Contamination Leads Portland To Issue Water Boil Order

By Eve Epstein/OBP

The city of Portland has issued a boil water notice for all Portland Water Bureau customers.

Until further notice, all customers should boil all tap water used for drinking, food preparation, tooth brushing and ice. The water should boil for at least one minute. Ice or any beverages prepared with un-boiled tap water on or after May 20th should be discarded.

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish met with reporters to explain what that order will mean for customers.

FISH: “A boil water notice means that we’re advising people to boil for at least one minute any water they are going to drink, brush their teeth with or use for ice. We know that this is an inconvenience, but public health is our top priority.”

In three separate incidents from Tuesday through today/[Friday[, multiple water samples confirmed the presence of coliform and E. coli in routine drinking water samples.
Tri-County Health Officer Doctor Paul Lewis said the risk to the public is very low.

LEWIS: “The basis of that is a series of results we’ve received, plus the fact that in addition to checking the microbiology they’ve also checked the amount of chlorine in the water and it’s very adequate and it should make the water safe.”

The water samples that tested positive for bacteria were collected at two reservoirs. Both reservoirs have been taken offline.

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