July 22, 2012

Residents and businesses west of the Willamette River that have Portland water as a source may now drink tap water without boiling it first.

Follow-up testing of drinking water has shown the absence of bacterial contamination. The Portland Water Bureau recommends flushing all taps for two minutes, or until the water runs cold, before consuming it for the first time.

This will flush any potentially contaminated water from the plumbing.

The Portland Water Bureau issued a ‘Boil Water Notice’ on Saturday, July 21 in response to a second positive test for bacterial contamination in Reservoir 3 in Washington Park.

Customers of the Portland Water Bureau west of the Willamette River were affected. Customers of Burlington Water District, Valley View Water District, Palatine Hills Water District, City of Tigard, Lake Grove Water District and West Slope Water District were also affected.

Portland Water Bureau and wholesale customers east of the Willamette River along with customers of Tualatin Valley Water District, Southwood Water District and Raleigh Hills Water District were not affected.

Upstream and downstream tests conducted since the notice was issued were clear of contamination. As a precaution, the reservoir is being drained and will be inspected. An investigation into determining the source of contamination is ongoing. The reservoir may be put back into service once it is determined to be safe to do so.

The Portland Water Bureau regrets any inconvenience the boil water notice has caused. While the risk was low, the boil notice was issued to protect the health and safety of drinking water customers. Additionally, drinking water regulations required the boil water notice. The Portland Water Bureau consulted closely with the State of Oregon Department of Human Services and Multnomah County Health officials to ensure that all state, county and federal health standards were maintained.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please call the Water Line, 503-823-7770.