Problems We Found In Portland, Oregon's Drinking Water – Hydroviv

Problems We Found In Portland, Oregon's Drinking Water

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Problems We Found In Portland, Oregon's Drinking Water

Update/Editor's Note:  On November 27, we were contacted by the Portland Water Bureau's.  They asked us to clarify a couple of things:

1.  That any lead found in residents' water came from the home's plumbing, not from the water supply.  

2.  That an "exceedance" of a regulation is not the same as being "out of compliance."  We have changed the word in the original article to reflect the legal technicality.

3.  To include information saying that "Concerned customers can order a free lead-in-water test kit from the LeadLine at 503-988-4000 or www.leadline.org."

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Portland's tap water, we aggregated water quality test data from Portland Water Bureau, the city’s water provider, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze.  We cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes.  The water filters that we build for people who live in Portland are optimized with these figures in mind.

Source Of Portland Drinking Water

Portland’s drinking water system delivers water from two sources — the Bull Run Watershed and the Columbia South Shore Well Field — to almost one million people in Portland and surrounding communities.

Lead Levels In Portland Drinking Water

Portland, Oregon has a lead problem.  There's no way around it.  In early November of this year, the city announced that it was in exceedance of the EPA's Lead and Copper Rule (LCR).  More than 13% of the taps sampled for lead in Portland exceeded 15 parts per billion.  This is an exceedance of the federal rule, and the municipal water provider aims to have a new treatment plan in place by 2022.  For reference, the American Academy Of Pediatrics urges legal changes to remediate any school/childcare water fountain that produces water over 1 part per billion.  In the meantime, we strongly urge all Portland residents whose home was built before 1986 to filter their home's water for lead.

Chromium 6 Levels In Portland Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA.  In recent years, Portland’s tap water has averaged 36 parts per trillion for Chromium 6.  While they are in compliance with nonexistent federal and very loose state regulations, these levels are 1.8 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Portland Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter.  Although these chemicals are not currently regulated very well, the EPA website discloses that high levels of disinfection byproducts in drinking water are are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. 

Still Have Questions About Portland Tap Water Or Water Quality In General?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each customer's water.  The contaminants that we list above are what we consider to be major “points of emphasis” that we use to build water filters that are built specifically for Portland, but our filters provide broad protection against a wide range of additional contaminants found in Portland's tap water.

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Portland's water, or just have questions about water quality in general, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com, reach out by email (hello@hydroviv.com) or through our live chat. We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook.  We pride ourselves in being a reputable source of information on water quality, and your questions will be answered by scientists, not salespeople (we don't have any salespeople on staff).

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  • Kezia Snipe