Fecal matter taints Portland water supply

E-coli and coliform have contaminated the Portland water supply and the Portland Water Bureau has issued a boil alert.

According to the official release, “all Portland Water Bureau customers and those in the affected areas should boil all tap water used for drinking, food preparation, tooth brushing and ice for at least one minute.”

The release added that any ice or beverages made with tap water on or after May 20 should be thrown away.

Officials claim it is unlikely that the contamination will result in illness.

“The chance of any health problems related to this water test result is low. If any problems occur, we would expect diarrhea,” said Dr. Paul Lewis, interim tri-county health officer. “We monitor cases of bacterial diarrhea and will be aware of any increase following this event.”

The bureau tests its supply approximately 240 times per month, and it takes 18 hours to yield results.

The reservoirs that tested positive for bacteria are now offline. Customers will be notified when the boil alert is dismissed.

To see if your area is included within the contamination zone, enter your address here.

Follow this link for a map of the affected districts. Or use this searchable Google map to find out if your household is at risk.

For more information, contact Portland Water Bureau Customer Service at 503-823-7770.