean and safe drinking water that meets or surpasses drinking water standards to nearly a million customers, performing approximately 11,000 tests per year to track more than 200 potential contaminants.

"Because of careful planning and investment, we are fortunate to have safe, abundant and delicious water. I am proud to introduce you to the people and practices that keep our water protected and our infrastructure resilient,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Gabriel Solmer.

Protecting Public Health

The Portland Water Bureau is committed to public health protection. Portland’s drinking water comes from two high-quality sources, which are the two largest drinking water sources in the state—the Bull Run Watershed and Columbia South Shore Well Field. While this report does not include all substances that we detected in 2020, it does report detected levels of all known health-related contaminants. If a known health-related contaminant is not listed in this report, we did not detect it in our drinking water.  

Improved Treatment Underway

Since 1997, the bureau has taken a comprehensive approach to reducing exposure to lead through its Lead Hazard Reduction Program. The program includes: corrosion control treatment; lead-in-water testing; education, outreach, and testing for all sources of lead; and home lead hazard reduction. Today, the bureau is investing in upgraded treatment that will help reduce the levels of lead in drinking water for everyone.

By April 2022, the Portland Water Bureau will have completed treatment improvements that will reduce the amount of lead that can enter the water from household or building plumbing. The improved treatment will use naturally occurring substances to increase the water’s pH and alkalinity, which will make the drinking water less corrosive to your plumbing. Most consumers won’t notice a change to the great tasting Bull Run water. 

Bull Run Filtration will remove the microorganism Cryptosporidium and other potential contaminants from our water. The new filtration facility will be in operation by September 2027. During the current COVID-19 public health emergency, it’s more important than ever to know what it takes to keep your drinking water safe and protected.

What you will learn in our online report:

  • How we keep Portland’s water safe to drink for future generations.
  • How we'll adjust our water in 2022 to reduce the amount of lead that enters the water from home or business plumbing.
  • How to order a free lead test kit.
  • How the Water Bureau plans and adapts to emergencies to keep water safe and flowing.

The Portland Water Bureau is sending a mailer this week to inform every water user about the availability of this report online. The report is accessible for people who use screen readers and is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Chinese. You can request a paper copy online or by phone at 503-823-9444. To request translations in additional languages or accommodations for people with disabilities, call 503-823-7525 (Relay: 711). Interpretation services available.


About the Portland Water Bureau

The Portland Water Bureau serves water to almost a million people in the Portland area. Portland’s water system includes two great water sources, 53 tanks and reservoirs, and 2,200 miles of pipes. With 600 employees working on everything from water treatment to customer service, the Water Bureau is committed to serving excellent water every minute of every day.

Attached Media Files: FINAL_CCR_Media_Release_2021.docx
View more news releases from Portland Water Bureau.