Tree fall causes Portland water switch

Multnomah County

The city's back up water supply is activated after facility damage on Monday, Nov. 15.

COURTESY PHOTO: PWB – The fallen tree that damaged the Portland water supply facility.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (Portland Tribune) — Portland switched its water supply system over to groundwater wells on Monday, Nov. 15, after a falling tree damaged a treatment plant.

According to the Portland Water Bureau, the tree fell into the roof of the Lusted Hill treatment facility damaging the interior of the building, including corrosion treatment equipment. The bureau did not immediately know how long it would take for repairs.

Because of the damage, the bureau switched over from the Bull Run watershed to the Columbia South Shore Well Field supply system on Nov. 15.

“Groundwater is one of our most powerful tools in planning for emergency supply response and climate change,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Gabriel Solmer. “We can expect more extreme weather events like the recent rains that have impacted the region. “Groundwater allows us to reliably provide water to people when severe storms impact the Bull Run Watershed or we have other supply disruptions.”

According to the bureau, the groundwater system is a high-quality water supply which meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations.

The bureau serves water to almost a million people in the Portland area. The system includes two sources, 53 tanks and reservoirs and 2,200 miles of pipes.

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