Cryptosporidium found in Bull Run water

Does not pose risk to public health

The Bull Run Watershed is the main water supply for the city of Portland. Undated photo. (Portland Tribune)
The Bull Run Watershed is the main water supply for the city of Portland. Undated photo. (Portland Tribune)

PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Portland’s Water Bureau said Monday that the city detected cryptosporidium in samples taken last week at the Bull Run water supply.

Bureau officials said the amount of the potentially dangerous microorganism was low and did not pose a risk to public health.

“While these detections do not indicate an increased public health risk, we are taking them very seriously,” said Water Bureau Administrator Mike Stuhr. “Public safety is the water bureau’s top priority. We will continue increased monitoring at the drinking water source, and continue close coordination with health officials at all levels to continue to protect public health.”

According to the city’s Jan. 30 announcement, tests taken Jan. 25 found a small amount of cryptosporidium in a 13-gallon sample. The bureau doesn’t treat Bull Run water for the parasite because of a 2012 state variance. Instead, it is required to monitor the water for cryptosporidium and notify the public of any detections.

It was the third time in January that the bureau had detected the microorganism in the water. The first was detected Jan. 2. The last time the city found cryptosporidium in the water was December 2011.

City officials did not recommend any precautions, but urged “people with severely weakened immune systems to seek specific advice about drinking water from their health care providers.”

“Historically, we cannot find any evidence of a cryptosporidiosis outbreak tied to drinking Bull Run water,” said Multnomah County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines.

The city of Portland sells Bull Run water to several suburban water districts.

More information can be found here.

The Portland Tribune is a KOIN media partner.