Beginning on Wednesday, June 20, the Portland Water Bureau will begin using its groundwater wells in the Columbia South Shore Well Field to ensure adequate water supply to its customers.
Due to the dry spring weather, above average temperatures, and in consideration of available long-term weather forecasts, the PWB will use the well field to supplement the supply from the Bull Run Watershed until the return of significant fall rains.
"We deliver safe and reliable drinking water to almost one million customers," PWB Director Michael Stuhr said in a Tuesday press release. "At the end of a dry spring, it's tremendously comforting to know that we can turn to our Columbia South Shore Well Field and supply all our customers' needs."
According to the bureau, the average contribution of groundwater to the system will be approximately 25 to 35 percent of the average daily water supply, and may be increased if above average demands and dry weather continue. Due to the low percentage of groundwater being blended with the Bull Run Source, the bureau says it does not expect there to be a noticeable change in water chemistry.
It can take up to two weeks, depending on location and overall water demand, for the blended water to make its way through the distribution system to homes and businesses.
According to the bureau, the Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply that meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations. As a result of careful planning, Portland is fortunate to have access to two excellent water sources that allow us to be prepared to meet the range of supply and demand conditions that occur in the Portland water system, the bureau says.
Although public notification is not required, the bureau traditionally informs the media and sensitive water users when it activates groundwater and when it has significant operational changes.
Supply updates will be posted to www.portlandoregon.gov/water/summersupply. For more information about Portland's drinking water quality, call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.
Customers with questions are encouraged to call the Water Line at 503-823-7525
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