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Districts stop pumping Portland's water

STAFF REPORT

Pamplin Media Group

Yet another water district has stopped pumping in Portland water over continuing concerns about high levels of coliform bacteria.

The Portland Water Bureau is preparing a letter to be sent to the 17,000 southwest Portland households and businesses affected by the violation.

Officials at the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) told KOIN-TV 6 on Monday that it has joined the Tigard and Lake Grove water districts in temporarily halting some of its supply from the Portland Water Bureau (PWB). TVWD serves about 200,000 customers in unincorporated portions of Washington County and areas of Beaverton, Hillsboro and Tigard.

More than 21,000 households in southwest Portland, along with the Raleigh, West Slope and Valley View water districts, are still being serviced by that water. PWB disclosed it received three more positive total coliform tests Monday from the tank connected to this hydrant at Southwest 27th Avenue and Nevada Court. That tank has been testing positive for about two weeks now despite being flushed repeatedly.

TVWD, as well as Tigard and Lake Grove water districts, have halted their supply from the impacted pipeline.

E. coli tests negative

Total coliforms, a group of closely related bacteria, can be an indicator of E. coli. However, PWB officials said all E. coli tests have thus far been negative, and insisted the water from its southwest Portland tank is safe to drink.

In a statement released Monday, PWB officials said: “As a result of the detections for total coliforms in southwest Portland, the Portland Water Bureau has been issued a Tier 2 violation by the state drinking water program.”

A Tier 2 notice is issued any time a water system provides water with levels of a contaminant that exceed standards but do not pose an immediate risk to human health. The regulatory standard for total coliforms is exceeded when more than 5 percent of all samples in a single month are positive for total coliforms.

The Portland Water Bureau has exceeded 5 percent of the total coliforms taken during the month of September.



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