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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Welcome to the official web site of the City of Portland, Oregon

General Information: 503-823-4000


1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 110, Portland, OR 97204

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Our healthy Bull Run Watershed

April 16, 2015

Last month marked the third anniversary of our one-of-a-kind Bull Run Watershed Treatment Variance

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that cities take action to keep the bacteria Cryptosporidium out of our drinking water. “Crypto” causes a terrible gastrointestinal illness that can be especially dangerous for children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. The EPA’s rule says cities must treat for the bacteria at the source of their drinking water.

Thanks to Portland’s outstanding raw water quality, we received a variance for Crypto treatment from the Oregon Health Authority in 2012. The variance allows the Portland Water Bureau to maintain our Bull Run water supply without adding the expensive special treatments for cryptosporidium. We are the only large water system in the nation to receive a variance!

Our visionary Bull Run Watershed not only provides us some of the best drinking water in the world, the protections we have in place in the watershed make Crypto contamination very unlikely. Portland Water Bureau staff monitor our water quality extensively to make sure it stays that way.

The Water Bureau released their Bull Run Treatment Variance Watershed Report for 2014. It includes two very important facts: the Water Bureau remains in full compliance with our variance conditions, and there were zero detections of Crypto in our water!

Check out the Water Bureau’s website to learn more about the Bull Run Watershed Treatment Variance.