Portland, OR, Residents Under Orders to Boil Drinking Water After E.Coli is Found in City’s Water Supply

Matt Smith purchases some of the last bottled water available Friday, May 23, 2014 at a Safeway store in Portland, Ore. (AP PHOTO/GOSIA WOZNIACKI)
Matt Smith purchases some of the last bottled water available Friday, May 23, 2014 at a Safeway store in Portland, Ore. (AP PHOTO/GOSIA WOZNIACKI)

Residents and visitors to Portland, Ore., are struggling with a major health scare, as they’re being cautioned to boil their drinking water this holiday weekend after the discovery of e.coli bacteria in the city’s water supply.

The city-wide boil notice, which went out May 23, affects more than 700,000 residents of Portland and several suburbs. It will remain in effect until the water supply is deemed safe. No word yet on how that water became contaminated.

Portland retailers scrambled to to make arrangements for abundant supplies to be shipped into the region Friday night; meanwhile, bottled water is flying from supermarket shelves.

The samples that tested positive for bacteria were collected this past week from two reservoirs at Oregon’s Mount Tabor. The Portland Water Bureau said it collects about 240 bacterial samples per month throughout the system, and the test to determine the presence of bacteria takes 18 hours. Portland officials said contamination can occur when there is a loss of water pressure, a pipe breaks or when conditions expose drinking water to outside elements, such as animal waste.

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SOURCE:  
Boise Weekly

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