PWB to blend reservoir with well water

First time blending water since 2009

Portland's Bull Run Reservoir, Juoly 16, 2015 (KOIN)
Portland's Bull Run Reservoir, Juoly 16, 2015 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For the first time in nearly 7 years the Portland Water Bureau will use well water to help with the drinking supply because one of the city’s reservoirs isn’t keeping up with demand this summer.

The city is planning to mix the softer reservoir water with the groundwater that has more minerals, and that means the city’s tap water could taste a little different.

PWB’s Jaymee Cuti said the city will pull water from the well fields for the first time since Sept. 28, 2009. (Earlier information from PWB said it was the first time since 1992. Cuti later amended that to say this is the 10th time since 1992.)

“As of today, we activated the Columbia South Shore Well fields, so we are going to begin blending 25% well water with 75% Bull Run water,” Cuti said.

Although the city said Reservoir 2 is still full, Bull Run Reservoir 1 is not. Cuti said the water is being used faster than it’s filling up, which could result in the difference in taste.

“It’s unusual for customers to be able to taste a difference, especially because there is a blend,” she said.

Some businesses on a “sensitive” water list will be notified. Those include dialysis clinics, brewers, aquariums, laundromats and places where water make-up matters.

When city resident Marci Branagan learned about this, she said she was a little concerne about missing the soft water.

“I’m from the East Coast, so the soft water is really wonderful because it tastes so good,” she said. “I love the way my tea tastes and I like drinking it and it’s more gentle on the skin in the winter, so that’s going to be interesting.”

 

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