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Water bureau issues alert


Local providers stop pumping water affected by bacteria

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 that were affected by this violation.

The Tualatin Valley Water District told KOIN Local 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. TVWD serves about 200,000 customers in unincorporated portions of Washington County, and areas of Beaverton, Hillsboro and Tigard.

The bureau disclosed that it has received three more positive total coliform tests Monday — from the tank connected to its hydrant at Southwest 27th Avenue and Nevada Court. That tank has been testing positive for about two weeks now, despite being flushed repeatedly.

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.

TVWD, Tigard and Lake Grove water districts have halted their supply from the impacted pipeline. TVWD is still receiving some Portland water, but neither Tigard nor Lake Grove are taking any water from Portland.

Total coliforms, a group of closely related bacteria, can be an indicator of E. coli. However, Portland Water Bureau reported all its E. coli tests have thus far been negative, and ensured that the water from its Southwest Portland tank is safe to drink.

In a statement released late Monday afternoon, the bureau 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. In such violations, the water provider must notify its customers within 30 days of the violation. The Water Bureau is preparing a letter with the required notification that will be sent to the 17,000 Southwest Portland households and businesses that were affected by this violation.”