Video: Threats to Portland's Water Supply
Public Access program, "A Growing Concern," features a discussion of imminent threats to Portland's water supply. Guest is Scott Fernandez, local microbiologist.|
Threats to Portland's Water Supply
On the program, Fernandez also discusses the upcoming "Save Our Drinking Water Rally" on Earth Day, April 22, 2011 at Noon at the City Hall sidewalk, SW 4th and Main in downtown Portland. |
For further information:
Citizens for Portland's Water)
(Excerpted from Friends of Bull Run Water Facebook Page">
Portland, Oregon, really does have some of the best tasting and purest drinking water of any large city on Earth. Since 1892, our remote Bull Run Watershed has been set aside as Portland's water source.
For over 114 years our city has enjoyed drinking the super-clean rain water collected in this remote natural basin. It has a very long track record in proving itself safe and healthy, because the Bull Run area is a very restricted-entry watershed that collects only pure snow and rain from within it's own basin.
It's a beautiful, efficient, gravity-flow, sustainable system in harmony with nature, showing the world how to get clean water without paying corporations for it.
Do you know that we are now in great danger of losing this remarkable gift from the clever engineers of the 1890s?
Portland's water quality, and it's health record has been fabulous, with not even one case of Cryptosporidium sickness found to have come from our drinking water for over a century. Yet the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (which often sides with big business over our environment) says now we must quickly build an un-needed water plant to eliminate, to below zero, every dead, dead, dead, fragment of ALL varieties of this one-celled group of protozoa. (Only two of the approximately eight varieties can make people sick.
Those two are only the type that come from human and cattle sewage.) But the EPA makes no distinction between the types at all. This is now going to force Portlander's to pay for the current compliance plan designed by Commissioner Leonard which is:
Build a 99 million dollar ultraviolet radiation treatment plant in the watershed;
bury the Mt. Tabor and Washington Park reservoirs on site at Washington Park;
and Mt. Tabor, and use existing and new reservoirs buried at Powell Butte and Kelly Butte.
All this will force Portlanders to pay $500 million (actually $1 billion, with the debt interest to be paid over 25 years). So, watch your water bill double over the next 5 years, and all for no measurable public health benefit.
Meanwhile, our water is as good as ever, still naturally filtered by the myriad needles on 700 year-old Douglas Fir trees in our very nearly pristine watershed. Human entry is restricted to very few Water Bureau and Forest Service people only, and of course, no cattle are permitted. The new Federal EPA's LT2 rule is threatening to entirely destroy Portland's exemplary, carefully protected Bull Run watershed, and also, as a result, our low-tech, but proven-safe, open reservoir, relatively untreated water system.
This steady-state, naturally pure system is actually one of the greenest, and most venerable things about our city. Portland's entire water delivery system has worked fine without this wrong-headed EPA rule since 1895. It will work just as well long into the future, for centuries to come, if it is only kept up.
If you love Portland's Bull Run water, or any of the handcrafted microbrew beers, and fine distilled spirits made out of it, you should join our group!
Our best hope in fixing this is for Portlander's to stand up and let the our City Council and Congress know that we demand an exemption to save what is really one of the greenest, smartest, water systems of the future, an eminently sustainable and beautiful water system that works as well as it does, specifically because it is in as much complete harmony with nature as any city's water collection system ever could be.
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