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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Boil your tap water in Portland

Apparently they've found E-coli in water on the west side.

Having lost all faith in city government, I can't help but suspect that this is part of a concerted p.r. effort to justify covering or disconnecting the city's open reservoirs -- or maybe to justify arming Fireman Randy's water militia. But whatever it's about, pass the bottled stuff, please.

Comments (36)

The first scary results came in from tests run on Wednesday, with the results known late Thursday, according to this story. Why it took until Saturday afternoon to issue an alert is a question that deserves asking.

Wonder what the Water Blog honks will have to say about how the water is so clean and pristine after finding fecal bacteria in the reservoir that supplies City Hall?

I hear Randy's putting on scuba gear...

Might check the staph roster and see if Sal Monella was a new hire.

Hey, it's CoP. When can we start suing and get a fat settlement in return?

KOIN TV 6 had Mayor Slimy'sress conference earlier.

Question: Where is Waterman Randy?

They had reason to know since Wednesday, and told the publc on Saturday afternoon, after the biggest cooking day of the year on Thursday?


Usually the utter incompetence of these boobs is merely a source of amusement to me, but this time, these idiots have put the health of my family and Thanksgiving guests at risk by failing to warn when they first knew of the problem on Wedensday. The Original Bob W

Where is Water Commis Randy?

Bull Run - Toilet to the faucet! No - faucet to the toilet!

Maybe the WaterCops will just taser the reservoir and dub it zap water. Don't worry, it'll be free of charge.

With this latest "blunder" there appears to be enough blame to spread around for Randy, Scam, and Saltzman to all resign...I know, wishful thinking!

Typical...roll the dice on a holiday so as not to cause a panic they don't want to deal with on their day off.

I can see the conversation..."c'mon Sam, its only diarrhea."

I thought bottled water was unsustainable. Good thing they haven't outlawed it yet

I installed an undersink filter in the kitchen when Sam was elected Mayor and talked about fighting the EPA's "draconian" requirements.

Yeah, I'm really going to take Sam's opinion over the EPA.

Mister Tee,

Don't believe a filter will stop Beaver (crap in the creek) Fever.

Will Randy's water cops be doing target practice on the geese and ducks, and other wild life that are probably the cause of the Ecoli?
The folks in the fancy houses around the Washington Park Reservoir better install bullett proof glass if those cops don't shoot any better than the CoP police.

Oh heavenly father, they have instituted auto-pay, finally, after all these years, there is auto-pay. Maybe the wisdom went something like this:

We need to raise water rates again to pay some more control-freaks to wear guns around the reservoirs.

But we just raised them by an extraordinary amount, like, last month?! People are going to let their small children in diapers scrawl poop on the checks before they send them in!

Nope. We'll have auto pay set up before we make the change.

Poor Randy. He's "on the job" when it's not his job, and goes AWOL when it is his job.

No worries, the water bureau is giving out free "I only drink tap water" bike stickers to the first 500 people with the squirts.

"The first scary results came in from tests run on Wednesday, with the results known late Thursday, according to this story. Why it took until Saturday afternoon to issue an alert is a question that deserves asking." Jack B.

Don't hold your breath, either waiting for the press to ask that question or for the city to answer it. Meanwhile, I'm boiling my water.

"Don't believe a filter will stop Beaver (crap in the creek) Fever."

I don't see where draining the reservoirs and re-filling them will fix anything if they don't know the cause either.

Does Randy's older brother Rick own a bottled water company?

Hi folks, I work for the Water Bureau, and I want to say - aside from the jabs, thanks for helping spread the word about the boil water notice. I am currently on Thanksgiving vacation down in California with my family, so I am NOT aware of all the facts in this situation.

Like every Portlander and certainly every Water Bureau employee, I am very concerned and eager to learn all the facts.
I'm confident that all the information regarding timing, information dissemination, etc. will come out as soon as this crisis is over and we'll learn from it and improve.

Thanks for your patience, and again, thanks for sharing the boil water notice with your neighbors, colleagues, friends, and even your enemies.

- Sarah Bott

*All* Portland tap water has contaminants. Our water isn't "pure"--it's just that contaminants are at a low enough level that scientists believe they won't be harmful to human health.

fecal coliform bacterias are in fact present in our drinking water all the time--but again, determined to be harmless or at levels that won't cause harm. the strain we're being warned about *is* harmful.

In other words, folks--you're drinking poop all the time, just in tiny, tiny amounts. that's the nature of massive urban water systems.


I am e. coli.

I'm having a good laugh over this incident; but feel for you people still stuck with the sorry incompetents that run COP. We moved to Reno earlier this month; and the water is light years better than what we had in our home in Gresham. And that's not to mention our water and sewage bills are less than half of what we were paying. Just for starters, we no longer find a ring around the bowl of fresh water we put out for our two cats every morning. Way less minerals in the water here; and I believe they also use flouride in the water as well.

Now, I don't know what the protocol is for a second test of the water, but one does wonder - did anyone come in on Thursday to do a second test?

(And, curiously enough, at least the customer service section was off work on Friday - told to take either vacation or unpaid leave. Seems like an unofficial furlough day, at least for some of the Water Bureau staff. Were other Water Bureau staff included in the mandatory day off?)

Now, as a cynic, would I dare think that Portland Businesses would not want to ruin Black Friday in downtown Portland? The morning parade, evening tree lighting, and shop and eat 'til you drop in between. If folks couldn't eat or get their lattes downtown, would they take their business to the (eastside) malls and stores instead?

Are there any reports of anyone actually having been made sick?

What timing...right when the Water Bureau finally asks the EPA to be excused from having to build a treatment facility to treat the water. A request that did not happen after lengthy encouragement from citizens, environmental and clean water groups - it only happened after Merkley's office put pressure on Leonard and the WB to do it. Leonard and the WB are hell bent on messing with the cleanest watershed in the US. Just watch how they'll use this incident to further justify it...

Are there any reports of anyone actually having been made sick?

My sister, who lives in Raleigh Hills, got sick yesterday morning before she heard the reports about e coli and then realized what had happened. She is supposed to be flying to India next week, so hope the ailment is short-lived.

The water commissioner is back from vacation: http://twitter.com/portlandwater/status/6180704335

He's pressing his blue jeans, putting on his scuba gear, assembling his HIT team, and will show that E. coli who really runs the Water Bureau ... in about three hours.

"In other words, folks--you're drinking poop all the time"

In other words, folks - We don't shut down reservoirs or drain them every day either.

We get carged 18% more for water for what?

"we'll learn from it and improve."

What are you going to do:
- Hire another blogmistress?
- Print more stickers
- Make more water bottles?
- Raise rates again?

"The water commissioner is back from vacation:"

Uh, no - That's just the blogmistress/PIO. No sightings of Randy or Schaff yet.

Steve -

Schaff was on both KATU TV 2 and KGW TV 8 this morning during the AM local news shows before 09:00.

He was busily denying what he was on tape from the 4:15 Saturday news conference as saying .

Still no sign of the Water Boy.

Time to send Randy to the showers.

Just out of interest...Isn't this why we add chlorine to the water?

It seems that to get such a result would require either a spike in source e.coli, or a massive reduction in the e.coli- killing chlorine in the system. No?

This leads me to question the whole incident (and give credence to suppositions like those Jack aired in the OP)....and no, I don't think we have enough information as yet.

Relax, everybody. Mayor Sam has a lot of experience in the fecal area. Everything will be okay.

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