Lead in Portland, Oregon Drinking Water


Update/Editor's Note: On November 27, 2017 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 multco.us/health/lead-poisoning-prevention."

Kezia Snipe  |  Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Portland's tap and drinking 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's water 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.

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